School of Skilled Trades

Hands-on, industry-relevant training 

NAIT’s School of Skilled Trades is a leading training provider to students in apprenticeship or pre-employment certificate/diploma programs. We are industry focused and all of our programs align with the knowledge and skills that business and industry look for in their employees.

There are many paths into the trades, multiple training opportunities once you are indentured as an apprentice and numerous options for career advancement once you have your journeyperson ticket.

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Getting started in the trades

It’s never too early to start thinking about a career in the trades, even if you are still in high school. There are many support programs and options for students in high school to earn training hours before they graduate.

Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)

Organized through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) and CAREERS: The Next Generation, the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is offered to students in high school starting in grade 10. Every high school has a RAP coordinator or academic counsellor who can help connect you with the appropriate resources.

RAP will help you find employment in your desired trade, allowing you to earn a wage, complete on-the-job training hours and obtain valuable high school credits. Once you are enrolled in RAP, you will be indentured with AIT and can use the training hours towards your first period apprenticeship of your designated trade. When you graduate high school, you can apply to enrol in period 1 of technical training and already be ahead of the curve.

Registered Apprenticeship Program pamphlet (pdf)

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about your apprenticeship enrolment, please contact the Student Service Centre.

Ready to get started? We can walk you through the Apprenticeship admissions process.

Start the admissions process

Looking for employment

Before you can become a tradesperson and be indentured through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT), you must first be employed by a qualified employer. If you are having difficulty finding secure employment, you can improve your chances by taking pre-employment trade programs here at NAIT.

Pre-employment Certificate and Diploma Programs

NAIT’s pre-employment programs can open the door to many trade programs by offering an alternative pathway. Unlike the apprenticeship process, you do not have to be employed or indentured through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) to apply to these programs – you can apply directly online.

All of the pre-employment programs offered at NAIT can provide a pathway into your chosen apprenticeship field by showing your commitment to the trade to your future employer. Depending on the program, you can receive full credit or partial training hours for technical training periods in an apprenticeship program.

NAIT offers the following pre-employment programs:

Employed but not indentured

Are you employed but not yet indentured? The process is fairly straight-forward, but you must meet certain conditions to be eligible.

  1. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. If you are not, you will require a work permit and a study permit valid for the entire length of the apprenticeship program. For more information, see Immigration and Citizenship information.
  2. You must be employed by an Alberta employer who has a qualified journeyperson to provide the required supervision and training. Be sure to speak to your employer about wanting to become an apprentice. There is no cost to the employer other than the time you will be away during technical training periods, but your employer must be supportive and willing to send you for apprenticeship training.
  3. Your employer must meet the ratio of journeypeople to apprentices as required by the trade regulation. This is typically a 1:1 ratio of journeyperson to apprentice, but varies by trade. To see the ratios for your trade, visit Trade and Occupation Regulations, select your trade from the list and look under “Employment of Apprentices” for the current ratio.
  4. You must have an Alberta Student Number (ASN). Request an Alberta Student Number (ASN) by completing the online Learner Registry on the Government of Alberta website. If you have previously attended a school or public post-secondary institution in Alberta, you can also look up your pre-existing ASN.
  5. You must register your apprenticeship contract with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT), which can be completed online by visiting MyTradesecrets and selecting “Apply for AIT Programs and Services.” PLEASE NOTE: There is a non-refundable $35 application fee required for each apprenticeship training application.

Find out more  information about becoming indentured 

Starting technical training

Now that you are employed and indentured through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT), you are ready to register for technical training. Depending on your trade, most apprenticeship programs are 3-4 periods in length, with an average of 8 weeks for each training period. In addition, there are specific allotments of on-the-job training hours associated with each period, so most apprentices complete 1 period per calendar year.

NAIT is here to provide all apprentices with the skills and knowledge required by the Government of Alberta to grow in your chosen trade. Our qualified and skilled instructors are dedicated to your development, and we provide relevant and hands-on training through rigorous development teaching modules.

Once you’ve completed each period of technical training, you will go back to work and continue to gain your on-the-job training hours

Register for a Trades program today

"Skilled trades play an integral role in the safe operation of industries and the health of the economy within the province, country and abroad. Within the School of Skilled Trades, our certificate and diploma programs are built using industry feedback to keep them relevant and responsive to the needs of industry. These programs are closely tied to their apprenticeship counterparts to encourage and provide pathways for students to deepen their expertise.

Being one of the largest trades training providers in the country, NAIT’s School of Skilled Trades leads the way in delivering quality education to over 10,000 apprentices and full-time students per year. Our dedicated and industry experienced instructors continue to innovate how and what we deliver to provide a blend of hands-on and theory-based learning in a true polytechnic fashion.

Our students are diverse, courageous, dedicated and sought out by industry. Our alumni are industry leaders, supporters of innovation and well positioned for successful careers. We can’t wait for you to be one of them."

 Matthew Lindberg
Dean, School of Skilled Trades


The School of Skilled Trades offers training in over 40 program areas leading to journeyperson certification, pre-employment certificates or diploma credentials.

Beyond the Classroom

Improve your skills or explore new abilities by participating in clubs, competitions and student showcase events. You'll also get access to the best equipment available on the market.

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