Apprenticeship Basics

If you’ve been thinking about a career in the trades, an apprenticeship can help you get there. Check out our videos below - Apprentice Overview, Apprentice Guidebook, Record Book.

Note: SkilledTradesBC has launched a new self-service portal for apprentices and sponsors. If you are a new apprentice, click here to register via the new Portal.


Download the Apprentice Guidebook

Download the Record Book

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning that leads to a trade credential – or “ticket”. Once you complete your apprenticeship and receive your ticket, you are qualified to work in a skilled trade. You can be an apprentice during high school or after you graduate.

Apprenticeship training helps you get a Certificate of Qualification (CoQ), which is accepted across BC. About 50 trades also offer an Interprovincial (IP) Red Seal, which certifies you to work across Canada.

Who can be an apprentice?

Apprenticeships are open to women, men, and youth. Everyone is welcome, even if you’re in high school, finished college, or simply want a career change.

How long is an apprenticeship?

Most apprenticeships take four years to complete, depending on the trade.

What does certification mean?

Upon completion of classroom training, on-the-job hours, and a final exam, a certified journeyperson will confirm your skill level and competence. Once you receive your ticket, whether Interprovincial Red Seal, or BC Certificate of Qualification, you’ll be recognized by colleagues and the public as a skilled professional in your trade.

Is an apprenticeship work or school?

It is both. Apprentices spend about 80% of their time learning on the job. That means you earn money while you learn.

About 20% of your apprenticeship is spent in classroom-based training – also known as technical training.

Who trains apprentices?

Skilled trades professionals teach apprentices on the job and pass on their wisdom from years of experience in the industry.

In addition to this hands-on training, apprentices also receive classroom training at a college, university, or training institution. Class instructors are certified journeypersons with experience in the field.

Search for training programs offered in BC at EducationPlannerBC and Trades Training BC.

Are there exams?

Yes, each trade has a final written exam and some trades may also have exams for each level.

Find an employer

If you're ready to start an apprenticeship, you'll need to find a job with an employer who will sponsor and train you.

For more help finding a job in your chosen trade: