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What is an Apprenticeship & How Does it Work?

Last updated June 12, 2024

Have you ever wondered what an apprenticeship is and what it can offer to your career? We'll dive into what you need to know about apprenticeships, exploring their benefits and where to find opportunities in various high-demand industries near you!

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship, also sometimes referred to as a “registered apprenticeship,” is a blend of education and career experience that allows someone to gain on-the-job training, paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized credential within their industry. Apprenticeships are common in the trades, such as carpentry, cosmetology, technology, and many more. However, as the demand for alternative pathways to careers has increased, apprenticeships are now being offered in industries such as healthcare, green energy, maritime, and education. These are great opportunities to learn, get paid, and earn crucial skills that can set you up for a successful career!

How do I Find an Apprenticeship? 

If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, you can look for an opportunity near you through Apprenticeship Finder. You can also contact employers or program sponsors directly for more information about their apprenticeship opportunities.

What are the Benefits of an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships can open doors to hundreds of occupations, and are pathways to stable, well-paid, in-demand careers! According to, the average starting wage for an apprentice during training is more than $20 per hour, but can increase as an apprentice spends more time on the job and gains more skills. 94% percent of people who complete their apprenticeships retain employment with an average starting salary of $80,000. Compared to peers who don’t complete an apprenticeship program, apprentice graduates earn $300,000 more over their lifetime. 

Additionally, apprenticeship programs are designed to equip participants with practical skills that are directly applicable to their chosen industries. This practical experience translates into high employment retention rates, with 90% of apprentices retaining employment after completing their programs. 

In addition to professional benefits, apprenticeships also contribute to personal growth. Apprentices learn the value of discipline, responsibility, and continuous learning. These can be critical for long-term career success and personal development, regardless of the jobs you work! 

An electrician uses a digital multimeter to test a wall-mounted device - What is an Apprenticeship & How Does it Work?

What are Some Careers Offered Through Apprenticeships? 

Here are a few examples of jobs that typically have apprenticeships: 

  • Boilermakers
  • Carpenters
  • Construction workers
  • Electricians
  • Elevator installers and repairers
  • Green energy specialists
  • Insulation workers
  • Ironworkers
  • IT Professionals
  • Masonry workers
  • Mechanics 
  • Medical and dental assistants 
  • Millwrights
  • Musical instrument repairers and tuners
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Teachers

Many of these jobs are important in everyday life and society, and are an excellent pathway if you enjoy hands-on work!

How do I Succeed in an Apprenticeship?

Succeeding in an apprenticeship involves a combination of preparation, active engagement, and continuous learning. Here are some essential tips to help you thrive:

Understand the Commitment

Apprenticeships require a commitment of time and effort, similar to committing to a bachelor’s degree in college. Be prepared to balance on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Understanding the demands and expectations of your specific program from the beginning can help you manage your time effectively.

Communicate Proactively

Good communication is key in any workplace. Regularly communicate with your supervisors, expert apprentices, mentors, and colleagues. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback and clarify any doubts you have about your tasks or the skills you're learning. Effective communication will also help you build strong professional relationships. This is a proactive process, so your initiative will keep you engaged. 

Seek Mentorship

Having a mentor can provide valuable guidance and support. Normally in an apprenticeship, you will have the same instructors and experts in the field guide you for years. These are experienced professionals who may be willing to share their knowledge and guidance with you! A mentor can help you navigate the challenges of your apprenticeship, provide career advice, and be a key piece of your early career network.

Network and Build Relationships

Networking is an important part of professional growth. Take advantage of opportunities to meet and interact with professionals in your field. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with colleagues and mentors on LinkedIn.

Embrace Challenges and Stay Resilient

Apprenticeships can be challenging, so it's important to stay resilient. Embrace each challenge as a learning opportunity. Develop problem-solving skills and a positive attitude toward overcoming obstacles. Resilience will help you adapt to the demands of your apprenticeship and succeed in your career.

Have any questions about apprenticeships? Text #Jobs to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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