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Making it happen

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Danica researched several trades before pursuing a career in plumbing.

Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The idea of going back to school can be a daunting one at any age, but the decision to make the investment in yourself and your future is worth taking the plunge.

At a crossroads in her career, Danica was ready to make a move and carve out a new path in the trades.

Danica, 25

First-year Apprentice Plumber

What were you doing before coming to SAIT?

I was working at Heritage Park in the garden department followed by the mechanical department. It was an extremely rewarding and fulfilling job — Heritage Park is truly magical. It was while working I was debating what direction to go career wise and what I could really do with my future, followed by taking the plunge (no pun intended) and applying for pre-employment plumbing.

What made you decide to go into the plumbing trade?

I spent probably close to three months researching trades and speaking with people I knew who worked in them. I reached out to SAIT to ask questions and made lists of pros and cons for various trades. It just made the most sense for me, my life and my goals. I decided to start with the Pre-Employment program because I had never been directly involved with a trade so it felt like the least intimidating step into starting a career in trades.

Tell us about what your time at SAIT was like.

My experience at SAIT was truly wonderful — I felt really fortunate to have a welcoming and positive environment to learn in. My teacher Brenden Toner was awesome too — he genuinely cared about the success of everyone and really made sure I understood how to use my knowledge in the field. Even now, a year later, when performing certain tasks, I have his voice in the back of my head reminding me of little things. Overall my experience at SAIT was impeccable and has really set me on a great path for my future.

Student plumbing apprentice working with machine

What would you say to someone contemplating a career change?

I would really encourage to research the different trades. There are a ton of options out there, and working in the trades is a fulfilling and rewarding career. Seeing the results of your hard work manifest is great.

What’s next for you?

Next is my second year plumbing. I am very nervous and excited. School has never been a passion of mine, but only having two months to absorb a ton of information is a challenge I really do look forward to. It challenges me to become better than I was before. After school is done, I’ll work my hours and enjoy time with my dogs like usual.

Do you have any advice for someone like yourself in the trades whose training is temporarily cancelled due to COVID-19?

We can’t control anything other than our own actions. If you have any old books or can borrow some, brush up and practice the knowledge you already know to be extra ready for when it’s time to go back to school.


Danica’s story is part of the Making it happen series featuring stories of career changers who chose SAIT to help pivot their profession. Read John’s story.

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