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Wire Process Operator


Length: 1 period Credential: Apprenticeship Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Learn how to join components and sub-assemblies to make various items in production and manufacturing plants.

If you like building things, working with your hands and can work with little supervision, you will enjoy a career as a wire process operator. 

Welding in this branch of the welder trade is restricted to Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) and other semiautomatic wire feed welding processes.

For a typical welding project, wire-welders:

  • join parts together
  • build up worn parts by welding layers of high-strength hard-metal alloys onto them
  • follow directions given in layouts, blueprints and work orders
  • clean welds, check for defects and may use a cutting torch.

The welder - wire process operator uses different welding processes and filler metals depending upon the type of metal, its size and shape, and requirements for finished mechanical properties.

This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.

Is this the right fit for me?

This trade is most rewarding for those who enjoy variety, working with people, working in their area of expertise, and participating in the customer's success.

To be successful in their trade, wire-welders must have:

  • manual dexterity
  • good vision (glasses are acceptable)
  • hand-eye coordination
  • the ability to concentrate on detailed work


Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

This s a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

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Career opportunities

A welder-wire process operator who holds a valid recognized credential that does not have a Red Seal may apply for:

  • an Alberta trade certificate under the Qualification Certificate Program
  • an Alberta Equivalency document under the Equivalency Program. 

Welder-wire process operators who hold a credential that is not recognized or is no longer valid in an Alberta-designated trade or can demonstrate their experience, skills and knowledge in an Alberta-designated trade, and meet the standards and requirements established by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board may be eligible to apply for trade certification under the Trades Qualifier Certificate Program.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.

$15 - $25
Average hourly wage
Period of training

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $1,033.92

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


The program requirements are set by Apprenticeship and Industry Training.  

When can you apply?

  • Registration for apprenticeship intakes opens August 2020

Admission and completion

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance Requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements
Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3


A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests


Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended Path
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 and Chemistry 30
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses

How to register

Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services

Suite 200 Willow Park Centre   
10325 Bonaventure DR. SE 
Calgary, AB

After you register

Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Next steps >


Apprentices in this trade will spend one year (one 12-month period) of on-the-job training and technical training at SAIT. The technical training will be 8 weeks. 

Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice
Apply as an apprentice with AIT and your employer 
Sign the contract and receive record book
Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts
Complete the first period of on-the-job-training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend the first period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT
Pass first-period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete the second period of on-the-job training (1800 hours)
Become a Journeyperson 

Technical Training Performance 

To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures


Domestic tuition and fees*

Period Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Lab & Material Fee 2020/21 total
1 $840 $50 $71.92 $72 $1,033.92


Lab and material fee: $72.00
Student support fee: $25.00 
Student technology fee: $25.00

Books and supplies*

  • Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
  • It is recommended that you do not purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Wellness centre

Membership to the SAIT Wellness centre - including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetteball courts and eight room is available to apprentices at a discounted rate.

Financial planning tool

Our apprenticeship cost calculator can help you make a financial plan by identifying and adding up your expected expenses while attending SAIT — find out exactly how much money you need to save, seek or borrow to get you through your studies.

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Manufacturing and Automation

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