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Are you someone who is hands-on and learns best by doing? Got a knack for using different tools to get the job done? Maybe you’re skilled at problem solving, enjoy a challenge, or love to see your work progress from start to finish.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, a future in the skilled trades might be a fit for you! There are over 50 skilled trades in Alberta and whether you’re thinking about an auto service technician, carpenter, electrician, or welder, an apprenticeship is where tradespeople begin.

An apprenticeship is a unique post-secondary pathway that leads to certification in a skilled trade. As an apprentice student, 80% of your education would be completed through on-the-job training, learning from a certified journeyperson in the trade. The other 20% of your time is spent in technical training. Technical training, for the most part, is delivered through a post-secondary school or union training centre. There are many perks to an apprenticeship and if you’re a high school student, you can get started sooner than you think!

Consider RAP

The Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is a program that is run through Alberta Education, allowing students to get a head start in a skilled trade while they are still in high school. As a RAP student, you can work in a trade of your choice while getting paid and earning credits.

Consider the following benefits to being a RAP student:

  • Credits
    • Students in RAP can earn up to 40 credits towards their high school diploma. Every 125 hours worked is 1 credit.
  • Getting paid
    • Get paid to learn! All RAP students are paid at least minimum wage or higher. The specific wage will depend on the employer. As you learn more and develop your skills in your apprenticeship, your wage also increases.
  • Scholarships – get paid even more!
    • Not only are you earning a wage while learning, but there’s also a ton of scholarships out there that are waiting to reward you for starting your training in the skilled trades. Some require you to apply but others like the High School Apprenticeship Scholarship are automatic. CAREERS also holds an event each year to recognize the outstanding students that receive this scholarship. How sweet! Learn more about trades-related scholarships here:
  • Getting a head start
    • One of the biggest advantages of being a RAP student is that you get a head-start on your career. As a RAP student, you can still register with Alberta Industry and Training and get your blue book so any hours you work as a RAP student in high school are deducted from your first year of apprenticeship. The experience that you gain is valuable and can be built upon for future opportunities too!
  • Building your network
    • RAP is a great way to get your foot in the door. RAP students are supervised by certified journeypersons, meaning you receive support and mentorship along the way. This is your opportunity to build your network and make connections in the industry where you want to build your future.

How can I get started?

Alongside schools, CAREERS can also help you get started by connecting you with an employer to start your apprenticeship. We work with a ton of companies in a variety of trades and want to help you take on the future! To be considered for a skilled trades position, connect with us here:   


If you’re interested in getting started in an apprenticeship as a teen, make sure to connect with your school ASAP. Some schools have a RAP or off-campus coordinator that can help you begin your exciting journey into the skilled trades. If you aren’t sure who your RAP coordinator is, we recommend connecting with your school counsellor or administration.

Want to learn more about the skilled trades? Check out these websites:



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Students exploring internships in skilled trades may also be eligible to fast track their training through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) Learn more.