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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Apprenticeship?

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What better way to learn a craft or specific skill than by working with an expert or as known in the construction trades, a master craftsman? Being an apprentice is an opportunity to learn from a master the skills, pitfalls, and ins and outs of a skilled trade. Training lasts a specified length of time depending on the requirements of the occupation. The apprentice is paid for the on-the-job training! An apprenticeship covers all aspects of the occupation and includes on-the-job training and related classroom instruction.

What Occupations have Apprenticeships?

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There are more than 1,000 apprenticeable occupations currently recognized by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT). Apprenticeable occupations can be found in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, as well as new emerging industries such as health care, information technology, energy, telecommunications and more. Some apprenticeable occupations include chef, carpenter, construction craft laborer, electrician, welder, plumber, equipment operator, boilermaker, pipefitter, energy lineman, and maintenance mechanic. Apprentices completing their training in a registered BAT apprentice program will receive a Nationally recognized Certificate of Completion from the United States Department of Labor.

What About Employers and Apprenticeship Programs?

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Apprenticeship is for companies of all sizes, not just large ones. An apprenticeship program can be sponsored by a single employer, a group of large and/or small employers, trade associations, corporations, unions, or a combination of all the mentioned organizations. Registered DOL apprenticeship programs benefit employers by providing them with a source of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hand-on experience. Registered apprenticeship programs can be customized to match employers’ need which enhances the employment retention of completing apprentices and gives them a competitive edge in the job market.

Employers have found that apprentices are more motivated, learn their jobs faster, are more loyal to an employer who helped provide training, and are more likely to become supervisors than workers trained in other ways.The cost of on-the-job training through apprenticeship is lower, because wages are paid in proportion to the skills and abilities of the apprentice. The apprentice begins earning approximately half the wages of workers fully trained in the occupation and usually advances at six-month intervals until the apprentice completes the training.

What Kind of Classes are Required for Apprenticeship Programs?

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Apprenticeship training can last from one to six years depending upon the occupation and the requirements. Classroom instruction is a minimum of 144—160 hours per year depending on the chosen occupation. Instruction includes related subjects such as mathematics, blueprint reading, safety training, and technical courses relative to the specific occupation. Instruction can be provided through traditional classroom presentations or an individual competency-based program which allows apprentices to advance according to their abilities. Instruction is then applied under the supervision of a skilled journeyman or master worker through on-the-job training.

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