What You’ll Learn in Our One-Year Paid Apprenticeship Program

trader training

When it comes to on-the-job training, it’s hard to beat the appeal of AIFP’s paid trader training program. Not only do we teach you everything you need to know about commodity trading and the lumber industry, but we give you the mentorship and support you need to develop your sales skills. Here’s what you’ll learn in our one-year paid apprenticeship program.

AIFP’s Structure

At the beginning of our paid apprenticeship program, you’ll work with our administrative team, learning the ins and outs of how they support our traders. This will give you a better understanding of everything that goes into a sale, including invoicing, inventory, compliance, delivery logistics, etc. By learning what our admin team does, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the sales process and you’ll be better prepared for your own trading career. Plus, it gives you a better appreciation of the amazing admins at AIFP.

Industry Insights

AIFP prides itself in being a company that hires recent grads. In fact, our paid apprenticeship program is designed so that our traders don’t necessarily need any experience in the field. While many of our traders majored in related fields—Business, Economics, Finance, etc.—they don’t necessarily have much relevant job experience. That means that it’s up to us to provide an in-depth look at the building materials and lumber industry. Not only will trader trainees learn the industry basics, but since the market is always changing, our veteran traders will teach trainees their tips and tricks for monitoring and predicting changes in the market. At the end of the program, you’ll have a solid understanding of the state of the building materials and lumber industry as well as insight into where it might be headed.

Successful Sales Strategies

At AIFP, we believe in the power of mentorship, which is why our trainees work with a senior trader, a trader trainer, a professional sales trainer, and our company president to learn everything they need to succeed. Through this mentorship, they’ll learn tried and true sales strategies they can implement once they’re on the trading floor. They’ll also have the opportunity to shadow experienced commodity traders as they build relationships and make sales so they can see firsthand what it’s like to be on the sales floor. While everyone’s strategy is different, shadowing other traders is a great way to discover your own unique sales style. Plus, it gives our trainees the opportunity to ask questions and develop the soft skills that make a great trader.

Your Trading Strengths & Weaknesses

Everyone comes to AIFP with different backgrounds. That’s why our paid apprenticeship program works so hard to help trader trainees identify their sales strengths and weaknesses. Once you know what you’re good at, you can play to your strengths. And once you know what you’re not-so-great at, you can start honing your skills. In fact, the trader training program is the perfect opportunity to work on your weaknesses, as you’ll have the mentorship and support you need to really focus on improvement.

Where You Fit at AIFP

When you find a new job, you’re beholden to the exact position you apply for, which can be especially challenging if you’ve never done something like it before. With our trader training program, both you and your managers are able to see your strengths in action. In fact, an important part of the trader training program involves discovering where you best fit at AIFP. Each department requires different skills and personality types, which means the work you do during your first year can help determine where you’ll be most successful. That way, you aren’t stuck in a position that doesn’t fit your skills.


When you work in sales, it’s important to have a short memory. In other words, if you can’t recover quickly from rejection, you’ll have trouble succeeding as a trader. That’s why our apprenticeship program works to cultivate resilience in our trainees. The more quickly you can recover from challenges, the more success you’ll have.

Ready to apply to be a trader at one of the best places to work in Portland? Send us your resume! Still want to learn more about our paid apprenticeship program? Here’s why you should apply. In the meantime, check out our blog, where we cover everything from what it’s like to work at AIFP to how to thrive in a commission-based job. We also offer helpful job search resources, including business email etiquette tips for recent grads and what to look for in an apprenticeship program.

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