Study: Certification, completion, and the wages of registered apprentices, 2007

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Of individuals registered in an apprenticeship program between 2002 and 2004, those who completed their program had hourly wages in 2007 that were 21% higher on average than those who did not.

In addition, those who completed their apprenticeship program were more likely to work full time and to be employed in permanent jobs.

Between 1995 and 2007, the number of Canadians enrolled in apprenticeship programs more than doubled, from 163,370 to 358,555. However, over the same period, the number of successful apprenticeship completions increased by about one-third.

Of the registered apprentices who completed their programs, 90% also obtained a Certificate of Qualification while 10% did not. The Certificate of Qualification conveys the title of journeyperson and the associated benefits and responsibilities. Of the registered apprentices who discontinued their program, 90% did not obtain certification while 10% did.

Average hourly wages were highest ($28.07) among individuals who completed their programs and obtained certification. Wages were lower among those who discontinued their programs but obtained certification nonetheless ($27.25).

Individuals who completed their programs but did not obtain certification had an average hourly wage of $23.92. People who discontinued their programs and were not certified had the lowest average hourly wage ($23.30).

The magnitude of the wage differences varied within detailed trade groups.

Note to readers

This study used the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey to compare hourly wage differences between apprentices who complete their programs and apprentices who discontinued their programs. The primary objective was to estimate the magnitude of the wage difference between these groups while taking into account a broad range of characteristics.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3160.

The research paper "Certification, Completion, and the Wages of Canadian Registered Apprentices", part of Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series (Catalogue number11F0019M2012345, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

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For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Christine Laporte (613-951-4248), Social Analysis Division.