Apprenticeship in Alberta

Are you looking to start a career in the skilled trades? Are you already working in the skilled trades and looking for support? We are here to help you make informed career decisions! CLAC Training can help you navigate the apprenticeship pathway in Alberta by providing assistance with

  • understanding trades educational requirements;
  • applying for apprenticeship funding, loans, and grants;
  • finding the right technical school for you;
  • career opportunities with CLAC employers; and
  • safety training required to work on the jobsite.

Contact us today to learn more.

You must follow a series of steps to become an apprentice, complete your training—both in-class and practical, and then receive your certification.  

  1. Determine what trade you want to work in.
    1. For a full list of designated trades in Alberta, visit Trade Secrets.
    2. Many colleges offer pre-apprentice or pre-employment programs, which can help you gain exposure to a trade you are interested in. Depending on the program, you may also earn credits toward your first year apprenticeship.
  1. Find an employer.
    1. You need to find an employer who will hire you as an apprentice in your chosen field and register your apprenticeship with Alberta Apprentice & Industry Training (AIT).
  1. Work the required number of hours in your field through on-the-job training.
    1. Hours on site typically range from 1,500 to 1,600 hours per level, depending on your trade.
  1. Register for and complete technical training at a recognized training provider.
    1. Technical training is generally seven to eight weeks per level. Learn more about the minimum entrance requirements for technical training.
  1. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each year required to complete your apprenticeship.
    1. Most apprenticeships require three to five years to complete.  
  1. (Optional) After completing your final year of technical training, you will have obtained Journeyperson status and can challenge your Interprovincial Red Seal Exam.
    1. Trades certifications are governed provincially. To have your ticket recognized in other provinces, you can challenge the Red Seal exam. Obtaining your Red Seal is also beneficial even if you don’t intend on leaving the province, as it is an added mark of competency on top of your journeyperson ticket.

Through your MyTradesSecrets Account. In it, you can view all approved technical training institutions in your trade across Alberta, all dates available for technical training, and the cost of each session.

As an apprentice, you must attend technical training annually. To avoid contract cancellation, register for technical training as soon as possible once you have met your required practical hours for your level. If you have not attended technical training in the past year, your contract of apprenticeship may be cancelled.

You should complete your Alberta high school diploma with the following courses to give you the most flexibility when pursuing a career in the skilled trades.

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 or Chemistry 30 or Science 30
  • Related Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses

The minimum education requirements are completion of one of the following options.  

  • English 10-2 and Math 10-3
  • A passing grade in all 5 GED tests
  • A passing grade on the AIT entrance exam

Please note the educational requirements will vary from trade to trade. Visit TradeSecrets for a complete list of the education required for each specific trade.

CLAC Apprenticeship Reimbursement Program

CLAC is committed to helping you pay for the education you need to succeed in your career. That’s why we financially assist our apprentices with their education expenses.

What costs are covered?

Up to $850 per claim (maximum of two claims paid per calendar year) for course, exam, and book costs for apprenticeship programs and trade qualification exams.

Who can apply?

You are eligible to apply when:

  • You are a member in good standing of CLAC Local 63. A member in good standing is a person who:
    • has completed a CLAC membership application;
    • has been granted a current CLAC membership card; and
    • has their CLAC union dues paid up-to-date.
  • You have worked at least 1,500 hours per claim (within the last five years) with a CLAC signatory employer who contributes to a CLAC apprenticeship education-related fund. Check your collective agreement or ask your steward or representative if your employer contributes.
  • You have an official course document to show that you have passed your final exam.
  • You can provide CLAC with receipts for course, exam, and book costs.
  • You have worked for a CLAC signatory employer prior to and following completion of your schooling.

How do I apply?

Please complete the Apprenticeship Reimbursement Form found in your myCLAC account and email the form to

CLAC Frank Kooger Apprenticeship Award

Each year, CLAC distributes several awards to apprentices in the construction trades who strive to excel and who are dedicated to becoming journeypersons in their trades. One award is for apprentices who have completed at least their second block of apprenticeship trades school, while the other is for apprentices who have competed in a Skills Canada provincial or national competition.

Learn more and apply

Government of Canada Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year or level, for a lifetime maximum amount of $2,000 per person. The deadline to apply is June 30 of the year after you complete the first and/or second year or level.

Learn more and apply

Government of Canada Apprenticeship Completion Grant

The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a one-time taxable cash grant with a lifetime amount of $2,000 per registered apprentice who completes their apprenticeship training and obtains their journeyperson certification. The deadline to apply is June 30 of the year after you complete your apprenticeship and receive your journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade.

Learn more and apply

Alberta Apprenticeship Training Award

The Apprentice Training Award is a $1,500 award for registered apprentices who are unemployed in their trade and are attending their first, second, third, or fourth period of technical training at an approved technical training provider in Alberta. You have until five days after the end of technical training to apply for this award.

Learn more and apply

Government of Canada Apprentice Loan

Apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship program can receive up to $4,000 in Canada Apprentice Loans per period of technical training. You can receive these loans for up to five periods of technical training. Your loan will be interest-free for up to six years as long as you are confirmed as being registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship program. You do not have to make any loan payments while your loan is in interest-free status.

Learn more and apply

Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training Scholarships

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training offers more than 250 awards of $1,000 and $1,500 to apprentices every year. Check out TradeSecrets to find out which scholarships you may be eligible for.

Learn more and apply

Student Awards

The institution that you attend for technical training may offer additional scholarships and bursaries. Check out your school’s website to learn what is available.

Employment Insurance

Unlike other post-secondary students, an apprentice can collect employment insurance (EI) while attending technical training.

You can apply for EI online no more than seven days before your last day of work. You will need an employment insurance reference code to access the apprentice application form—you will find this code on your registration confirmation letter.

Be aware that you may not receive EI payments for up to four to six weeks after you start classes. Plan to have alternative financial arrangements in place during this time.

Learn more and apply