Welder Apprenticeship

Length of Program: 3 terms, 8 weeks/termProgram Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)


Welder Apprenticeship

Applications Open: Spring

Length of Program: 8 Weeks

Program Status: Open

Welders 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. Welding usually involves applying heat to metal pieces to melt and fuse them together.

Welders 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, they: 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; and weld parts together. Welders may also build up worn parts by welding layers of high-strength hard-metal alloys onto them.

The term of apprenticeship for a welder is 3 years (three 12-month periods) includes a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training (in-school) each year.

Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training – Welder

Program Page  Course Outline

What will you learn?

This program will teach you how to utilize a number of welding processes including:

  • Electric Arc
  • Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
  • Tungsten Inert Gas/Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG)
  • Gas Welding (Oxy-Acetylene)

First Period Training Topics include: workplace safety and tools; oxyacetylene cutting; plasma arc cutting and gouging; welding technology fundamentals and properties of metals; wire feed welding, gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux cored arc welding (FCAW), metal-cored arc welding (MCAW), and submerged arc welding (SAW); and trade math.

Second Period Training Topics include: shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) I and II; gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW); and pattern development and estimating.

Third Period Training Topics include: SMAW III; welds on mild steel plate and pipe; drawing interpretation; and trade science (testing, metallurgy, codes).

The term of apprenticeship for a welder is 3 years (three 12-month periods); this includes a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training (in-school) each year. This is a compulsory certification trade.

This is a Red Seal trade. Apprentices who have obtained Journeyperson certification are encouraged to write the national standard exam. The Red Seal, when affixed to a provincial or territorial trade certificate, indicates that a tradesperson has demonstrated the knowledge required for the national standard in that trade. The Red Seal endorsement promotes excellence to employers, instills pride in skilled workers, and facilitates labour mobility.

Program Details

Credential: Apprenticeship

Length of Program: Eight (8) weeks of technical training for each period

Method of Delivery: On Campus Delivery for Technical Training

Technical Training Intakes:

  • Period 1: October 25, 2021 and January 10, 2022
  • Period 2: August 30, 2021 and January 10, 2022
  • Period 3: October 25, 2021 and March 7, 2022

Technical Training Enrolment: 2021-22 Technical training online enrolment opens June 3, 2021 at 8:00 AM. Please visit your MyTradesecrets account to enrol in 2021-22 technical training.

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Tuition & Fees: $1,225 / Books & Supplies: $300

These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Admission Requirements:

Application Procedure: Create/Access your MyTradesecrets (MTS) account and follow the Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training Application Procedure.

Apprenticeship Registration Information

Career Opportunities

Welders are employed in a variety of industries including vessel or structural steel assembly, pipeline construction, commercial construction, industrial construction, steel fabrication and heavy equipment repair. Employment prospects for welders change with seasonal and economic climates and can vary greatly with geographic location.

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Student Information

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A device capable of running Microsoft Office, preferably a laptop

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to portal.office.com
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

The following items are required:

  • CSA approved steel toe boots
  • CSA approved safety glasses
  • Hearing Protection
  • Coveralls (two pairs)

Other Important Information: 

  • Safety Regulations: Wearing safety equipment and abiding by industry safety standards is mandatory within our program.

  • Apprenticeship ILM: We use the Apprenticeship ILMs (Individual Learning Modules) as our reference material. These modules take the place of textbooks and are available at the Olds College Campus Store at 1.800.661.6537 or 403.556.4630. They are packaged by technical training period.

  • Employment Insurance: Information on applying for Employment Insurance benefits is provided in your MyTradesecrets account

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

  • "I was a little apprehensive about attending school to pursue a welding trade. My hesitations were soon erased as I discovered a great mix of all ages, genders, and experiences, in a class shop that promoted a superior learning environment. I am fortunate to have been guided by some of the best instructors I have ever encountered."
    • George McManus, Class of 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do welder testing through Olds College?

Olds College Continuing Education offers Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB)Weld Testing (CSA 47.1) for Journeyperson Welders.

Journeyperson Welders who are interested in pursuing pressure certification or examiner certification are encouraged to contact the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) for training and testing opportunities.