Apprenticeship programs are created to assist young people in gaining the knowledge, qualifications and competence needed to progress into the workplace within their chosen industry or career path.
Programs vary depending upon the employer offering the apprenticeship program, but in most cases the individuals receive both classroom and on the job (hands- on) training, as well as receive information and advice from a mentor. Mentors are people already working in the industry, and they are able to assist the apprentice with questions or concerns while they're going through the program.
How to Find and Apply for Apprenticeship Programs
Finding an apprenticeship program is easier than you might think. Most states offer information for interested individuals regarding the location and applying for an apprenticeship program. Many of the state websites for apprenticeship information include searchable formats by both the county and geographical location as well as a search by specific industry of interest.
If you're unable to find programs within your state listings, the Federal Government offers information and contact details for various apprenticeship programs through the United States Department of Labor website.
Not every industry offers apprenticeship programs. In some cases, it's just not practical. Industries that tend to offer apprenticeship programs include information technology, homeland security, automotive, construction, health care, and financial services. Other industries may also participate, but these areas are the most common for apprenticeship programs.
There are different qualifications involved for applying to apprenticeship programs, and it depends mostly upon the employer providing the program, as well as the type of industry. Most manufacturing programs require that people are over the age of 18, while computer and retail industries may allow people to start as young as 16.
Certain education requirements are often required for each program - whether it is that you've completed a high school education or you've had college level coursework within the industry of your selected apprenticeship program. This information will be provided to you with the application for any apprenticeship program you wish to apply for.
The Registered Apprenticeship Program
If you think apprenticeship programs run like the reality television show with Donald Trump, "The Apprentice", you're probably in for a bit of a surprise! For many years, the Registered Apprenticeship model has helped a variety of businesses and industries with their training needs. The model gives apprentice participants the opportunity to learn on the job as well as experience classroom training through a comprehensive process.
The registered apprenticeship program provides a standardized process for delivering the hands on training and classroom learning, followed by a degree or certification which is extremely helpful in securing a job for participants once the training aspect has been completed.
In addition to the on the job training that participants find extremely helpful to learning the intricacies involved in the daily activities of their chosen industries, and the classroom education - the Registered Apprenticeship Program also provides support through the use of mentors.
As the apprentice advances through the structured programs that are established by the participating employers, the apprentice receives increases in pay as they complete each stage and until the training has been completed.
Apprenticeship Program Tips
As you graduate high school and start to consider your career options, you might want to take into consideration areas that are either experiencing growth or industries that are expected to maintain their need for employees for the long term. Industries that effect the American health as a whole are often considered to be strong industries that will lend little to no difficulty in getting a job once you've reached the qualifications for education and training.
Financial service is another large industry that shows no signs of slowing down, and same with the Hospitality industry. If any of these areas are interesting to you, chances are you can find qualified apprenticeship programs within the industries and get your foot into the door of an employer that much quicker.
Some people find it difficult to select an industry and plan their future careers. There are programs that can help you decide and plan, as well as help you find and apply for apprenticeship programs that can help you along the way.
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