Apprenticeship is a method of gaining the expertise needed to become a skilled tradesperson. This is done through a combination of on-the-job experience and classroom training.
The full ironworker apprenticeship term is 4 years (four 12-month periods), including a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 6 weeks of technical training each year.
Once training has been completed, the apprentice writes provincial examinations set by the Government of Alberta and becomes certified as a journeyperson.
The first period is common to all branches of the trade and is 6 weeks in length. Apprentices are trained in general safety, oxy-fuel equipment and tack welding, drawing interpretation and mathematics and level 1 rigging.
The second period is for ironworker and ironworker - reinforcer, and is 6 weeks in length. Apprentices are provided further training in drawing interpretation and mathematics, along with reinforced concrete and trade-related knowledge.
The third period is for ironworker, ironworker - metal building systems erector and ironworker - structural/ornamental, and is 6 weeks in length. Apprentices are provided further training in drawing interpretation and level 2 rigging, as well as structural steel and metal building systems.
The fourth period is for ironworker and ironworker - structural/ornamental and is 6 weeks in length. Apprentices are trained in ornamental and miscellaneous iron, curtain walls, advanced rigging and trade-related knowledge.