How Do I Become an Apprentice?

Thinking about becoming an Apprentice?

Have you ever thought about a career in the skilled trades? Do you like working with your hands? Fixing or making things? Maybe you like working with materials or operating equipment? A career in the trades may be what you’re looking for. If you want to become a ticketed trades person you must become an apprentice to start your journey.

What is Apprenticeship Training?

Apprenticeship training is a form of post-secondary education that combines paid, work-based training (about 80% of training), with technical training in a classroom or shop setting (about 20% of training). Successful completion of both components, along with examinations, is required to earn a certificate or ticket, and become a certified tradesperson. In school technical training typically ranges from 4 to 10 weeks per year depending on the trade and takes approximately four years on average to complete.

Important Terminology

An apprentice is a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer or journeyperson that earns a wage for their work performed.

A Journeyperson is a tradesperson who has demonstrated the practical and technical proficiency in a specific skilled trade, and has obtained the required certification.

Sponsor (Employer)
Employers provide training for the apprentice under the supervision of a certified journeyperson and support the apprentice on their pathway to becoming certified.  Employers are responsible to track the apprentice’s on-the-job training hours and report them to the Industry Training Authority every six to twelve months.

Industry Training Authority
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades.

Your ticket is obtained at the end of your apprenticeship.  Your ticket is your credential, whether a BC Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) or a National Red Seal.  A Red Seal or “Interprovincial ticket” is recognized all across Canada.

Getting started with your Apprenticeship Training

There are several routes into apprenticeship training:

  • Enrol in the Secondary School Apprenticeship program at Walnut Grove Secondary
  • Enrol in an ACE-IT Langley School District Program
  • Direct entry with an employer to sponsor you after you graduate.
  • Pre-apprenticeship Foundation Program at a college of your choice after you graduate.

Secondary School Apprenticeship

The Secondary School Apprenticeship Program is a career program which provides opportunities for Walnut Grove students to earn credits towards their graduation and hours towards an apprenticeship.  These hours can be acquired after school, on weekends, holidays, etc.  This is not a work experience program.  This is paid employment that can earn you up to 16 credits towards graduation.  Just like adult apprentices, students must find an employer that will agree to sponsor your apprenticeship under the supervision of a certified journeyperson.

How the Secondary School Apprenticeship Works

  • Students must be enrolled in grade 10, 11 or 12 may be eligible to register as an apprentice in the Province of B.C.
  • The SSA program involves part-time work within a trade while you attend high school.
  • Students need to find work in their chosen trade and come to an agreement with their employer and or journeyperson that will commit to your training.

How do students benefit from the SSA program?

  • Students enrolled in the SSA program continue to attend regular high school classes and work as an apprentice with an employer on a part-time basis.
  • Students will receive 16 credits when they complete 480 hours as a Secondary School Apprentice.

SSA 11A                4 Credits              120 hours
SSA 11B                4 Credits              120 hours
SSA 12A                4 Credits              120 hours
SSA 12B                4 Credits              120 hours

  • Successful SSA students may also qualify for a $1000 scholarship after they graduate.

Who do I see to apply?

Come talk to the Apprenticeship Teacher Mr. McKay to get a head start on a career:

Mr. McKay – Rm. 137 (Woodshop).
604-882-0220  Ext. 233



Best websites for trades and apprenticeships info

  • The Industry Training Authority is the governing authority of all trades in BC
  • Lists all the current trades in BC
  • If you want to look up any information on a trade, this is your starting point
  • Great starting point for anyone considering a job or career in BC.
  • Tons of useful information on salaries, hourly wages, job outlooks and trends, education, etc.
  • Has phone apps to help you choose a career path based on your likes/dislikes and skills.
  • Website designed specifically for secondary school students wanting to learn more about the skilled labour force
  • This website is to help you find Post-Secondary Trades Training Programs in BC.


Walnut Grove Secondary

8919 Walnut Grove Drive, Langley, BC
V1M 2N7
Phone: 604-882-0220
Fax: 604-882-0557