An apprenticeship is on-the-job training combined with related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level professional. Apprentices get paid while they learn and develop knowledge, skills and abilities in a new career field.
After completing a registered apprenticeship program, apprentices receive a professional credential recognized nationwide.
Registered apprenticeships are available in hundreds of occupations in many different fields of work. Some apprenticeships are in traditional trades, such as plumbers and ironworkers, but many are offered in less traditional areas, including high-tech and the medical sector.
Anyone can become an apprentice. The general requirements are that one must:
- Be at least 16 years old or older, or in the case of hazardous occupations, 17 or older.
- Be able to perform the work, with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Have the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to learn the job.
- Provide proof of age, high school diploma or equivalency (GED), honorable military discharge, etc., to meet program requirements.
- Start earning right away
- Learn business and job skills for leadership and management opportunities.
- Have no student loans to pay off when they graduate, and have a jump start in their career
- Earn credentials for highly skilled careers
- A sound return on investment
- Customized training that meets industry standards, tailored to the specific needs of your business
- Become more competitive
- Reduces the cost of training and recruitment
- Increases workplace safety and productivity
- Reduces employee turnover, improving loyalty and worker retention
- Maintains & continues the workforce talent pipeline
How to Become an Apprentice
Starting an apprenticeship is like applying for a job. You have to decide on a program you’re interested in, apply for the apprenticeship, interview with the program staff and be accepted into the program.
There are also recognized apprenticeship preparation programs with defined pathways to a registered apprenticeship. Learn more at the state Department of Labor & Industries and the U.S. Department of Labor.
For Students and Job Seekers
Lists of apprenticeship programs are available in the state Department of Labor and Industries Apprenticeship Registration and Tracking System and Washington Career Bridge.
The city is developing an apprenticeship program for all vendors on projects worth $1 million or more. The state Department of Labor and Industries offers guides on how to offer a registered apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship consultants and sponsorship options are presented.