Becoming An Apprentice

Apprenticeship is the most popular way to obtain a qualification in a trade (called a Certificate
of Qualification). It is a formal agreement between a person who wants to learn a skill and an
employer who provides on-the-job training.

Apprenticeship programs involve both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified sheet metal worker (a journeyperson). At the end of the program, apprentices write a government-recognized test. When they pass that test, they earn a Certificate of Qualification.

Certification for sheet metal workers is compulsory in Ontario. The law requires sheet metal workers to be either registered apprentices or certified journeypersons.

As an apprentice, you earn wages while you work. As you progress through the training program, your wages increase.

To register as an apprentice, you must be at least 16 years old and have Grade 12. You must find an employer who wants to hire you as an apprentice. Then you or the employer contact a training consultant at an apprenticeship office of the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.

You and your employer will sign an agreement that registers you as an apprentice and your training begins.

The length of the sheet metal apprenticeship program is four to five years. Once you have completed 720 hours of technical training (offered in the eight-week blocks at the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre) as well as 9,000 hours of on-the-job work experience, you are eligible to write the Certificate of Qualification exam.

If you have questions or want more information, email the Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre at or by phone.

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