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Hi everyone. It's my first time on this site. I was hoping to get advice about getting into a trade job.

I'm a 33 year old certified teacher in Ontario, and have been doing supply teaching for the past 2 years. We make about $32/hour before deductions.

I've had several gigs as a full time teacher, and the stress of dealing with report cards, parents, and ridiculous behaviour from kids is making me think I might be happier staying as a simple supply teacher, but moonlighting as a tradesperson, especially in summers and during the other school breaks.

How possible is it to complete an apprenticeship while teaching? Do I have to give up teaching 100% until I complete my apprenticeship? Would an employer be willing to take me on for just certain times of the year, or maybe just for partial hours? What trade will be the most profitable in Ontario? I was thinking electrician perhaps, but maybe someone can suggest an alternative?

Please let me know your thoughts everyone! Thanks so much!
 

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I don't know if there are any rules for how long you are allowed to take to complete your apprenticeship. But I would say that yes, you should give up teaching 100% until you complete your apprenticeship. It takes about a year working regular full time hours to complete a work experience + 2 months in school cycle (here in Alberta, I imagine it's the same in ON). That way you are also focusing entirely on learning the trade... if you spread it out you might forget things along the way / not be able to apply what you learn.

Plus I know some employers who wouldn't like having an apprentice with an irregular schedule because you want to sub, so job opportunities might thin out with that limitation.

If you're not in a rush, and thinking about one of the construction trades... one option is to look for a general contractor to work for this summer as a labourer, so you can experience working on site and see how the different trades work.
 

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I know of a full time teacher who works on the side (weekends, summer, spring break) installing, repairing, and winterizing yard and garden sprinkler systems. Of course he does not work during the winter as the ground is frozen and sprinklers are not working. Seems like a pretty good gig to me and does not take years of training to learn as does a formal trade apprenticeship. Landscaping generally is another alternative.
Just a thought and to put another twist on things. I would think your decision would be dependent on what your interests are.
 

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If electrical is your preferred trade I would start by applying at your local IBEW. They will have the most flexible work by far. You can almost take work when and for how long you want it. You will however need to go to school for 8-10 weeks at a time to complete your apprenticeship. Usually takes 4-5 years of full time work with the 3 school terms to complete the apprenticeship.
 

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Could go the teaching route with any trade but those jobs also require many years of licensed experience and possibly a college technician diploma
 

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This is funny. I know a couple of guys who went from trades to teaching shop (electrical and auto mechanics). They are a lot happier, they make more money, do less work, have less stress and less physical wear and tear. Have better benefits, vacations, sick days, and a government pension at the end of it.

Neither would go back to doing manual labor if they could get a teaching job.

I don't believe it is possible to serve an apprenticeship, do all the classes and exams, and qualify for a trade unless you work at it full time. If you want to be an auto mechanic expect to spend 4 years working for minimum wage or not much more, studying in your spare time, writing exams every couple of months, and when you get your license spend $20,000 on tools in order to qualify for a $25 an hour job with few or no benefits.
 

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What trade will be the most profitable in Ontario?
maybe tower crane operator?

Honestly, one you don't suck at and get fired from. What are your strengths? Do you like math? Do you have a keen eye for shapes and angles? Do you like machinery? OK with heights? want to work indoors or out? In a team, or alone?

Figure out what you want to do. Trades means a lot of things from hair dressing to welding in Ontario. You don't just style hair one day because the pay is great and weld a bridge the next because that pays great.

The thing about trades is it can be very expensive to find out you don't have the hands or mind required for the one you choose. The training is expensive and paying for your own training up front is common in some (a college pre-apprenticeship program)
 

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You could explore the private sector(I am thinking carpenter)
It's really not hard "finding" a job
But of course what counts is after 2 weeks is up and your private sector boss evaluates you.
I don't know what your skill set is but I have a few friends that ate non real seal in a few trades(in the private sector)that make 60k + a yr....I don't know if that is good for you?
As far as public sector perks,there is none though
I went this route from 18 yrs old and own a business now,not a easy road by any means but there is a way to get into trades without schooling (might be a bit divider rent though being your 33)
You start out very low
But carpentry is a trade you can for go school(provided you can preform /produce and don't mind seeking a position in a small business)
Def not for everybody
 

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I would think 99% of trades employment is private sector.... MTO or municipalities employ a few mechanics and other tradespeople I suppose if they haven't contracted all that out yet.
 

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"How possible is it to complete an apprenticeship while teaching? Do I have to give up teaching 100% until I complete my apprenticeship? Would an employer be willing to take me on for just certain times of the year, or maybe just for partial hours? What trade will be the most profitable in Ontario? I was thinking electrician perhaps, but maybe someone can suggest an alternative?"

This part really hands me a laugh. It seems hard to believe anyone could be 33 years old and be this green.

Yes you will have to give up teaching to do an apprenticeship. Yes an employer may want you only part of the year, but you will be hired and laid off at his convenience not yours. If he thinks you will not be 100% available whenever he wants you, you won't be hired. None of them are profitable compared to teaching or other white collar employment.

Electrician is good. Upholsterer is also good, you can have your own little shop, work or not work as you please, and make good money ($1500 a week, working out of your garage) and upholstery doesn't beat you up and make you sick like a lot of trades.

The best gig I ever saw was psychologist or psychiatrist. Sit on your *** and do nothing but listen to some loser whine. Don't do anything, don't even talk or answer questions. Collect $75 an hour and up.

This may sound too close to being a teacher. It could also be stressful if you care about your patients but I understand you soon get over that.

