How to become an apprentice

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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

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.

Find a Red Seal trade

Step 2: Find apprentice opportunities

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.

Skilled trades in Quebec

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.

Find your provincial or territorial apprenticeship program

Step 5: Get financial aid

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

Offers up to $2,000 total per person to help apprentices cover the costs for continuing a career in the trades.

Apprenticeship Completion Grant

Offers $2,000 total per person to help apprentices after they complete their apprenticeship training.

Canada Apprentice Loan

Offers up to $4,000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training.

Tax deductions and credits for apprentices and tradespersons

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.

Red Seal Examinations

Page details

Date modified: