How to become an apprentice
A career in the skilled trades is a chance to find a job that is in demand with good pay. Use the following steps to start your journey as an apprentice.
On this page
- Step 1: Find a trade
- Step 2: Find apprentice opportunities
- Step 3: Find an employer to provide you with on-the-job training
- Step 4: Register your agreement
- Step 5: Get financial aid if you need it
- Step 6: Earn while you learn
- Step 7: Get certified
Step 1: Find a trade
Decide what trade you want to pursue. Not sure what to pick? Consider picking from the list of designated Red Seal trades. Picking a Red Seal trade means that you can eventually apply for Red Seal certification. This certification will let you work anywhere in Canada.
Step 2: Find apprentice opportunities
- Apprentice opportunities
- Careers in the skilled trades on Skills Canada
- Definitions for apprenticeship programs
- Training and certification details for apprentice programs (Ellis Chart)
- Certification in more than one province or territory (Agreement on Internal Trade)
Step 3: Find an employer to provide you with on-the-job training
You start an apprenticeship with on-the-job training, followed by short periods of in-class technical training as your apprenticeship progresses. This is done while you continue to work and get paid.
Find an employer who agrees to provide you with on-the-job training. When this happens, you are entering into an agreement with your employer.
Apprenticeship in Quebec
In Quebec, you will have to attend a classroom training at a CEGEP, college or training institution first. Then, you will have to take on-the-job training with an employer.
Step 4: Register your training agreement
Register your training agreement with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority. Throughout your apprenticeship, you will receive on-the-job experience and, in most cases, attend in-class technical training.
Step 5: Get financial aid
Offers up to $2,000 total per person to help apprentices cover the costs for continuing a career in the trades.
Offers up to $6,000 total per person to help women apprentices cover the costs for continuing a career in the Red Seal trades where they are underrepresented.
Offers $2,000 total per person to help apprentices after they complete their apprenticeship training.
Offers up to $4,000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training.
Tax credits and incentives that apprentices can benefit from.
Step 6: Earn while you learn
Depending on the trade, it can take you between two and five years of training before you can apply to become a certified journeyperson.
Step 7: Get certified
After you complete both the in-class and on-the-job training, you can apply for your journeyperson certification. This certification is also known as a certificate of qualification or as your “ticket.”
Red Seal trades
Completing your apprenticeship in a Red Seal trade allows you to work anywhere in Canada. It also gives you access to many of the benefits available from the Government of Canada.
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