If you desire a career where you will work independently, build things by joining metal and working with your hands, then you will enjoy working as a welder. You will join or sever metals in beams, girders, vessels, piping and other metal components, make metal parts used in construction and manufacturing plants, and weld parts, tools, machines and equipment.
During your career, you will apply heat to metal pieces to melt and fuse them together. The different types of welding include:
- Electric arc welding, heat is created as an electric current flow through an arc between the tip of the welding electrode and the metal.
- Gas welding, such as oxy-acetylene welding, the flame from the combustion of burning gases melts the metal.
- Resistance welding, the metal piece itself is melted as current flows through it, and no filler is added.
You will use different welding processes and fillers depending upon the type of metal, its size and shape, and requirements for finished product strength. For a typical welding project, you will develop patterns for projects or follow directions given in layouts, blueprints and work orders, clean, check for defects and shape component parts, sometimes using a cutting torch, weld parts together.
You may also build up worn parts by welding layers of high-strength hard-metal alloys onto them.
This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.
Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or gain experience with our Pre-Employment Sheet Metal program.
As a sheet metal worker, you will be employed by sheet metal, air-conditioning and heating contractors involved in residential, commercial and industrial construction. You will do a lot of custom fabrication to match job requirements. Depending on the project requirements, you may work indoors or outdoors. You will do some of the production in a shop environment and install them at a construction site. Other projects, such as roofing and siding, will be measured and cut on site.
As a journeyperson, you will likely make a wage between $25 - $40 an hour depending on your employer.
After becoming a journeyperson, you may advance to specialists in design and layout work or in estimating the cost of installations or supervisory positions. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.
Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the welding trade:
- Good eye-hand coordination, spatial and form perception, good eyesight, strength and stamina to carry heavy tools and manual dexterity
- The ability to visualize a finished product from a document
- The ability to concentrate on detailed work
- Patience, dependability and accuracy
- The ability to work in a construction or shop environment
- A commitment to safe working conditions
Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Welders are a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.
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.
Successful completion of the following courses:
- English 10-2
- Math 10-3
A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:
- English 30-2
- Math 30-3
- Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
- 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.
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.
Apprentices in the welding trade will spend 3 years (three 12-month periods) of on-the-job training and technical training at SAIT. Technical training will be 8 weeks each year.
|Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice|
|Apply as an apprentice with AIT and your employer|
|Sign contract and recieve record book|
|Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts|
|Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend first period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete second period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend second period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete third period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend third period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete fourth period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend fourth period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass fourth period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Become a Journeyperson|
|Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam|
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%.
Domestic tuition and fees*
|Period||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||Student Association fees||2019/20 total|
Books and supplies*
Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
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.
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.