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.
Note: The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) pilot project will end March 31, 2023. Applications will not be accepted after this date. If you progressed on or after March 31, 2022, your deadline to submit an AIG-W application is March 31, 2023. You should apply by this date, even if you have not received supporting documents from your apprenticeship authority. The deadline for submitting supporting documents is 12 months from your application deadline date.
Apprentices whose first year (level/block) or second year (level/block) progression date occurs after the AIG-W pilot project ends on March 31, 2023 may be eligible for the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG).
Project funding for organizations providing supports to women wishing to pursue a career in the skilled trades will be available under the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy.
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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