Everything You Need to Know About Getting an Apprenticeship
Enroll in college, obtain your degree, then get your dream job. This career path was instilled in us from childhood. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with it. But wouldn’t it be great to follow an alternative route that doesn’t subject you to a two or four-year degree program? Well, that alternative career path is known as an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are on-the-job training programs that provide students with paid work experience and training. Traditionally, apprenticeships were commonly used to learn skills in various trades, such as those needed to work in the manufacturing and construction industries. Today, the scope of registered apprenticeship programs has significantly expanded, and individuals can now work as an apprentice in various job settings that require highly skilled individuals. Registered apprenticeships are mainly sponsored by employers, trade unions, and business unions. The training program helps employers build a highly skilled workforce while providing prospective employees with stable careers with relatively good earnings.
A registered apprentice typically learns the skills they need to perform their job while working under the supervision of a seasoned professional. Classroom instructions that delve into topics related to their field of study are quite beneficial as they act as a foundation for job mastery. Are you looking to become a registered apprenticeship but don’t know where to start? You are in the right place. This guide covers everything you need to know about apprenticeship programs, such as:
- What is an apprenticeship program?
- What you should look for in an apprenticeship
- How to become an apprentice
- Industries and careers offering apprenticeships
What Is an Apprenticeship Program?
Apprenticeship has been used to train new craftspeople for thousands of years. The history of apprenticeships dates back to the ancient periods when ancient Romans organized artisans into different workgroups to ensure the quality of their trades. As an apprentice, you will attract salaries to work under the supervision of journey-level professionals. You will be required to complete classroom instruction covering various topics related to your focus subject. Today, apprenticeships are quite crucial as they help build a highly skilled workforce. The registered apprenticeships are also valuable training tools since they provide in-depth instruction in technical areas that students can’t cover in classroom instruction.
Who Are Apprenticeships Meant for?
Apprenticeships are for individuals new to a field who need to learn and develop their skills to succeed in the job site. They allow job seekers to learn valuable trade while actively getting involved in the activities in the field. Although men dominate the training programs, they are for both men and women. The apprenticeship programs are suitable for individuals who are eager to learn and can follow instructions. Apprenticeship programs are also for graduates who want to enter a professional field by first earning work experience related to their field. Under an apprenticeship program, a graduate will be coached on the technical areas of their field that they didn’t cover in their coursework. The apprenticeship programs are also for individuals who want to gain experience and earn simultaneously.
What Is a Registered Apprenticeship?
A registered apprenticeship is an apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor or other related State Apprenticeship Agencies. The registered apprenticeship programs mainly focus on reducing the unemployment rates in the country by providing training to job seekers to take up various positions, right from entry-level jobs to management positions in the industry. A wide range of sectors has adopted registered apprenticeship programs to meet their workforce needs. Through registered apprenticeships, apprentices learn and develop skills specific to their trade. For instance, apprentices in the construction industry will learn the skills needed to be productive.
What Are the Main Benefits of an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship programs have several benefits both to the employers and to the apprentices. Apprenticeship training is a valuable tool used by businesses and employers to build a well-rounded skill set needed to boost productivity. Although apprentices earn relatively lower wages than journey-level workers, apprentices can master their craft quicker and move up the pay scale. As they gain more years of work experience, their salaries increase. This post explores the main benefits of an apprenticeship hip program in detail:
- Get paid while learning: Traditionally, college students pay tuition for classroom instruction. However, apprentices get paid to learn.
- Earn industry-recognized credentials: After completing a training program, apprentices receive certifications that they can transfer anywhere in the country. They can seek jobs with journey-level wages.
- Gain Employment: With the increased shortages in the country, apprentices are likely to land jobs in in-demand industries in a rush to fill critical positions affected by employee shortages.
- Networking: A hardworking and dedicated apprentice is likely to earn respect from seasoned workers, leading to healthy workplace relationships. Additionally, while undertaking their training, they can network with different personalities in the industry.
- Advance in your career: Apprentice students are likely to advance more quickly than their peers who take the college career path. They gain an in-depth understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, enabling them to gain more experience in their field.
