When a young person decides to get into the trades it is very important to understand on how to do it successfully. There are a great many ways on how to approach it. The standard of apprenticeship lasts five years, 2250 hours per year. Let's go back to basics here, the first thing that you would have to decide is if you wanted to take a Pre-apprenticeship course or just get right into the thick of it and apply for a plumbing job.
The first part of apprenticeship is to get registered. Here in Ontario it is a complicated process. First of all, you need to be working as a plumber's helper the second is to get your employer to register you as an apprentice. A consultant will come to interview both you and your employer and enter into an "Apprenticeship Contract". This basically determines that you are a registered apprentice and you employer agrees to fully train you as an apprentice for the next 5 years. This is normally not the case as apprentices move around as the workload changes.
The next step is to get in contact with the College Of Trades. As an apprentice you need to maintain an active account with the College to maintain your apprenticeship. This is a public register, this means that anyone can look you up to see if you actually have the "Right" to work as an apprentice. IF you are working on a job as an unregistered "Helper" there is a risk that you could be personally fined as well as your employer so it is very important that you register.
As you work in the trade the College tracks your status and when necessary you will be required to go to trade school. This means that you stop working and attend classes at the College level to learn many different aspects of the trade that you may or may not learn at the jobsite level. As an apprentice there are three levels of schooling, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. When Advanced has been completed and you have worked the contract amount of hours, 9000, you will be eligible to write the Journeypersons exam. This is you "License" as a journeyman and means that you have fully completed your apprenticeship therefore legal to work as a Plumber.
During the schooling process you take different classes, these will include:
Each level of schooling has different aspects. With trades and apprenticeship you have to score 70% minimum to pass and you must pass Theory to complete the level. As you progress in the trade and schooling you obviously get more money. A union plumber at local 46 in Toronto makes $42.02 per hour. This is what the College of trades bases the apprenticeship rates on.
It is important to note that even though an apprentice can work as a plumber it is important that the apprentice also is being "Trained". This means that even though you might be able to do a task, it may not mean that you have been trained properly.
There is a training manual that comes with your apprenticeship, this is a record of everything during your apprenticeship. You and your Journeyman trainer will sign off of skills that you have been trained to do as you learn how to do them. It is a required part of your apprenticeship and must be filled out in its entirety in order to complete your apprenticeship.
We hope that this helps you with your aspirations to become a tradesman and our experts look forward to meeting you in the future.