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 term of apprenticeship for plumbers is 4 years (four 12-month periods), including a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 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 of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices are trained in tools, equipment and materials, plumbing theory, gas theory, heating, practical tool use, safety and WHMIS, related math and science, blueprint reading, sketching and drawing.
The second period of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices review the first year and are provided further training in plumbing theory, math, science and blueprints. New training includes hydronic heating, gasfitting, pipe trades practical applications, pipefitting and welding.
The third period of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices receive more advanced training in theory, math and science, practical applications and blueprint reading and sketching, along with training in private sewage disposal systems, hydronic radiant heating and gasfitting theory and labs
The fourth period of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices receive further advanced training in related subjects, practical applications and gasfitting theory and labs along with training in private water supply and water treatment, drain waste and venting and special applications.