What You Should Look for in an Apprenticeship
Although an apprenticeship program could be the stepping stone to various trade careers, it is vital to consider multiple factors before becoming an apprentice. First and foremost, as an apprentice, you should seek training programs that are likely to unlock career advancement opportunities. Apprentices should consider programs with better pay. Also, seek apprenticeship programs that will help increase your knowledge and hone your skills in your field. The apprenticeship should include classroom instruction and hands-on learning from a seasoned professional in the field.
In some cases, employers might pair an apprenticeship program with trade schools and community colleges. Always consider such programs as they are the most suitable and effective ones. Are you seeking an appropriate apprenticeship program? It would be best if you kept reading as this post explores the various factors you should look for in an apprenticeship, such as the wages you are likely to earn and the experience you will get from a particular apprenticeship. Always attend National Apprenticeship week events to gain more insights.
How Much Will You Get Paid as an Apprentice?
Unlike internship programs that don’t attract any payments, apprentices get paid to learn. However, the payment for apprentices typically depends on the industry and position. Traditionally, apprentices were limited to blue-collar jobs such as electrician apprenticeships and plumbing apprenticeships. Today, apprenticeships have significantly evolved and expanded beyond these trades. Apprenticeships have expanded to various industries ranging from education and art to healthcare and tech.
Each industry has its pay scale. The salaries also depend on the location of the apprenticeship program, as different states have their unique salary requirements for apprentices. Nonetheless, the Department of Labor has classified the minimum salaries for apprentices to be $15.34 per hour. This translates to an average salary of $31,908 per year. Entry-level apprentices earn roughly $24,000, while those at the top levels make $42,000 on average. Apprentices usually are paid for their regular working hours and their training. Some apprentices also enjoy work benefits related to those earned by journey-level experts.
How Much Experience Will You Get in A Particular Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship training provides a practical way to gain work experience while earning a wage. This makes apprenticeship programs to be the quickest way of gaining work experience than other learning paths internships. During the apprenticeship program, you will learn various tasks, which you must complete under the supervision of a seasoned expert in the organization. Apart from gaining knowledge and developing a valuable skill set, apprentices get to learn the daily routines of the industry, acting as an effective way of familiarizing themselves with your dream job.
The amount of experience earned in a particular apprenticeship depends on the length of the training program. Apprenticeships are quite lengthy and might take between one to six years to complete. In most cases, apprentices perform entry-level jobs, which honed their skills at their trade. We can conclude that an apprenticeship is equivalent to work experience and provides value to the company and the individual. Hence, you could gain experience equal to two-year work experience if you undergo a two-year training program. On the other hand, those who undergo six-year training earn six-year work experience upon completing their apprenticeships. This demonstrates that such apprentices might fill positions that need at least six years of professional experience. This makes an apprenticeship the most effective route to gaining work experience.
At the end of the training program, expect to learn the proper skill set, gain significant work experience and qualifications, and make contacts that could be beneficial to your career path. You are likely to land a permanent job at the organization where you did your apprenticeship or elsewhere. During the apprenticeship program, the connections you made could help you land jobs in other organizations, as your contacts could act as your referees. Hence, while undertaking your apprenticeship, always be committed to your job, as your hard work could unlock a new world of career opportunities.
How Clearly Are Your Apprenticeship Duties Spelled Out?
The roles of apprenticeships are always clearly spelled out and must be performed under the guidance of an experienced employee. Apprenticeship involves various tasks ranging from adhering to workplace procedures, health, and safety regulations and completing multiple things assigned by the supervisor to gain hands-on work experience. To perform their duties, apprentices should be hardworking individuals who can manage their time effectively and follow instructions.
The type of organization you work for as an apprentice will determine your exact duties and responsibilities. However, there are duties and responsibilities typical to all apprentices irrespective of their employers. These responsibilities include:
- Attending training classes: Apprenticeship programs also involve trade-related classes in addition to on-the-job-training programs. Apprentices are required to attend these classes regularly to learn various topics related to their professional field.
- Complete Training Assignments: Although most tasks are done during business hours, apprentices must complete some assignments out of work hours. These out-of-work-hour assignments help build their knowledge and skill set.
- Conform to the health and safety regulations: Each organization has a set of health and safety standards that each employee, including apprentices, must adhere to. Adhering to these standards ensures the safety of apprentices and their workmates.
- Learn and develop trade skills: This is the essential duty of every apprentice hip. An apprentice must be eager to learn and develop new skills needed to increase their productivity and company.
