Completing an apprenticeship in Canada brings skilled-trade workers roughly equal in earning power to college graduates in the workforce, and puts them far ahead of high school graduates and people who have a trade certificate without having gone through an apprenticeship.
That’s according to new research from a couple of University of Toronto professors who studied wage dynamics in Canada.
Dr. Harry Krashinsky and Dr. Morley Gunderson presented some of their findings at a recent meeting of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. The full study was published in 2015 in the American academic journal Industrial and Labor Relations Review.
According to Krashinsky, the best data for analyzing how apprenticeship impacts wages was found in the 2006 long-form census, where workers who have completed apprenticeship programs were for the first time separately identified from people who have trade certificates without having gone through an apprenticeship program.
“The pay-off was pretty substantial,” Krashinsky said.
According to their data, those who completed an apprenticeship earned about 21% more than workers who did not complete high school.
“Men who complete an apprenticeship program do much better than those who stop their education after completing high school. They also do better than those who simply have a trade certificate, and they’re relatively similar to college graduates,” said Krashinsky.
The findings do not seem to hold for women who complete apprenticeships, however. Female college graduates significantly out-earn women who have completed an apprenticeship.
The second phase of their research will try to figure out why this is the case.