How and Why Do Apprenticeships Work?
An apprenticeship is a period of study under a journeyman or master tradesperson in which the apprentice assists the master in their job. In return the master or journeyman will teach and pay the apprentice, readying them for a job in the in-demand field of trades.
An apprenticeship can last anywhere from a few months to five years, depending on the type of trade you’ve chosen to learn and the availability of work in that field. All tradespeople, with the exception of welders, currently have to pass a Red Seal test before they are approved as a journeyman tradesperson and can begin working independently. Laws are changing, however, and it will soon be necessary to have a Red Seal to practice within any trade in Canada, including welding.
There is a great deal of variety between trades, apprenticeships and tradespeople. There are plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters, auto mechanics and a large number of other careers. The trades, and tradespeople, are becoming more and more in demand, thus taking a job in the trades can be very financially lucrative. The average entry-level tradesperson makes about $16-$18 an hour in their first year as an apprentice. Master tradespeople easily make salaries that go into the six-digit range.
Currently, there is a lack of skilled tradespeople in the Canadian economy, making someone who is Red Seal-certified as skilled in their trade of choice greatly in demand. This applies to nearly every trade; going into an apprenticeship can be a very wise choice if you’re interested in making a lot of money.
The trades are very varied and it takes a separate set of skills to master each one, which is why so much hands-on and on the job experience is key to the success of an aspiring tradesperson. They all involve a degree of math and a lot of work with your hands. They can be dangerous, but also lucrative, and if you’re looking for a stable career tradespeople are almost always in demand.