Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Carpenter, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 60 per cent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for carpentry apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. You are usually required to complete secondary school. You may find it helpful to enrol in math, shop, industrial arts and mechanical drawing courses in high school.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a carpenter.
Carpentry apprenticeship programs vary across Canada, but generally involve four 12-month periods, including at least 5,440 hours of on-the-job training and four eight-week blocks of technical training.
Related work experience or completion of a carpenter program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in Quebec. It is available but voluntary in all other provinces and territories. Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as a Carpenter, you usually need to complete a four-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification if you have more than four years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in carpentry.
Once certified as a Carpenter, you may attempt the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as a Carpenter anywhere in Canada.
To keep your skills current, you have to keep up with new technological developments by reading and talking with other carpenters.