Dentist is also excellent. My dentist charges $200 to clean and inspect someone's teeth. This takes half an hour. He has 4 hygienists who do this work. At that rate he is making $1600 an hour, not counting his own work. I know he has expenses but I doubt he pays the hygienists over $25 an hour. He recently bought a $5,000,000 ten acre lakeside estate and put up a $2,000,000 castle.
 

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Hi everyone. It's my first time on this site. I was hoping to get advice about getting into a trade job.

I'm a 33 year old certified teacher in Ontario, and have been doing supply teaching for the past 2 years. We make about $32/hour before deductions.

I've had several gigs as a full time teacher, and the stress of dealing with report cards, parents, and ridiculous behaviour from kids is making me think I might be happier staying as a simple supply teacher, but moonlighting as a tradesperson, especially in summers and during the other school breaks.

How possible is it to complete an apprenticeship while teaching? Do I have to give up teaching 100% until I complete my apprenticeship? Would an employer be willing to take me on for just certain times of the year, or maybe just for partial hours? What trade will be the most profitable in Ontario? I was thinking electrician perhaps, but maybe someone can suggest an alternative?

Please let me know your thoughts everyone! Thanks so much!

Are you willing to spend the next 5 years making about half of your current wage? Trades pay well once you're a journeyman, but that will take 4-5 years of HARD LABOUR to get to that point, and you won't be making that much as an apprentice.

I looked into the trades when I got out of the Army and came away looking for something else. My body is already wrecked after nearly a decade in uniform, and the pay tables would have me making about 14 an hour for the next few years. The wear and tear on previous injuries gave me a lot of pause, as did the opportunity cost of that 5 year apprenticeship.

I would recommend an apprenticeship path for a healthy young guy in his early 20's. I wouldn't really recommend it for someone 30-35 who's already making journeyman pay in a different job.

If you truly want to become a tradesman, you're relatively free of injuries, and you don't have a problem with a few years of low pay, it's a pretty good way to go.
 

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I wouldn't say trades pay well if you are a journeyman. They pay about what the OP gets as a supply teacher or maybe a little less. But without the sick days, paid vacations, pension and other benefits teachers get.

But you are right, to learn a trade takes 4 or 5 years plus going to class and passing exams while working for half pay. And by the way, these are not the kind of exams where there are no right or wrong answers and you get marked on your creative ability. There is only one answer to every question and you must get them all exactly right.

It's only a good way to go if you can't do better. Unfortunately I learned too late, but it may not be too late for others. Stick with your government job or get a different government job. Don't try to do anything useful or practical. Stick with the bullshit and you will be much better off.
 

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If you have an angle into the FT teaching profession, I would explore that. teaching is safe and govt supported and comes with a nice pension at the end. Trade are volatile, super competitive and do not have the security that other vocations do. Its also a young persons game. Gets hard to lay tile or do stucco when you are 55 vs 35.

And if the economy goes where I think it will, we will have a surplus of trades people coming from the patch and home construction.
 

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Trades definitely pay well, especially as a journeyman. Any major manufacturing company, autos, steel, plastics, oil etc pay top dollar and you could easily make 100k+ a year with good benefits and decent pension.

Is it as comfortable a working environment as teaching, probably not and no you don't get summers off but it is still a very good way to make a living and trades are in very high demand especially compared to teachers.
 

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I know of a full time teacher who works on the side (weekends, summer, spring break) installing, repairing, and winterizing yard and garden sprinkler systems. Of course he does not work during the winter as the ground is frozen and sprinklers are not working. Seems like a pretty good gig to me and does not take years of training to learn as does a formal trade apprenticeship. Landscaping generally is another alternative.
Just a thought and to put another twist on things. I would think your decision would be dependent on what your interests are.
Teaching is one of the best gigs for "Side Hustles" given there relaxed schedule and long down time in the summer.. perfect world, you could keep your teaching job and do some trade work in the summer in some sort of seasonal type industry (landscaping comes to mine).... this becomes a very easy way to maximize your income, and if you can incorporate to help ease the tax it.. even better
 

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There seem to be a lot of experts here on the teaching profession who haven't actually taught. The reality is that for young teachers, like the original poster, it is anything but a safe, comfortable job. Most young teachers spend a lot of years bouncing from job to job, if they are lucky enough to get jobs. Facing 25-35 entitled brats and their demanding patents would be my vision of hell. The trades have their own stresses, too, no doubt, but having non-teachers describe teaching as "comfortable" is as ill-informed as thinking that you can do an apprenticeship in your spare time an make easy money during the summer.
 

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Trades definitely pay well, especially as a journeyman. Any major manufacturing company, autos, steel, plastics, oil etc pay top dollar and you could easily make 100k+ a year with good benefits and decent pension.

Is it as comfortable a working environment as teaching, probably not and no you don't get summers off but it is still a very good way to make a living and trades are in very high demand especially compared to teachers.
Maybe one tradesman out of 1000 works for a major corporation with high wages, benefits, etc. The rest work for small businesses. Often the jobs are short term, insecure, and with few or no benefits.
 

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Maybe one tradesman out of 1000 works for a major corporation with high wages, benefits, etc. The rest work for small businesses. Often the jobs are short term, insecure, and with few or no benefits.
Indeed. When I was between careers I was considering becoming an electrician or an accountant. I had this image of being an electrician that included big money and lots of work. When I investigated it more closely, it wasn't nearly as good as I thought. There are frequent layoffs in the trades with seasonal and economic cycles. There are virtually zero benefits in many jobs and many contractors won't pay standard journeyman rates. In addition, the major hurdle is if anyone will hire you as an apprentice and generally it is extremely difficult to find an opportunity. If you do land an apprentice job, you might find yourself laid off once you reach the next level and your pay rung increases.

With the oil price collapse, tradespeople are going to fall on tough times in AB. You don't want a job that is subject to boom and bust cycles.
 
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