General Carpenter


How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship in General Carpentry?

A formal apprenticeship in General Carpentry is 7,200 hours in length—hours that are accumulated through a combination of work experience (about 90% of total hours) and in school training (about 10% of total hours). The apprenticeship period is broken down into four 1,800 hour terms.

In what areas is a General Carpenter apprentice trained?

A General Carpenter apprentice is trained in five main areas:

  • Exterior Finishing;
  • Framing;
  • Formwork & Foundations;
  • Finishing (Walls & Ceilings); and
  • Interior Finishing.

What are the prerequisites for becoming an apprentice?

To start an apprenticeship, individuals must be 16 years of age or older and have a minimum grade 10 education in Canada or a proven Canadian equivalency.
Strong math and communication skills are essential.

What tools do you need to begin an apprenticeship?

In order to start work or school, apprentices must have a basic hand tool set and personal protective equipment (PPE). (A detailed list of tools and PPE may be obtained through CCAT.)

How much does an apprentice earn?

Apprentice wages increase according to apprenticeship term. The current hourly ICI collective agreement rates for apprentices are:

First term: $24.44
Second term: $29.50
Third term: $34.55
Fourth term: $41.98

A fully trained journey level Carpenter currently earns $48.49 per hour under this collective agreement.

These rates do not include 10% vacation pay, health and welfare, or pension benefits.


What schooling is required during the apprenticeship period?

Apprentices are required to successfully complete three mandatory eight week blocks of in-school training throughout their apprenticeships: Basic (8 weeks); Intermediate (8 weeks); and Advanced (9 weeks).

What costs are involved in becoming an apprentice?

Apprentices are required to pay for the following:

  • A basic level tool set and personal protective equipment (i.e., hard hat, safety glasses, and safety boots).
    This will cost approximately $400.00.
  • $400.00 for each of the Basic and Intermediate in-school courses and $450.00 for the Advanced course *
  • Text books and drafting set for all levels of schooling.
  • A Union initiation fee ($168.00 - $412.00)

* Note: OYAP students are exempt from paying the $400.00 basic schooling fee

Who tracks the apprentice’s work experience hours?

Apprentices are responsible for keeping track of their own work hours; obtaining an employer’s verification signature; and submitting them to the CCAT on a monthly basis.

How do you obtain a Certificate of Qualification in carpentry?

Once apprentices have completed the required schooling and work experience, they may write the Carpentry Certificate of Qualification examination through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. A provincial C of Q and inter-provincial or “Red-Seal” certificate will be granted to those scoring over 70%.

Are there any additional training or upgrading opportunities for Local 27 members?

In addition to the mandatory apprenticeship schooling, a variety of trade related evening and weekend continuing education courses are available at no additional cost to Local 27 members in good standing. Examples of such courses are: blueprint reading, layout, welding, construction math, etc.

Union members are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities as a means of further developing their skills and enhancing their employability.

Click here for a list and descriptions of available continuing education courses.

Compensation Scale+

Wage rates reflect current Local 27 ICI collective agreement rates. Rates may vary according to different collective agreements.

TIME (hours)
1st Term Apprentice
Basic School
2nd Term Apprentice
Intermediate School
3rd Term Apprentice
Advanced School
4th Term Apprentice
Journey Person

Starting an Apprenticeship+

There are 4 ways of starting an apprenticeship

  1. Pre-apprenticeship Training
  2. Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)
  3. Working for a Local Union 27 Company
  4. Applying Based on Past Carpentry Experience

1. Pre-apprenticeship Training

The SCAS Program

A full-time day school pre-apprenticeship training course is available to applicants who are 21 years of age or over through the Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies.

Other Pre-apprenticeship Training Courses

Other pre-apprenticeship training opportunities are sometimes offered through the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades. Availability of these programs is subject to funding. After completing one of the pre-apprenticeship training programs with a grade of 70% or higher, the successful graduate will be eligible to initiate a formal contract of apprenticeship under the JLAC and to join Local 27. Graduates may be required to serve a probationary work period prior to being allowed to join the Union and register a training agreement.

All pre-apprenticeship courses provide a solid grounding of basic skills in carpentry and health and safety awareness which are essential prerequisites to an apprenticeship in General Carpentry. The hours spent in pre-apprenticeship training are credited towards the overall apprenticeship.

Applications for all pre-apprenticeship training programs, including SCAS, may be completed and submitted through this website.

2. Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

Students in their graduating year of high school may be eligible to enroll in either the Carpentry or Floor Covering apprenticeship program – while still attending high school – through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. The CCAT currently has OYAP partnerships with:

  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • York District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • Durham District School Board
  • Durham Catholic District School Board
  • Peel District School Board
  • Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board

Contact your high school guidance counselor, co-op teacher, or the OYAP Coordinators at the respective Boards of Education for additional information on these programs.

3. Working for a Local Union 27 Company

The third way of starting an apprenticeship is to obtain work with a Local Union 27 company. This occurs only when there is a great availability of work, and the Union is in a position to accept new members. Preference is given to candidates with prior carpentry or construction-related experience.

Applicants may approach Union companies directly in seeking work.

4. Applying Based on Past Carpentry Experience

Individuals with past carpentry or construction related work experience may also be referred into the apprenticeship program. Experienced applicants must include the following with their application forms:

  • Letters from past employers on letterhead that detail:
  • Dates of employment
  • List of duties performed
  • Total hours of direct carpentry experience
  • Records of Employment (ROE) or T4 slips
  • Proof of grade 10 education

Once you have compiled all of the required documents, submit the complete package to CCAT by mail, fax, or in person.

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