Apprenticeship Programs – Career Exploration


Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship Basics

An apprenticeship is a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a high skillset workforce. It is an employer-driven, “learn-while-you-earn” model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards (aka registered apprenticeship program).  The model also involves progressive increases in an apprentice’s skills and wages.

While it is used in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, an apprenticeship is also instrumental for training and development in growing industries, such as health care, information technology, transportation, agriculture, and energy.

Is an apprenticeship a job?
Yes, apprentices start working from day one with incremental wage increases as they become more proficient.

Do you earn college credit while participating in apprenticeship programs?
Most apprenticeship opportunities include on-the-job training and classroom instruction provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities, sometimes through distance learning. Often apprenticeship sponsors work directly with community colleges that do provide college credit for apprenticeship experience.

What do I receive upon completion of an apprenticeship program?
After completion of an apprenticeship program, the apprentice earns a nationally recognized credential from the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, an apprentice earns a paycheck throughout the apprenticeship and the potential for increased pay and upward career opportunities.

How do I qualify for an apprenticeship program?
Apprenticeship program sponsors identify the minimum qualifications to apply for a program. The eligible starting age for a registered apprenticeship program can be no less than 16 years of age; however, individuals must usually be 18 years old to be an apprentice in hazardous occupations. Program sponsors also identify additional minimum qualifications to apply (e.g., education, ability to physically perform the essential functions of the occupation, proof of age). All applicants are required to meet the minimum qualifications.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?
An internship is a work opportunity offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Internships are undertaken by students focused solely on the development of a particular skill, while apprenticeships help an individual put academic skills to practical use in a variety of careers. An internship typically does not include classroom instruction. Apprenticeships are formal, paid, long-term training programs that provide valuable classroom instruction coupled with on-the-job training for skilled, high-paying jobs. Internships are usually short-term (rarely lasting more than a year), whereas apprenticeship programs can last for as many as four or five years. As well, most often, the apprentice comes out with a job at the end of the apprenticeship duration.

Career Exploration Activities for Students and Recent Graduates

  • Career Exploration is discovering and learning more about occupations you are attracted to.
  • Career Exploration is researching careers, jobs, college majors, and graduate programs.
  • Career Exploration is taking assessments to learn about your interests, personality and aptitudes.
  • Career Exploration is identifying your values, what is important to you about the work you want to do.
  • Career Exploration is determining the skills and education you need to begin your career.
  • Career Exploration is experiencing Student Career Programs Jobs, Internships, and Apprenticeships.
  • Career Exploration is building your self-confidence by making a plan and taking action.