A recent story from Canadian Business laments about the job market for those entering universities and hoping their Bachelor’s degrees will provide salaries big enough to offset the rising cost of a four-year education. According to their research, the average salary for those exiting university is around $54,000. While that’s not a bad rate at all, it comes with a hefty price tag in terms of debt, as well as four years of lost wage potential. Weigh those facts with the idea that Toronto’s residential painters can make anywhere from $14-40 per hour (or roughly $29,000-84,000) and it’s plain to see why so many people who love working with their hands are moving into the trades.
Becoming a commercial, industrial or residential painter in Toronto is challenging from a number of perspectives. It can also be a great way to immediately begin working and getting paid after graduating from secondary school. At the IUPAT, we work with plenty of young people every year who want to hit the ground running, so to speak, when it comes to their careers. A paid training program and apprenticeship is an excellent way to make their job goals come to fruition without putting them at risk of a huge debt load that will take years, if not decades, to pay back.
Does everyone need to become a skilled tradesperson? No. But those who are fond of the trades owe it to themselves to do their homework. Too many people assume that universities are the gold standard of learning, but without skilled trade workers, our cities, neighborhoods, and even country would find itself in poor shape. In other words, we need people at all levels and in all roles, including our union Brothers and Sisters.
If you’re a Generation Y (Millennial) or Generation X (born after 2000) member unsure of what to do after your final years in secondary school, we recommend weighing all the options. Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps when the bills are due. Look closely at anticipated income data before you force yourself down any career path that might not be suitably fulfilling. Should your investigations take you toward the trades, feel free to get in touch with us at the IUPAT, or one of your local union chapters. Our members are always happy to share their stories and give you a real-world look at what it means to be a drywaller, glazier, residential painter in Toronto or other skilled tradesperson.