Circular Saw Filer

Saw filers fit all types of saws, including circular saws, band saws, gang saws, chain saws. They operate, repair and adjust saw sharpening equipment and are competent to bench all circular and gang saws, including tensioning, welding cracks, welding on teeth and any other work that is usually performed by a saw filer in the lumber manufacturing industry.

Student wearing welder's mask
Three students observing machinery
Student working on work bench


Offered at Williams Lake campus only

Three trades make up the saw trades: Saw fitting, circular sawfiler, and benchperson. The saw filer apprentice program provides the knowledge and skills required to become both a provincially and inter-provincially certified tradesperson.

Thompson Rivers University, Williams Lake Campus, is the only training institution in BC that offers technical training for these trades.

Williams Lake campus info

Industry requirements

  • To begin an apprenticeship to become a circular saw filer, learners must complete 840 hours of work-based training, working in a saw filing room and assisting saw filers in their work.
  • Apprentices must also secure an employer who is approved to provide on-the-job training in saw filing and is wiling to register the apprentice and keep a record of their performance.
  • Grade 10 education, including English 10, Math 10 and Science 10 or equivalent (Grade 12 preferred).

Saw filer Level 1 requirements

  • Requires an additional 1680 hours of work based training.
  • 180 hours of in-school training, plus a minimum score of 70 percent on the Level 1 examination.
  • Once Level 1 is successfully completed, the saw filer may move on to Level 2.

Saw filer Level 2 requirements

  • 1,680 hours of work-based training.
  • 120 hours of in-school training, plus a minimum score of 70 percent on the certificate of qualification examination.
  • When Level 2 is successfully completed, the apprentice is granted a certificate of qualification, a certificate of apprenticeship, and becomes a journeyperson.

Benchperson Level 3 requirements

A saw filer journeyperson may choose to obtain an additional endorsement as a benchperson by completing Level 3.

  • Requires an additional 1,680 hours of work-based training.
  • 120 hours of in-school training, plus a mark of 70 percent on the Benchperson Endorsement Examination.

Apprenticeship training dates

SAW - Level 1 Sep 13, 2021 Oct 22, 2021 Williams Lake
SAW - Level 1 Mar 28, 2022 May 06, 2022 Williams Lake
SAW - Level 2 Oct 25, 2021 Nov 19, 2021 Williams Lake
Benchperson Endorsement
SAW - Level 3 Nov 22, 2021 Dec 17, 2021 Williams Lake
Submit your name
to the interest list for an apprenticeship course


  • 4 weeks - $489.07
  • 6 weeks - $732.29


TRU Apprenticeship