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 ironworker (metal building systems erector) apprenticeship term is 2 years (two 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 the same as period 3 for ironworker and ironworker (structural/ornamental) and is 6 weeks in length. Apprentices are provided further training in drawing interpretation, as well as level 2 rigging, and structural steel and metal building systems.