12 Types of Service Trades You Can Consider

Updated September 19, 2023

There are many types of service trades to consider in various industries. Learning these trades equips you with the employability skills needed to start your career. Understanding the various service trades and their qualifications helps you in choosing the right career path to suit your interests and skill set. In this article, we explain what service trades are, explore the benefits of this type of role and share 12 types of service trades and what they do.

What are service trades?

Service trades are careers that require specialized skills. These trades require a shorter period of training and an apprenticeship program that emphasizes hands-on experience. You then receive a certification and a license that allows you to practise in your province or territory. Trade careers exist in four sectors, which include construction, industrial, motive power and service.

12 types of service trades

The following are 12 types of service trades you can pursue:

1. Parts technician

National average salary: $25.79 per hour

Primary duties: Parts technicians have extensive knowledge of machine parts. They order and receive new and spare parts for farm, automotive and industrial machinery. The technicians answer questions to customers about the parts they want to order, fill the invoices, keep records of the parts and discuss any technical problems with the clients. They also service and sell the parts. To qualify as a parts technician, you need to earn a high school diploma and complete an apprenticeship program. You then get a certificate, which shows that you have the skills and expertise to practise this trade.

Read more: What Does a Parts Technician Do? (With Steps and Skills)

2. Electronic service technician

National average salary: $24.76 per hour

Primary duties: The duty of an electronic service technician is to diagnose problems and repair electronics. They install new equipment, service them regularly and help develop improved electronic products. They also estimate the cost of doing repairs and services and inform their clients. To qualify for this trade, you need to complete a college course in electronics and an apprenticeship program in electronic repair and servicing. Depending on the province you are working in, you might require a certification from the regulatory body.

3. Appliance service technician

National average salary: $25.04 per hour

Primary duties: These technicians fix and repair important appliances we use regularly, such as microwaves, refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners and freezers. To qualify for this trade, you need a high school diploma and a certification course in air conditioning and refrigeration or any course with mechanical skills. Most employers, though not a must, prefer candidates who have done technician apprenticeship programs for at least three years. Also, you need a practising license from the province you intend to work in.

4. Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

National average salary: $31.60 per hour

Primary duties: Licensed practical nurses assist doctors and registered nurses in their duties. They administer drugs to patients as directed by the doctor, update patient records and help patients with hygiene and grooming. They also inform the overseeing doctor or nurse of any changes in the condition of the patients. As an LPN, you work in different places, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and residential homes where patients are recovering. To get a practical nurse license, you must earn a high school diploma and undergo a nursing training course to receive your certificate.

Read more: What Is a Practical Nurse? (And How to Become One)

5. Butcher

National average salary: $19.05 per hour

Primary duties: A butcher is an expert who prepares and cuts meat, fish and poultry to be sold to customers. They perform the following duties:

  • Receive, examine and store meat once delivered

  • Ensure the cutting tools are in good working condition

  • Cut, grind and display meat properly

  • Weigh and wrap meat according to customers' specifications

  • Keep meat at required temperatures in refrigerators or freezers

  • Maintain sanitation standards by cleaning equipment and working areas

To qualify as a butcher in Canada, you require a high school diploma. A meat-cutting training course or relevant apprenticeship program may be essential.

Related: What Is an Apprenticeship?

6. Network cabling specialist

National average salary: $46.39 per hour

Primary duties: Network cable specialists fix and maintain wired communication systems. Their duties include planning and installing cables, connecting networks and performing tests to ensure the system is working. They work on a diverse cable system like coaxial and fibre optics, which transmit data, voice and video. To be a network cable specialist, you must have a high school diploma and a cable technician course. You must also complete an apprenticeship program for a period exceeding 4,000 hours. Network cabling specialists can get jobs in construction companies, electronic product firms, telecommunication companies and radio/television cabling companies.

