Thinking about a Career in the Trades?

Exploring Possibilities

In the NWT there are 43 designated trades and 17 occupations that employ over 400 men and women in training positions.

Aurora College offers technical training in Fort Smith, NWT, for five trades: plumber, carpenter, electrician, heavy equipment technician and housing maintainer. For other trades, such as millwright and sheet metal worker for example, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Red Deer College and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) offer technical training.

  • Seats for technical training at Aurora College and Alberta institutions generally open in May for the following school year. Speak to a Career Development Officer or visit an ECE Service Centre to register.

The length of time it takes to become a journeyperson depends on the trade, but it is usually four years, with time split between working (80%) and technical training at school (20%).

To get into an apprenticeship program, you must pass an entrance examination to meet the minimum educational requirements. A pass is 70% and there are different tests, depending on the trade. Financial support may be available for some parts of an apprenticeship program.

For more information about upgrading, getting ready for the exams and other details about apprenticeships and occupation certification, contact your regional ECE Service Centre.

Red Seal Program

If you complete the Red Seal (interprovincial standards) Program, you can work anywhere in the country without having to take another exam. This applies to skilled tradespeople in certain trades who have completed an apprenticeship program with a journeyperson level certificate of qualification, and passed an interprovincial standards (Red Seal) exam. For more information visit the Red Seal website.

Linking People and Possibilities

The Government of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), Aurora College, Skills Canada and the Mine Training Society work together to promote apprenticeship and occupation certification in the NWT. ECE, through the Labour Development and Standards division, administers the Northwest Territories Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupations Certification (ATOC) program. This program supports the development, maintenance and delivery of trade and occupation training programs which contribute to the expansion of a trained and skilled northern workforce.