Schools Training

Professional Mobility Through Apprenticeship Programs

23 MAY 2012
Career Path : Apprenticeships

Professional mobility gives you the freedom to practice your trade in any city across the country. Find out more about dozens of apprentice programs designed so that your certification is recognized across the country.

A common obstacle that trade workers face is having a certification that is only valid in a given number of provinces and territories across the country. Ultimately, a limited certification prevents workers from having a level of liberty that comes with career mobility.

Luckily, The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program (RSP) was created over 50 years ago to provide skilled workers a higher level of professional freedom within their trade. In short, those who write and pass the RSP examination are given a special endorsement on their certificate or diploma, thereby allowing them to practice their trade across all Canadian provinces and territories.

In order to write the RSP examination, one must first complete an apprenticeship in a designated trade. To be accepted into the apprenticeship program at a participating college, applicants need to have an employer agree to take them on as an apprentice. Students will complete academic courses while simultaneously working as an apprentice.

The obvious benefit of enrolling in an apprenticeship program is being able to earn a degree while also gaining hands-on experience with a licenced employer. Here are just a few examples of apprenticeship programs, with a peek on what a student would be learning in school, and the potential job positions they would be fill as an apprentice:

Sheet metal worker apprenticeship

Study topics:

  • Procedures of designing, building, installing air handling systems
  • Manufacturing and gauging of metals, duct construction materials

Apprentice positions:

  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
  • Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Occupations

Steamfitter apprenticeship

Study topics:

  • Plan reading, specifications and building codes in mainly the industrial-commercial-institutional (ICI) sector
  • Specifications of hot water boiler systems, process piping, gas, refrigeration and air conditioning piping systems
  • The importance of workplace safety, building codes and regulations

Apprentice positions:

  • Steamfitters
  • Pipefitters
  • Certified Journeypersons
  • Skilled Trade Workers

Welder apprenticeship

Study topics:

  • Arc, gas and resistance welding theory
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints
  • Special processes such as plasma cutting and tig welding

Welder career options:

  • Journeyperson Welder
  • Fabrication Welder
  • Production Welder
  • Construction Welder
  • Pressure Vessel Welder

A welder apprenticeship will be very different than a sheet metal worker apprenticeship or a steamfitter apprenticeship. Still, each will expose students to hand-on experience of the trade.

There are dozens more which those striving for a trade-specific career can choose from. With over 50 trades included within those that can be practiced on a national level, RSP-approved apprenticeship trades also include:

  • Agricultural Equipment Technician
  • Baker
  • Carpenter
  • Glazier
  • Hairstylist
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Ironworker
  • Mechanist
  • Rig Technician
  • Tower Crane Operator

It is likely that anyone will be able to find an apprenticeship program that focuses on their craft of interest.

Visit Mohawk College for more information on apprenticeship programs.