Many people work a job out of high school or post-secondary for years before deciding to follow their dreams. If you want to make a change, you may be wondering… at what age am I too old to become an apprentice? While there are many different factors to consider, the short answer is that if you can meet all the necessary criteria, there really is no age ceiling. In order to become an apprentice, you need a few basic abilities. Let’s explore:
Any skilled trade will require you to work through problems to be successful as an apprentice. You will constantly be learning on the job and should have a general interest and aptitude in your area of specialty. Your learning won’t end with your apprenticeship. A career in the trades means you will spend the rest of your life continually learning and training. There won’t always be a manual to help you find the correct answers, so the ability to problem solve is the most basic necessity.
While you can develop your strength and endurance over time, you need to have a certain level of fitness to enter the trades. Apprenticeships are labour intensive, a factor that will continue throughout the entirety of your career. Hauling heavy equipment and tools is just part of the job. Focusing on your physical fitness will help your career and make your tasks much easier to accomplish.
Demanding situations and problems are going to present themselves often, especially as a new apprentice. Despite the frustrations, you need to be able to focus and get the job done. Being able to deal tactfully with co-workers, supervisors, clients, and unexpected issues is a must. Because the job is labour intensive, you can’t allow being tired to turn into a bad attitude. This is key to dealing with difficult situations.
Start at the Bottom
An apprenticeship means you have to start at the bottom as a new person with little to no experience in your trade. With this comes menial tasks and sometimes feeling like an outsider. There’s no way around this. Being mentally strong enough to focus on your future will help you move your way up while accomplishing the mundane tasks and learning needed to succeed in your career.
So, where does that leave us? DOES age matter when it comes to starting an apprenticeship? If you are ready to learn, are physically able to handle the job, can thrive in stressful situations, and are willing to start at the bottom and work your way up… an apprenticeship is right for you, regardless of your age.
Are you ready to take the leap of faith? You don’t have to do it blindly. Reach out to Support Ontario Youth for help along your journey.
This Employment Ontario Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.