Before you can become an apprentice in Alberta, you need to:
- research and choose a trade
- confirm you meet eligibility requirements for apprenticeship training
- find an employer
- complete the apprenticeship application with your employer through Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT)’s online service, MyTradesecrets
Find about more about how to become an apprentice in Alberta.
Choose a trade
The trade you choose should reflect your interests. It’s also important to research job opportunities in the trades you are interested in pursuing, both now and in the future, so you know you are making the right investment.
First, research trades you may be interested in:
- what a designated trade is and why it matters
- designated trades in Alberta
- compulsory and optional certification trades (PDF, 221 KB)
- current job listings for those trades in your area
- job listings on Alberta and Canada job banks
- people working in the trade who may be able to share information about the job and tips to help you get started
- job profiles
- job market forecasts
- National Occupational Classification and Canadian Occupational Projection System
Confirm your eligibility
Before you can start your path to apprenticeship, you need to know if you meet provincial eligibility requirements.
Read about who can learn a trade in Alberta, including entrance requirements for apprenticeship programs.
Find an employer
You need a job before you can become an apprentice. Online resources can help you:
- develop your resume, conduct a job search and prepare for an interview
- find job opportunities and employment supports near you
- look for jobs in Alberta
You can also:
- contact employers in your area to ask if they are hiring apprentices
- tell people you know in the trade that you are looking for work
- ask employers about the skills they are looking for in their apprentices
- visit trade associations or union websites (if they have them) to see if they have a jobs board
How to ask for an apprenticeship position
If you are already working as a general labourer, you can approach your current employer. Otherwise, you can approach potential employers in-person or over the phone.
Before you call or arrive, do some research online to:
- find a contact name – either for the company owner or their human resources department
- learn about the services they provide and the trades they hire
- find information about clients or industries their business serves
- consider the skills or work experience you already have that could benefit the business
Make sure you have your resume up-to-date and write a cover letter addressed to the business. If you plan on visiting in person, bring your resume and cover letter with you.
When you call or arrive at the business, introduce yourself before asking about apprenticeship opportunities. Start the conversation with:
- your name
- a skill or experience you have that could benefit the business
- the trade you want to learn
You’re then starting the discussion about apprenticeship opportunities with an understanding of the value you can bring to the business.
If there are no opportunities available, ask if:
- you can leave your resume with them in case opportunities come up
- they know of other businesses in the area that may be hiring
Apprenticeship application and contract
If an employer decides to hire you, your next step is to complete the online apprenticeship application. There is a $35 fee to apply.
After you submit your information, your employer completes their part of the apprenticeship application.
The information you both provide is used to create an apprenticeship contract.
You cannot become an apprentice without a signed contract.
Start in high school
If you’re in high school, you may be able to explore a career in the trades while you are finishing your diploma. Options include:
- Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) – where you are a full-time student and a registered apprentice
- Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Apprenticeship Pathways – courses that make you eligible to write an exam for advanced standing in the first period of technical training for your trade
There are also scholarships available for high school students registered in RAP and/or CTS programs.
Assess your prior learning
If you already have training or work experience related to your trade, you may be able to write a prior learning assessment examination. Applicants must pay a non-refundable fee before writing the exam.
The examination assesses your skill and knowledge before you start an apprenticeship program. Results are used for:
- entry into an apprenticeship program
- advanced standing in an apprenticeship program
You still need an employer to start your apprenticeship training.
When you have a learning path and an employer in place, it’s time to think about how to pay for your education. Apprentices work on the job, so they earn money while they learn.
Apprentices are not usually paid by the employer during the technical training portions of their apprenticeship and may be eligible for Employment Insurance. There are also more than 900 scholarships and additional grants and loans available for registered apprentices attending technical training.
Find out how to pay for your apprenticeship.
To connect with Apprenticeship and Industry Training:
Find an Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office near you.