Information for Students
If you are a student looking
for an alternative to a four-year college degree, consider apprenticeship
Apprenticeship programs offer the best of both worlds - paid work experience
and related educational instruction. An apprenticeship will prepare you to
become skilled in all the areas of an occupation, acquiring the necessary knowledge
and abilities to perform the job.
Students can prepare to qualify
for an apprenticeship program by working with teachers or counselors to
select preparatory courses for an apprenticeship. With school guidance,
you can plan coursework to obtain basic skills such as mathematics, reading
comprehension and science. These courses are necessary for you to be successful
in an apprenticeable occupation. In most other cases, a great deal of financial
resources and energy are required to prepare for your career, but in a
registered apprenticeship program, you are paid a progressively increasing
wage while you learn the occupation.
If you are considering
About Apprenticeship Training
What is apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is a structured system of hands-on training designed to teach
highly technical skills. It is designed to produce craftworkers that
are fully competent in all aspects of an occupation, including knowledge,
skill and proficiency on the job. With apprenticeship training, there
is a written agreement between the apprentice and the employer or apprenticeship
program sponsor, approved by and registered with the N.C. Department
of Labor. This agreement specifies the length of training, related technical
instruction, an outline of the skills of the trade to be learned and
the wages the apprentice will be paid. After successfully completing
the prescribed hours of related classroom instruction and hands-on training,
the apprentice will graduate to a highly skilled "journey worker."
What qualifications are needed?
Most programs require a high school diploma or GED certificate. Specific
qualifications vary by occupation. For information about a specific occupation,
contact The N.C. Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Bureau.
What makes apprenticeship training
Apprenticeship training includes paid on-site training as well as quality
related technical instruction. This training teaches the apprentice the knowledge
and hands-on skills needed for the job. An apprentice is also taught unique
craft skills associated with the occupation through the progression toward
What types of occupations can be
There is a wide variety of occupations for apprenticeship training. Opportunities
are available in the building trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
There are also opportunities that exist outside the construction trades,
such as firefighter, machinist, printer, child care development specialist,
finance specialist, sign painter, automotive technician, teacher assistant,
master craftsman and other professional technical trades.
How long does an apprenticeship
Depending upon the occupation, apprenticeship programs can last from one
to five years. An additional requirement includes completing 144 hours of
related technical instruction each year throughout the apprenticeship program.
What can I expect to be paid as
an apprentice and after completing the program?
Apprenticeship graduates are paid very well. Beginning apprentice wages steadily
increase as knowledge and skill increases. An apprentice can expect to receive
a raise periodically if his or her progress is satisfactory. The expected
wages will be outlined in the agreement between the apprentice and the employer
providing the on-the-job training. This agreement will also clarify the length
of the training, the related technical instruction and the skills to be learned.
Hiring statistics have shown that after completion of apprenticeship programs,
journey-worker wages have steadily increased throughout the years.
What will I gain as an apprentice?
Apprentices receive an apprenticeship Certificate of Completion of from the
N.C. Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Bureau after completing
an apprenticeship-training program. Many people compare this certificate
to a four-year college degree. The certificate confirms the graduate
has the professional skills needed to perform successfully in his or
her chosen career. Employers readily recognize apprenticeship completion
certificates and cards.
Where can I get more
Start by contacting your high school or technical college counselor, an employer,
employer's organization or union in your area or the N.C. Department of Labor
Apprenticeship and Training Bureau. The N.C. Department of Labor Web site includes
a list of apprenticeable trades. The N.C. Department of Labor Apprenticeship
and Training Bureau registers the state's apprenticeship programs.
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