Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in Construction


SHSM – What is it and how does it work?
SHSM – Construction

Get a jump-start on your career​

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) allows you to focus on a career area that interests you while you earn your high school diploma. No matter what education you plan to pursue after high school—apprenticeship, college, university or workplace training—a Specialist High Skills Major can help you focus on a future career.

A Specialist High Skills Major in construction offers:​

  • high school courses in grade 11 and 12 tailored to the career you want to pursue
  • the chance to work with industry leaders and experience cutting-edge training in construction
  • experience working in the sector you’re interested in, while you’re still in high school
  • recognition on your high school diploma

The construction major includes the following five components:​

  1. A bundle of nine grade 11 and 12 credits that comprise of:
    • four construction major credits
    • four other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in English, mathematics, and science or business studies
    • two co-operative education credits tied to the sector
    • Review the SHSM Construction Registration Form to see the bundle of courses required for a SHSM in Construction
  2. Seven sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs (five compulsory and a choice of two electives)
  3. Experiential learning and career exploration activities within the sector
  4. Reach ahead experiences connected with the student’s postsecondary plans
  5. Completion of a Sector-Partnered Experience (SPE)

Sector-recognized certification and training​

As part of the construction major, you will earn seven certifications, including the following five that are compulsory:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level A
  • Generic instruction about the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Standard first aid
  • Working at Heights
  • Health and safety – basic

Future career paths for construction majors​

For construction majors, possible careers include:

  • Apprenticeship –  bricklayer, carpenter, plumber, roofer/shingler, HVAC mechanic, electrician, millwright
  • College – architectural technologist/technician, civil engineering technologist/technician, construction estimator, construction inspector, construction manager, home building and renovation manager, interior designer and interior decorator 
  • University – architect, civil engineer, electrical and electronics engineer, mechanical engineer
  • Entry level workplace – concrete finisher, construction trades helpers and labourer, home building and renovation manager

When should students register for this program?

Grade 11 is the time to start, new participants can sign up in Grade 12 as well.  See your guidance counsellor to create a plan when in Grade 10. There are many components of SHSM. Take TCJ34EI and Coop in your Grade 11 or 12 high school year. Expect that your coop placement will be in a Construction related career field.


Additional Information:

Construction SHSM Brochure
Construction SHSM Info Card
SHSM – Why Take SHSM Flyer
SHSM – Become a Community Partner
SHSM – Sample Resume
SHSM – Sample Diploma

PHS also offers these SHSM’s:

Sports SHSM
Manufacturing SHSM