4 signs your teen might love a career in trades

Student wearing protective gear spray paints a part
From easy bake ovens to #DIY projects, learn why a career in trades could be a fit from four students in SAIT’s Exploring Transportation Trades program.

Imagine — a high school experience where you send your teen to class in state-of-the art labs to learn about different career options, earn industry-recognized credentials and gain hands-on work experience. 

Sound like more fun than sitting in math class? Welcome to a day in the life of an Exploring Transportation Trades program high school student.

Led by SAIT Youth Initiatives, and in collaboration with the Schools of Transportation, and Manufacturing & Automation, this pilot foundations program has allowed 14 youth to pursue their interest in transportation trades while still in high school. 

Facilitated on SAIT campus, these students learn from industry-trained instructors and receive hands-on experience in tech-enriched facilities — allowing them to experience post-secondary life, familiarize themselves with campus and build their confidence. After completing this four-month program, students earn high school Career and Technology and/or work experience credits, gain a greater awareness of skilled trades and insight into various career pathways.

Hear from four Exploring Transportation Trades students about why they wanted to try their hands at a trade — you might even recognize some of these traits in your own teens.

1) Instead of making a tiny brownie, Rebecca preferred to take apart her Easy Bake Oven to see how it worked.

“I remember getting an Easy Bake Oven when I was little. Instead of using it for baking, I found the screws and a screwdriver and took it apart. I wanted to know how to put it back together. My parents weren’t pleased,” says Rebecca.

A curious person who loves working with their hands and watching a concept come to reality, may enjoy working in construction and trades — and they won’t get in trouble for taking things apart!

2) Eva loves a good #DIY project.

Caution! #DoItYourself projects may lead to a future career.

“At first, I wasn’t interested in trades, but I wanted to know how to fix my car by myself in case something happened. I took an automotive class and ended up loving it,” says Eva.

Someone who wants to learn how to perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations and repair automotive vehicles, might want to pursue a career as an Automotive Service Technician. This path requires individuals to perform precise work in a constantly evolving environment.

3) The idea of a cubicle makes Gabby cringe. 

“I can’t sit at a desk for long periods. I like getting a demonstration and then doing the hands-on work myself. It’s a much better way to learn for me,” says Gabby.

If the thought of sitting at a desk for hours makes a person squirrely, they’re not alone. A skilled trade is a career path that requires specialized knowledge and individuals to complete tactile work in various locations such as repair shops, outdoors or on job sites. 

4) Ashleigh feels a sense of accomplishment when fixing and creating.

 “I fell in love when I found my dream car and worked on it. I started crying. I was so happy. After this, I knew I wanted to help others with their cars and make them feel as happy as I felt,” says Ashleigh.

A career in trades could leave a person who loves fixing things, solving problems and helping others feeling fulfilled and accomplished. The best part? Red Seal-endorsed trade certificates are internationally recognized — allowing individuals to work and help people across the globe.

Think a dual credit program at SAIT might be the right fit for your teen?

Learn more about SAIT’s post-secondary pathways for youth by visiting Youth Foundations Programs or check out the latest SAIT Summer Camps 2023 offerings for trades-focused camps and introductions to program and career pathways.

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