Apprenticeship training is a combination of on-the-job training, work experience, and technical training in a trade.
Apprentices spend about 80% of their time learning on the job from a qualified tradesperson. The rest of their 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 (based on need).
- Scholarships of up to $2,000 each. Visit the Financial Assistance page on Tradesecrets for more information.
From day 1, apprentices earn a salary for their time on the job. Apprenticeship training lasts from 1 to 4 years, depending on the trade.
RAP for high school students
High school students can earn credits toward both an apprenticeship program and a high school diploma through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
With awards valued at $1,000 and $2,000, Alberta's High School Apprenticeship Scholarship Program recognizes the accomplishments of high school students participating in the Registered Apprenticeship Program and/or Career and Technology Studies apprenticeship pathways. For more information:
- Talk to your school's counsellor.
- Check out the Apprenticeship and Industry Training [pdf] brochure.
- Visit the nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training office.
- Call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free in Alberta at 1-877-644-9992.
Register for apprenticeship training in Alberta
Follow these 3 easy steps:
1. Choose a trade
Check the list of apprenticeship trades in Alberta on Tradesecrets and narrow your choices down to trades that interest you. Talk to people who work in these trades and ask them questions. Talk to employers, too. You may be able to job shadow someone to see what their typical day-to-day work is really like.
For more information on specific apprenticeship trades, check out the apprenticeship occupational profiles on OCCinfo.
2. Find an employer
You must be employed to become an apprentice. Thousands of employers hire and train apprentices. Search thousands of jobs on Alberta Job Postings.
The Canada Job Bank lists apprenticeship job postings in Alberta, as do private job boards like Indeed and Workopolis. You should also check with your local trade union about employment opportunities.
Once you have an employer, apply online at MyTradesecrets and attach required documentation (certificates, transcripts, etc.).
What you need to know
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, 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. You pay tuition fees for your training and purchase course supplies.
As an apprentice, you accumulate hours on the job and advance through technical training until you master your trade. When you complete your apprenticeship training, 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, without further examinations.