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 steamfitters/pipefitters is 3 years (three 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, heating, welding, safety and WHMIS, practical applications, trade-related math and science and blueprint reading and drawing.
The second period of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices are provided further training in welding, trade math and science, blueprint reading, sketching and drawing and practical applications, along with low temperature heating systems, rigging and material handling and special purpose piping and joining methods.
The third period of technical training is 8 weeks in length. Apprentices are provided advanced training in trade math and science, blueprint reading, sketching and drawing and practical applications, as well as training in industrial refrigeration, pneumatic controls and instrumentation, process piping and specialty systems, power and heating plants and occupational skills.