A VIU student welding


Vancouver Island is going to see a lot of growth in the next few decades. So there will be a huge demand for welders. Skilled Trades BC lists welding as one of the top in-demand trades in the province.

When you take welder training at VIU you learn from dedicated instructors who have a vast range of industry experience. And you train in a small class, so you get personal attention from your instructors. 

How to become a welder

There are two ways to become a journeyperson or Red Seal welder in BC. You can do most of your training on the job in the apprenticeship stream. Or you can get more of your training in school in the modular stream. We offer training for both options.

For both streams you must complete:

  • Welder Level 1
  • Welder Level 2
  • Welder Level 3
  • Red Seal endorsement

Modular stream

The modular stream is popular on the Vancouver Island because local employers want hires with a solid foundation of skills. With this option you take:

  • Welder Foundation program (formerly Level C): 40 weeks
  • Welder Level B program (16 weeks).
  • Welder Level A (8 weeks)

When you’ve completed all levels, you may be eligible to write the Red Seal exam. The Welder Foundation program gives you the Levels 1 and 2. And Welder Level B and A combined give you Welder Level 3.

Apprenticeship stream

If you have an employer who will endorse you as an apprentice you can do the apprenticeship stream. In the apprenticeship stream you must complete 4620 hours (about 2.5 years) of work-based training. And you must take technical training:

  • Level 1: 8 weeks
  • Level 2: 8 weeks
  • Level 3: 10 weeks

Combine the options

After you finish the Welder Foundation program, you can switch over to the apprenticeship stream. You earn 300 of your apprenticeship hours in the Foundation program. You’ll be paid as a Level 3 apprentice, so this can be a good option.