Could an apprenticeship be right for you?
If you are looking for a career in the construction trades, an apprenticeship may be your way to career longevity and success.
Apprenticeship is a system of learning while earning, and learning by doing. It combines on-the-job training with related and supplemental instruction at a school. Programs operate under apprenticeship training standards agreed to by labor and/or management in accordance with state and federal laws.
To be successful in an apprenticeship, a person must possess perseverance, ambition, and initiative. Like earning a college education, the successful completion of an apprenticeship is the result of hard work on the part of the apprentice.
Apprenticeships run from 1 to 6 years, depending upon the trade. Most programs are for 4 years.
Where can you find information on apprenticeships?
The web site or local offices of your state Employment Development Department are the best places for you to start. Or, you can check out the site for the U. S. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
If you are interested in becoming an apprentice, here are six basic steps to get you started:
1. Select a trade/occupation for which you have an aptitude or some previous experience.
2. Find out if you meet the minimum qualifications for that occupation.
3. Decide whether you can work under the required job conditions, which may be hazardous, dirty, uncomfortable or otherwise unpleasant.
4. Apply for an apprenticeship either directly to an employer in the occupations, the JAC, UAC, the appropriate union, or your state’s Employment Development Department.
5. Take aptitude or other tests where required.
6. If the apprenticeship committee has a waiting list of applicants, decide whether you’re interested enough to wait for an opening, or whether you should seek another option.
When you sign on to be a registered apprentice, you’ll received hands-on, practical career training; valuable work experience and education, national industry certification, and best of all, a paycheck from day one. You might also be able to earn college credit, even a degree. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you will be on your way to a successful long-term career with a competitive salary, and little or no educational debt.