Why you might be interested in an apprenticeship
what is an apprenticeship?
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Why should your student choose apprenticeship?

In today’s highly competitive world, all of our students need world-class skills.

An apprenticeship provides an opportunity for a high school graduate to earn money while learning a highly skilled trade from a master craftsman. After approximately 4 years of on-the-job training and classroom work, the apprentice is certified as a journey-level craftsperson in his or her field and is awarded credentials that are valid nationwide.

Apprenticeships have been used to train skilled workers for hundreds of years. Today, there are apprenticeships in nearly every field, from advanced manufacturing and public safety to health care, technology and cosmetology. Apprenticeships provide a rigorous level of training and are ideal for specialized trades because of their combination of job experience and classroom training. In some cases, an apprenticeship provides an Associate’s Degree, in addition to workplace credentials, allowing the apprentice to move on to higher levels of education and training.

Before students can register for an apprenticeship, they need to know what they’re interested in doing… and what they’re good at. High school Career Centers can help students explore their interests and skills.

Many students in Washington State are participating in Navigation 101, a life planning and skills assessment program that helps students learn what they need to do in school to prepare for the future. Navigation can help students explore careers and prepare to succeed.

Many students need a little more guidance taking steps to prepare for college and careers. Washington State’s GEAR UP program has prepared a handbook for high school students. The handbook covers every step of the process of exploring interests, careers, and postsecondary education.

Did you know that in almost any career area there are many different opportunities for jobs? Different jobs require different amounts of education and experience (such as an apprenticeship).

No matter what your student’s interests, make sure you encourage him or her to take as many advanced courses as possible during high school (especially in math and science). That will be good preparation for an apprenticeship – or any other career path, and will help them do well on the Smarter Balanced Assessment by giving them the math, reading, and writing skills they need to succeed.

In most cases, apprentices must be 18 years old and a high school graduate to begin a program. Youth apprenticeships begin at 16. There are currently over 12,000 apprentices in Washington State. Your student’s high school Career Center can help identify apprenticeship opportunities in different career fields, and help the student find out where and how to apply. In some cases, students apply directly to an apprenticeship program; in other cases, they join an apprenticeship program through a community or technical college or through an employer.

For an overview of apprenticeships in different careers and geographic areas within Washington State, you may want to use the Department of Labor & Industries’ Apprenticeship Registration and Tracking System.

Apprentices earn a paycheck while they learn. New apprentices typically earn about half the wage level for their occupation, and receive regular raises. Once they complete the program, they are certified at a journeyman level and are paid at that level. The Department of Labor & Industries provides up-to-date information about apprentice and journeyman wages in different occupations.

Apprenticeship programs are carefully regulated and have clear standards and expectations for apprentices. Apprenticeship credentials are recognized nationwide. The Department of Labor & Industries provides a summary of standards for apprenticeships in different occupations.

Apprenticeship programs are very carefully regulated. These regulations ensure that apprentices learn all the skills they must have to succeed in their career. The regulations also protect apprentices if they are injured, and give them clear rights in the workplace.

Your student may also be able to take part in a pre-apprenticeship program during or after high school. These programs can help students improve their basic skills and learn more about different careers.



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