Alberta Apprenticeship Instructions
Apprenticeship is a 4 year training process with a mix of on the job and textbook/classroom training. The website links and documents needed to access all the information regarding apprenticeship are found in the Apprenticeship Documents. These are listings and documents for Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT). This is a separate organization from the institutions that provide the training for an apprenticeship such as SAIT and NAIT.
Apprenticeship and Industry Training
Seventh Street Plaza, South Tower, Floor 7
10030 - 107 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4X7
The Alberta Apprenticeship Site is tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
It is good to understand the system and its objectives as you endeavor to become an apprentice.
A couple of documents that introduce AIT are:
Preparing for an Apprenticeship Entrance Exam
The primary source of information regarding the apprenticeship entrance exam is the Trade Entrance Exam Study Guide.
There are many trade options available in the province of Alberta. Regardless of whether you have decided on a trade you may review the "List of Compulsory and Optional Certification Trades".
(A compulsory trade is one in which your sponsor or employer must hold a Journeyman Certificate. An Optional trade is one in which your sponsor or employer does not have to hold a Journeyman Certificate but can sponsor an apprentice working toward Journeyman Certification.)
Regardless of which trade interests you, you will have to demonstrate that you are capable of succeeding in training. Because you do not have a "Grade 10" credential or a diploma, passing the Entrance Exam is your alternative. You need to complete this exam which covers some science, math and reading knowledge before beginning an apprenticeship.
Entrance Exam Modules
The Apprenticeship Board had entrance exam modules to help prepare you for the entrance exam. However, they are currently unavailable in Alberta. They can however currently be found on the Northwest Territories' "Education, Culture and Employment" website.
These modules can be completed by anyone at any time. There are 9 modules: 1 reading, 3 science and 5 math modules. You have to order and pay for these yourself and claim reimbursement. We suggest you complete them early, before you start working.
You will find the listing of which modules are required for each trade on Page 5 of the "Entrance Examinations Array Sheet". We highly recommend doing all nine modules qualifying for Entrance Level 5 even though you may actually have to do as little as six modules for your chosen trade. This way you will be prepared for any trade in the future.
Individual Learning Modules
An alternative, to help you prepare for the entrance exam, would be to begin taking the "Individual Learning Modules" for the trade you are interested in now. This would be good preparation for the entrance exam as well as give you an advantage going into your classes. There is also the opportunity to challenge the courses you have studied, especially if you have the supervision of a journeyman as you take the ILM's. ILM are available through Education Unlimited at a cost of around $250/ course. (This is just what we pay for them.)
ILM's are currently available for:
- Agricultural Equipment Technician (AET #320)
- Auto Body Technician (ABT #100)
- Auto Body Technician (ABT #090)
- Cabinetmaker (CAB#360)
- Carpenter (CAR #020)
- Cook (COO#180)
- Electrician (ELE#030)
- Gasfitter (GAS#080)
- Heavy Equipment Technician (HET#190)
- Instrument Technician (INT#310)
- Machinist (MAC#150)
- Millwright (MIL#160)
- Parts Technician (PAR#270)
- Plumber (PLU#060)
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic (RAC#140) (first and part of second period only)
- Rig Technician (RIG#520)
- Sheet Metal Worker (SMW#110)
- Sprinkler System Installer (SSI#370)
- Steamfitter -Pipefitter (SFP#070)
- Welder (WEL#120)
Exams can be written at various locations in the province. See Page 34 & 35 of the entrance exam Study Guide, "Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services" or PDF document "AIT Client Services Contacts for Apprenticeship".
You are responsible for finding your own employer. Make sure they are willing to hire you towards potentially sponsoring you as an apprentice.
Once you have passed the entrance exam, you will need to complete the Apprenticeship Training Application online.
Applying to take the Apprenticeship Entrance Exam
Do this before applying for an apprenticeship!
Plan ahead because it may take some time before you have an exam date.
The application process to take an entrance exam and begin an apprenticeship are now online and referred to as MyTradesecrets.
Start the application process at MyTradesecrets. You will need your Alberta Student Number (ASN). This can be found on your "My Education Unlimited" page under "Students Registered for Home Education".
Once you are on the Trade Secrets website, visit the Apply for AIT Programs and Services page. You will need to register for a SIAMS (Secure Identity and Access Management System) account which will give you access to the Trade Secrets apprenticeship information.
Once you have entered your personal information you will be asked to:
- Choose the particular trade you are interested in. (If unsure of the trade you would like to pursue we would suggest selecting a course from the level 5 cluster as outlined on page 7 of the Entrance Exam Study Guide or in the PDF document: Trade Cluster Levels for Entrance Exam)
- Select a program or service. You will want to select Prior Learning Assessments and then in the sub menu select PLA – Entrance Examination
- When asked if you have been provided with a program reference number click no.
- Complete the application – Follow the instructions on each page as you click through the next button.
Applying for an Apprenticeship
Start the application process at MyTradesecrets as above.
You will also need to have employer information, including an email from someone willing to apprentice you. Your work history will also be asked for. Your employer will find the information they need for an online application at MyTradesecrets as well.
Generally once you have completed the necessary hours with your sponsor (employer) you will be ready to go for your institutional training, usually lasting eight weeks per apprenticeship year. You will need to register with the institution of your choice.
Prior Learning Assessment Recognition
Individual Learning Modules are one way that you can get a head start on your training. Having these modules documented by your facilitator and by a journeyman in your chosen trade, will make taking these modules more advantageous for PLA Recognition. Find a journeyman in the trade you desire to pursue and ask him to oversee your modules. These modules are available through Education Unlimited and generally cost just under $200 for each period's training package.
If you have a number years of experience in the trades there is an option to challenge the Red Seal Exam which would allow you to work anywhere in Canada. Information to prepare for the exam and to acquire information on the challenge process is available online at the Red Seal program website.
See PDF document - Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) Guide for more detail.
Forms and References – You will find a list of forms and references that will facilitate your progress as you seek to become an apprentice and then a journeyman. There are also forms here for your employer.
- PDF: Apprenticeship Entrance Study Guide
- PDF: Apprenticeship and Industry Training Action Plan
- PDF: Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act
- PDF: Examination Sites
- PDF: Training Institutions
- PDF: Helpful Websites
- PDF: Contract
- PDF: Designated Trades Needing Certification
- PDF: Employer Recommendation Exam Challenge
- PDF: Employer Recommendation Time Credit
- PDF: Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) Guide
- PDF: Sample Employer Declaration Letter
- PDF: Trade Cluster Levels for Entrance Exam
- PDF: Apprenticeship Training Enrollment Form