Apprenticeship FAQs

What is an Apprentice?

An apprentice is an employee who learns a trade or craft through a structured, supervised on-the-job training program combined with classroom instruction. Apprenticeship requires a minimum of 2000 hours of work experience (full time employment) and 144 hours of classroom instruction per year. Apprentices start their training with basic information such as Safety, Construction Math, Blueprint Reading, Proper Use and Care of Hand and Power Tools. As they progress through their apprenticeships, however, they are trained in advanced areas of their craft to ensure they become a well-rounded, independent worker who can handle all aspects of their job.

What is the difference between apprenticeship and other types of training?

Apprenticeship includes on-the-job training and classroom instruction which typically take place simultaneously. As a result, the apprentice learns the theory behind a job, but then they get to apply that in the hands-on performance of the job. Due to the progressive nature of the training, apprentices also learn all aspects of their craft making them a more valuable employee. A key advantage of apprenticeship training is that the employee not only learns how a job is done, but they also learn how their employer wants the job done.

How is Apprenticeship Training structured?

Apprenticeship training programs can be from 2 to 5 years in length. Most are 4 to 5 years long. During this time, the apprentice works for an employer or trade organization in their craft, applying the information they are learning in their classroom training.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor administers apprenticeship training. In some cases the administration of apprenticeship is delegated to the state. In North Carolina apprenticeship is administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, NC Works Apprenticeship. Employers who wish to establish apprenticeship programs work with NC Works Apprenticeship to determine the type of apprenticeship, duration of the program, and the training and experience employees must complete as part of their apprenticeship. The apprentice’s wages at each stage of the apprenticeship are also agreed upon as part of the registered apprenticeship program, thus ensuring the apprentice is aware of his rate of pay throughout the apprenticeship process.

What is the goal of Apprenticeship Training?

Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, an individual is considered a Journey worker. Certification as a Journey worker shows that the worker is fully trained and is skilled in all facets of their craft. For individuals who complete a registered apprenticeship program, they receive certification from NC Works Apprenticeship and the U.S. Department of Labor. This certification is recognized anywhere in the United States as proof of training.

How much are Apprentices paid?

The average starting salary for an apprentice in North Carolina is $13.04 per hour. The average salary upon completion of apprenticeship is $20.48 per hour.

What Qualifications are needed to become an apprentice?

The applicant should have the physical strength and abilities to perform the duties of the particular trade they wish to apprentice for.  Apprentices should also have basic Math skills through Algebra, and the ability to read and understand written instructional manuals.  For individuals who are unsure if they meet the minimum academic qualifications to become an apprentice, it is recommended that they take the Career Readiness Certification (CRC) Exam.  This exam consists of three sections: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.  There is a fee of $10.00 per section for the exam, for a total of $30.00 for the exam.  Applicants who score a minimum of Bronze Level on all three parts of the exam should have the qualifications to perform well as an apprentice. 

More information or CRC Exam registration.

What can I do if I do not meet the minimum academic qualifications to become an apprentice?

Individuals who do not meet the minimum academic qualifications to become an apprentice should contact Wendy E. Davis, M.Ed., Counselor for College and Career Readiness at Wake Technical Community College at 919-334-1506 or at [email protected].   Ms. Davis can assist students with locating training to improve their basic skills, upon completion of which, they should meet the minimum requirements for apprenticeship training. 

Can I use my Veteran’s Education Benefits to pay for Apprenticeship Training?

Yes, qualifying veterans can use their GI Bill to pay for Apprenticeship Training while they are employed and drawing a salary. For more information on Apprenticeship Training for veterans, please review the Apprenticeship FAQ’s for Veterans.

What apprenticeship programs does Wake Tech offer?

At present, Wake Tech offers apprenticeship programs in Electrical, Plumbing and Pipefitting, and Welding.  

Electrical Apprenticeship
To gain admission to the Electrical Apprenticeship program, an individual must be employed by a company that has a Registered Electrical Apprenticeship Program.  The following is a list of companies in the area that have Registered Apprenticeship Programs.  Any companies not on this list who would like to be included should contact Michael Moore, Director of Apprenticeship Training, at 919-335-1043 or at [email protected].  

Danco Electrical Contractors, Inc.
890 Park Avenue
Youngsville, NC
Contact: Missy Dodrill
Starr Electric
300 Sherwee Drive, Suite B
Raleigh, NC 27603
Contact: Germaine Roach
L.L. Vann Electric, Inc.
833 Purser Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603
Contact: Teresa Diaz
W.B. Moore Electrical Contractors
5112 Departure Drive
Raleigh, NC 27616
Contact: Stacey Cohen
Moonlite Electric & Construction, Inc.
104 Woodwinds Industrial Court
Cary, NC 27511
Contact: Jeannette Sites
Watson Electrical Construction Company, Inc.
2012 Raleigh Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27604

**Wake Tech does not guarantee job placement with any of these companies.  This list is provided as a courtesy for individuals who would like to contact the contractors about potential employment and/or apprenticeship opportunities. 

Plumbing and Pipefitting, and Welding Apprenticeships
The Plumbing and Pipefitting and the Welding Apprenticeship programs are offered in cooperation with Mechanical Trades Carolina, Union Local 421 (MTC).  To gain admission to these programs, qualified candidates should apply to Diane Hendricks, the Career Coordinator for Mechanical Trades Carolina, at 843-554-3655.  

Completion of the CRC Exam with a minimum score of Bronze Level on all 3 Sections is a requirement for admission to the Plumbing and Pipefitting, and Welding Apprenticeship Programs.  

Wake Tech does not guarantee job placement with Mechanical Trades Carolina. This information is provided as a courtesy for individuals who would like to contact MTC about potential employment and/or apprenticeship opportunities.