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Is it hopeless to start in the trades?

Is it hopeless for a strong female to start a apprenticeship into the trades?

I have experience in the oilfield but was laid off two years ago. I want to start plumbing or sheet metal work but can not find any companies looking for starter apprentices, let alone a female starter apprentice.

What steps can I take to get going on this new career path?

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30 Responses

  1. Jade Jasmine Jade Jasmine says:

    Just keep trying. I’m an apprentice plumber. It is difficult. I harassed my union for a week straight. Finally they sent me to work. Lol. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.

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  2. Women building futures

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  3. Liz Johnson Liz Johnson says:

    Not impossible, apply to everything, get some help to get a strong resume, call to follow up you can do it ☺️

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  4. Lana Almaeva Lana Almaeva says:

    Many trades offer pre- employment training. You do one or two years of school before you even start working. This increases your chances of being hired. Also NAIT has a program where they try to match apprentices with employment. And of course check out resources at women building futures.

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  5. I second Women Building Futures. If you want to give it a go, go for it! Education is Power, the more you have, the more powerful you are.

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  6. Try Flynn in Acheson. They hire female laborers and do Apprenticeship. As long as you aren’t scared of heights. Good luck

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  7. Thats awesome you want to do plumbing or sheet metal work. My husband is a journeyman plumber. However, he just went to BC to work. Sometimes its not what you know its who you know. Work is plentiful in BC right now, Alberta not so much unless you are willing to relocate. You can start schooling at anytime. I would get your blue book then go to NAIT and get registered for your first year.

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  8. I have seen a large amount of women, successfully get into trades, coming from women building futures program. Goodluck.

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  9. No! Come on out. Lots of space for women out in the trades.

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  10. I know alot of people suggest WBF but i honestly have not come across (in 5 years) one lady in my trade who came from that program. From what I understand it is a costly program that doesn’t focus on one trade but touches on all trades.

    Sounds like you know which trade you want to get into, so I would suggest apply apply apply. Usually you start a labourer/helper then are indentured. Try to find contacts, call offices. But don’t stop sending resumes. Make sure when they need a starter your resume is on the top of the pile. Not sure of the job market for plumbers/sheet metal but you’ll get a bite eventually.

    Good luck!!

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  11. Just don’t be a whiner and make sure your pull your own weight.
    No guy wants to be stuck working with a diva or someone who is afraid to get their hands dirty

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    • No woman wants to be stuck with a man who can’t pull his weight.

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    • Amanda Mae Amanda Mae says:

      Nope. No discrimination against women in trades AAAAAT ALLLLLL. Jesus.

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    • It’s not discrimination.
      If you can’t physically do the job then get the fuck out!
      After hearing….
      Can you carry this for me
      Or
      Can you grind that for me
      About a dozen times it gets really old. Why should we as men have to do our own job and half of yours?

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    • Amanda Mae Amanda Mae says:

      Kieran Segarty you mentioned it because it’s a woman. If a man had posted this you wouldn’t comment about whining, pulling your weight and getting your hands dirty. There are men who are just as bad, if not worse, and they get away with it a hell of a lot more. If you have a vagina in trades (generally speaking, obviously there are some great places for women to work) you’ve gotta work twice as hard to get half the damn credit. Sure, some women don’t belong. But some men don’t either.

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    • Amanda, the men get the same treatment if not worse if they can’t do the job

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  12. I read about a lady a few years ago, in the same boat. She started her own company, hired a journeyman and apprenticed under him. Something to think about.

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  13. Frank Yurich Frank Yurich says:

    Star plumping and heating …nose down ass up !! You will succeed

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  14. Win Chan Win Chan says:

    No it’s not. Beats going to school for 4-8 years plus to make $50,000-60,000/year – maybe hit 80 after 5+ years of experience afterwards (or not find a related job) – where by then likely be into your Middle Ages. Likely you’ll have a family (or ex) and lifestyle to feed so you don’t pocket anything more.

    Go pound the pavement and apply in person to be a starter / labourer in their shop. Google for a list of contractors in your trade of interest for contact information.

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    • I left a 13 year hotel management career to become an electrician. I was making more in my first year up north than I did as a general manager of a well established west end property.

      Best decision of my life.

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  15. Have you tried Women building futures?

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  16. I’m a red seal journeyman carpenter.. its SO worth it! Just show some good work ethic and it will take you very far! Took me a while to land a good job being a small girl but don’t give up! Springs going to hit and thats when work picks up.. keep applying and don’t get discouraged!

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  17. Highly recommend women building futures. I took their journey women start program last year and I am now a first (almost second) year electrician. They found me a job and were so supportive during the whole process. My schooling was 100% paid for by funding and I was able to collect EI while attending. Pm me if you have any questions!

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  18. Daimon Beecroft is a little dick for laughing at this. You can do whatever you set your mind to do. Follow your bliss! You’ll do great!

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  19. Sharon Swan Sharon Swan says:

    Seems like no plumbing jobs in Alberta right now .. my son got laid off after the new year .. and will work for about 6 to 7 months then winter lays offs start and unemployed again . So you have to keep looking for work and lots of times where you got laid off they are not rehiring apprentices….it’s been terrible for the last 3 years .. vicious circle … he has good work habits .. makes sure to leave his area cleaned up at job sites at end of the day .. good luck to you …

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  20. I am a journeyman plumber and gasfitter b class. I took the very forst pre employment plumbing course at NAIT. There are companies that won’t consider you but there are plenty that do. I absolute love my career. I make almost double as a journeyman than I did at my previous job. Don’t give up! Women building futures is a great resource for chicks trying to get in to trades. There is also a Canadian trades women group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000108620050403/

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  21. Honestly I wouldn’t bother with WBF. You can get a job without it. The issue you are having tho is that we are in a recession. So many companies are just not getting as many bids and just keeping their employees going. Look online for labour jobs and slowly move your way up. Many places won’t give you an apprenticeship until 4 months. I am a jman red seal carpenter.

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