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The Trades Offer Limitless Possibilities: Cynthia Mahar, Heat and Frost Insulator, with a specialization in marine, shares her career journey

I started insulating (marine and industrial) in 2013 in Alberta, which is where I gained most of my experience. It took me 10 years to officially finish my apprenticeship and gain my Red Seal certification. I also had two children along the way. After five years of experience, I moved back to Nova Scotia and was able to connect with a local union. I got hired right away and started at the shipyard. Later on, I joined a new company at the Halifax Shipyard to complete my Red Seal designation of Heat and Frost Insulator.  

What do you love about your job? 

I insulate navy ships! I am part of the team that builds ships for Canada, and I am honoured to be a part of that. Our job is important and includes ensuring fire protection, thermal protection and installing sounds barriers for the boats. If our job isn’t done correctly, it affects the whole ship and can affect people’s lives. 

Who inspired you to pursue this career? 

My fiancé. He is in the skilled trades as well and knows the value of these careers. I also take pride in being a tradesperson. 

What type of career opportunities exist within your industry? 

This trade embodies several different areas such as: industrial which includes oil refineries and power plants; commercial including hospitals and schools, residential for homes, and marine for boats. 

What is your advice for people who want to pursue a career in this field? 

Just go for it! If you put your mind to something, you can definitely do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, you will definitely get there! You can start right out of high school and have a great career, and an amazing future. Also, the people are great. This trade has really evolved over the years, especially in Nova Scotia. There are also many organizations that help apprentices obtain their Red Seal designation, such as CCRW. 

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