How to Become an Apprentice
Apprentices have diverse backgrounds since there are not set qualities needed to become an apprentice. But to succeed as an apprentice, you must be a highly ambitious individual, have a strong work ethic, and be eager to learn. Securing an apprenticeship is quite simple. All you need is a secondary education coupled with different personality traits. Below is everything you need to know about becoming an apprentice.
What Should You Include in Your Apprenticeship Application?
To gain admission to an apprenticeship program, you need first to apply. An effective apprenticeship application should include the following:
- Cover Letter
You must ensure your apprenticeship application has a cover letter. The cover letter typically outlines your interest and the type of apprenticeship you are applying for. Always ensure your application letter is free from grammatical errors. Ensure the cover letter is in the correct format and as detailed as possible and expands on the skills and achievements listed on your resume. Additionally, explain why you should be considered for the apprenticeship.
A strong resume is the backbone of any apprenticeship program application. Your resume should look professional and demonstrate your suitability for the apprenticeship. Some of the details you need to include in your resume include:
- Profile: The opening paragraph should display the qualities, skills, and experience relevant to the apprenticeship program you are applying for. The profile entices your employer to keep reading your resume. Hence you shouldn’t explain much in this section.
- Education Background: For some, an apprenticeship could be their first position outside of full-time education. While applying for an apprenticeship, take your time list of some of your previous academic experience. You might also list some of the transferable skills that might be relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- Work Experience: Under this section, indicate all your previous employment, both paid and non-paid. Also, indicate your roles, duties, and the skills learned during that period.
- Recommendation Letters
Recommendation letters are vital when applying for an apprenticeship. Try to get at least two recommendation letters from high-profile individuals that you have a personal touch. The recommendation letters help boost your application.
How Can You Succeed in an Apprenticeship Interview?
Apprenticeship interviews are quite different from formal job interviews. An employer invests a lot in training apprentices throughout the apprenticeship program. For this, employers are looking for enthusiastic, passionate, and career-minded individuals who can improve productivity. To succeed in an apprenticeship interview, please do the following:
- Please do your research: Typically, an interviewer is bound to ask you about the organization to determine whether you understand its role and vision. Research on the organization to get insights into its activities, including the kind of services they offer.
- Know yourself: You will be asked about yourself. Read your CV and cover letter to prepare for such questions. Also, master your skills and personal qualities.
- Act Professional: During the interview, act professionally. Be polite when answering questions and ensure you are as detailed in your answers as possible. Show your enthusiasm and remain positive in your answers. Don’t forget to say thanks at the end of the interview.
- Plan for the Interview: Be sure to know where the interview is and when it is. Ensure you reach the premises early enough to familiarize yourself with the business premises.
How Do You Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program?
Apprenticeship applicants work with dedicated coordinators to enroll in an employee-driven apprenticeship program. You might sign up for an apprenticeship program from a local agency, community school, or trade school. You are also required to fill an application which includes a cover letter, resume, and recommendation letter.
Industries and Careers Offering Apprenticeships
Unlike internship programs that require a college degree, apprenticeship programs are not suitable for a career that require degrees such as in a medical field. Historically, apprenticeship industries were relatively minimal. They were limited to construction and manufacturing industries whose skills could quickly be learned without formal education. Apprentices mainly worked as casual laborers before advancing to management positions. Currently, several other industries have begun to adopt and adapt to the viable career route.
Today, there are over 22,000 formal apprenticeship programs offered by various industries. The programs have employed over 500,000 registered apprentices in the past year. Before considering an apprenticeship program, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the industries that offer the alternative education route. Keep reading as we explore the industries and careers providing apprenticeships in the subsequent sections.
What Industries Require Apprenticeships Before Hiring?
Are you looking for an apprenticeship program? Well, you are in the right place. This post explores some of the industries that require apprenticeships before hiring. Some of the common sectors that provide the training programs include:
The construction sector is one of the primary sectors that provide apprenticeships before hiring. Currently, the construction industry is the biggest employer of apprentices in the country. The sector deals in the construction of buildings, roadways, and bridge. Some of the potential careers include working as an electrician, plumber, carpenter, and ironworker. Apprenticeship programs in the construction industry typically take two to four years to complete. The career opportunities in the construction industry are likely to grow by 8 percent within the next ten years. The employment opportunities have higher earning potential than most professions.