7. Radiation therapist

National average salary: $41.57 per hour

Primary duties: Radiation therapists are specialists that administer radiation therapy to cancer patients. The radiation treatment can help patients recover by killing cancer cells. Duties in this role include developing treatment plans, updating patient records and operating radiation machines safely. To qualify to be a radiation therapist, you need to complete a program in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or diagnostic radiography, or obtain approved certification from an accredited radiology program. You also need a license from the province you are working in.

Read more: How to Become a Radiation Therapist: A Complete Guide

8. Baker

National average salary: $41.57 per hour

Primary duties: A baker, or pastry chef, prepares baked goods for sale or in a restaurant. They create recipes, order ingredients and prepare baking schedules to make cakes, bread, pastries, cookies and pies. To become a baker, you may benefit from having a secondary school certification. You may also take up an apprenticeship program, after which you can open your own pastry business or find a job as a baker.

Read more:

  • Important Baker Skills (With Tips for Improvement)

  • How to Create a Bakery Resume in 6 Steps (With Tips)

9. Educational assistant

National average salary: $22.13 per hour

Primary duties: Educational assistants help teachers carry out their teaching plans like marking exams, assisting students with classwork activities and helping special needs students. To be an educational assistant, you require a high school diploma and a college diploma in a humanity field like early childhood education, educational assistant or youth care worker. You must also be fluent in either French or English. Good communication and social skills are essential for this trade. You might also require special skills like sign language and or proficiency in reading braille for special needs students.

Read more: What Does an Educational Assistant Do? (How to Become One)

10. Information technology (IT) hardware technician

National average salary: $26.06 per hour

Primary duties: While much of their work is to identify hitches and repair and service computers, some install and configure computer hardware and provide IT support in their organizations. To qualify to be an IT hardware technician, you must have a high school diploma and pursue a degree or certificate course in computer science, web technology or network administration. You also need to have troubleshooting skills, excellent communication skills and exemplary customer service.

11. Chef

National average salary: $21.01 per hour

Primary duties: Chefs prepare and cook food, make attractive food displays, supervise the cooking team, develop menus and keep stock records while ensuring compliance with health rules and regulations. A talented chef needs to be able to use several recipes and strictly follow the menu in preparing food. They also need to work tidily and efficiently, follow the instructions of the head chef and have a desire to learn new techniques. To be a chef in Canada, you typically require a high school diploma. You may also need a cook's trade certification from your province.

Read more: A Guide to 12 Types of Chefs (With Essential Skills)

12. Hairdresser

National average salary: $17.26 per hour

Primary duties: Hairdressers are experts who focus on the treatment and fashioning of hair. Their responsibilities include hair cleaning and treatment, shaving and offering consultation to clients on hair styling options and the best hair products. To be a successful hairdresser, you need to update yourself on new hairstyles and also provide excellent customer service to keep your customers. To qualify, you require a secondary school education before completing an apprenticeship program in hairdressing for a period not less than two years. Trade certification for this profession is compulsory in some provinces and optional in others.

Read more: How to Become a Hairdresser (With Skills and Salary)

The benefits of service trades

The following are reasons to consider a service trade:

You get first-hand experience

Some people prefer practical learning rather than classwork because it allows them to learn on the job and earn their certifications through apprenticeship. Service trades provide this opportunity, unlike most university degrees, where one has to go through unpaid internships to gain experience.

They may cost less

Service trade courses may cost less than degree courses. Most degree courses or other higher education programs are expensive and often cause learners to take loans to facilitate their tuition. People who pursue service trades tend to earn experience while completing course credits and may be able to complete their training program with little or no debt.

They take a shorter duration

It takes about two years to complete most service trade courses, unlike a degree program, which often takes four years. You are most likely to finish your service trade course and start earning before a degree student finishes their program.

You can pursue what you are good at

With most types of service trades, you get to train on what you love and are good at. Service trades involve real-time experience, which means you get to know exactly what you are good at as soon as you start. This gives you the confidence to complete what you started as you enjoy doing it.

Related: 72 Types of Trades to Learn for a Successful Career

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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