Doors into Construction Doors into Construction

There are three common routes to learning the skills needed for the construction industry:

  • Apprenticeship (pre-apprenticeship)
  • College or university studies
  • On-the-job training

Apprenticeship is a way to learn job skills while you work and earn good wages. It combines classroom study with on-the-job experience that lets you earn while you learn a skilled trade. An apprenticeship program leads to professional certification as a journeyperson.

To enter an apprenticeship program, you need to have an employer who will sponsor you. There are a number of ways to find a sponsor and register as an apprentice:

  • go through an apprenticeship and training committee, including an ISET holder
  • arrange employment through a labour organization, including Indigenous trade centres
  • contact an employer directly

Each province/territory and trade has its own apprenticeship program and regulations. In general, to become an apprentice, you need to complete Grade 12 or equivalent (some trades don’t require Grade 12, but many employers prefer high school graduates).

Depending where you apprentice and which trade you are training for,

  • it can take from one to five years to complete your program and become a certified journeyperson;
  • you’ll spend about 80% of that time learning on the job; and
  • you’ll spend the remaining 20% of your time studying in a classroom or shop setting.

For more information see