The hospitality industry is home to various professions related to food preparation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry has employed over 16 million people in the last decade. The apprenticeship programs in the hospitality industry take approximately two years to complete. As an apprentice, you will gain in-depth knowledge and learn competent leadership, beverage management, and nutrition skills. The employment rate of hospitality professions is expected to increase by 10 percent through 2026.
- Automotive Industry
The automotive industry creates close to a million jobs annually. The professionals are mainly involved in automotive repair and maintenance. Most employers in the automotive industry provide apprenticeship programs to job seekers seeking entry into the industry. One of the renowned apprenticeship programs is the Cummins diesel apprenticeship program. Apprentices who complete the training program earn an associate of applied science degree to fill various entry-level positions in the automotive industry. Professions in the industry have a 9 percent growth potential making it a promising field for most apprentices.
The energy industry includes oil, natural gas, coal, and renewables. The sector is home to several professionals, including power plant and substation operators, solar photovoltaic installers, wind turbine technicians, among other careers. The apprenticeship programs in the energy sector typically take three to four years to complete. However, this varies by the energy specialty an apprentice pursues. The apprentices gain technical knowledge and skills in fiber optics, electricity, electronics, among other areas. If you are considering an apprenticeship program that will lead to a promising career, look no further than an apprenticeship in the energy sector.
Although this is a highly sensitive industry, you can pursue some healthcare careers by becoming an apprentice. The apprenticeship programs train healthcare professionals in advanced technologies such as electronic health records to ensure efficiency. Some apprenticeship programs are suitable for aspiring pharmacy assistants who learn to fill prescriptions at pharmacies.
Other industries that require apprenticeships include:
- Advertising and marketing
- Real estate
- Programming and information technology
- Casting and modeling
- Advanced manufacturing
What Are the Careers That Most Commonly Offer Apprenticeships?
You probably know that apprenticeships offer an opportunity to make money while learning and developing your career skills. However, you might not know the different apprenticeship occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the best business careers that typically require an apprenticeship to enter include:
- Masonry workers
- Elevator installers and repairers
- Sheet metal workers
- Construction engineers
- Hairdressers and barbers
- Fashion designers
- Beauty therapist
- Marketing managers
- Social media marketers
Which Are the Fields Where Competition for an Apprenticeship Is Fiercest?
Several industries have currently adopted apprenticeship programs to help build a highly-trained and skilled workforce to help meet the employee shortages witnessed across the country. However, other sectors have a high demand for apprenticeships compared to other fields. Here some of the areas where competition for an apprenticeship is fiercest:
- Advanced manufacturing: The advanced manufacturing industry hosts hundreds of diverse industries, with the common profession being industrial maintenance and repairs. Most of these careers are highly in demand for apprentices due to increased workforce shortages. The advanced manufacturing sector jobs have high earning potential, making it a viable option for most apprentices. Apprentices who want to excel in this sector must be hardworking and enthusiastic individuals eager to learn new skills.
- Construction Industry: The construction industry is one of the rapidly growing sectors in the U.S economy. The sector has the most significant number of industry-recognized programs for job seekers. The construction industry employs millions of individuals in various fields such as carpentry, masonry, and plumbing. The construction industry unlocks several career opportunities making the construction sector the viable option for apprentices. According to the BLS, the industry is expected to add over 3,000 jobs through 2026.
Apprenticeship programs are types of vocational training that combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. The programs allow you to gain work experience while earning salaries, making the programs an alternative career pathway. Although apprenticeship programs were traditionally meant for job seekers in the construction and manufacturing industry, the programs have expanded to other sectors. This has helped reduce the unemployment rates witnessed across the country since apprenticeships help build a highly skilled and productive labor force.
The training programs are sponsored by employers, labor unions, among other partnerships. The sponsors of the program determine the requirements for the programs in each industry. Before enrolling in an apprenticeship program, you should research to determine the requirements specific to the one you are applying for. This is because each program has varied requirements. However, some common requirements include a high school diploma, an application letter, and specific skill sets.
Apprenticeship programs have several benefits. The programs enable you to earn salaries while learning. You will get industry-recognized credentials that are transferable to any part of the country. The programs are also a quicker way to advance your career. The payments for apprentices vary on various factors, including ages, job location, and employer. However, you are likely to earn an average of $15 per hour. If you doubted the prospects of apprenticeships, we hope this post has helped clear your doubts.