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How to Be an Apprentice

Apprenticeship is a structured method of training, which develops workers who have a wide range of skills within a craft.

The system of apprenticeship includes specified hours of on-the-job learning, coupled with classroom-related instruction or other approved supplemental training. Apprenticeships usually range from one to five years, depending on the occupation or trade area. The on-the-job learning is under the supervision of a skilled and seasoned journey worker. Each component reinforces the other and produces a journey worker, who has thoroughly learned a craft  and can adjust to technological change in a variety of jobs.

An apprenticeship is not just a job, it is a career. Graduates, who successfully complete their apprenticeship training, receive nationally recognized completion certificates. In this regard, an apprenticeship is considered "the other four (4) year degree." In addition, apprentices earn a salary while learning their craft throughout their learning and beyond.

Qualifications for Apprenticeship

Although there are variations among the crafts, general qualifications for apprenticeship selection are as follows:

  • Age 16 years, except where a higher minimum age standard is otherwise fixed by law and physically able to perform the work of the trade.
  • High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) is required for most programs.
  • Some apprenticeship programs require the administering of a general aptitude test with a qualifying score for the specific trade.
  • Transportation is required for most apprenticeship programs, particularly in the construction field, due to the mobility of the industry.

In many cases, employers grant qualified applicants credit toward their apprenticeship training for prior experience in the trade.

Contact Information

More Information

Service Contact: 
Office of Apprenticeship Information and Training
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 698-5099
Contact Fax: 
(202) 698-5721
Contact TTY: 
TTY
Contact Suite #: 
Suite 401
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm