Apprenticeship in Alberta
An apprenticeship training program is a combination of on-the-job training, work experience and technical training in a trade. From day 1, apprentices earn a salary for their time on the job.
Apprenticeship training programs last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the trade.
- Apprentices spend about 80% of their time learning on the job from a qualified tradesperson. The rest of the time is spent taking technical training, usually at a college or technical institution.
- While they attend technical training, apprentices may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) or student grants.
Apprentices may also be eligible for more than 500 annual scholarships of $1,000 each. Visit tradesecrets.alberta.ca for more information.
High school students can earn credits toward both an apprenticeship program and a high school diploma through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). There are 500 annual scholarships of $1,000 each available to RAP apprentices. For more information, talk to a school counsellor, check out the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website at tradesecrets.alberta.ca or visit the nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training office. Call the Career Information Hotline at 780-422-4266 in Edmonton or 1-800-661-3753 in other Alberta locations for the office nearest you.
Registering for apprenticeship training in Alberta is as easy as 1-2-3.
- Choose a trade
Check the list of apprenticeship trades in Alberta at tradesecrets.alberta.ca and narrow your choices down to those trades that interest you.
(Note: For more information on the apprenticeship trades, visit OCCinfo at alis.alberta.ca/occinfo)
Next, talk to and ask questions of people working in these trades. Talk to employers, too. You may be able to job shadow to see what the day-to-day work is like.
- Find an employer
You must be employed to become an apprentice. Thousands of employers hire and train apprentices. Find the one that's right for you.
Once you have an employer, apply online at MyTradeSecrets, and attach required documentation (certificates, transcripts, etc.).
The apprenticeship application and contract is a legal agreement between you and your employer. It outlines the responsibilities for both of you during your apprenticeship program:
- you commit to completing your technical and on-the-job training requirements.
- your employer commits to paying you a certain percentage of the journeyperson wage, increasing your pay as you progress through training. Your employer also agrees to train you on-the-job while allowing you time to attend technical training.
Technical training generally involves attending annual classroom sessions that are 4 to 12 weeks long. In some trades, Apprenticeship Technical Training Delivery options such as distance learning, weekly apprenticeship training (you attend classes once a week), or on-the-job-site training are available. Tuition fees and the purchase of course supplies apply.
As an apprentice, you accumulate on-the-job work experience hours and advance through technical training until you have mastered your trade. When you have completed apprenticeship training requirements, you become an Alberta-certified journeyperson.
You may be able to write an Interprovincial Standards Program exam to earn a Red Seal on your journeyperson certificate. This credential is recognized in other Canadian provinces and territories where your trade is designated.
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Additional Reading (alis.alberta.ca/publications)
Visit the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website at tradesecrets.alberta.ca.