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 2,000 hours of full-time work experience and 144 hours of classroom instruction per year.
Apprentices start their training with basic information such as safety, construction math, blueprint reading and proper use and care of tools. As they progress through their apprenticeships, they are trained in advanced areas of their craft to ensure they become well-rounded, independent workers who can handle all aspects of their job.
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 also gets 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 more valuable employees. A key advantage of apprenticeship training is that the employee not only learns how a job is done, but also how his or her employer wants the job done.
Apprenticeship training programs can be from two to five years long. Most are four to five years. During this time, the apprentice works for an employer or trade organization in a craft, applying the information he or she is learning in classroom 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 a 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.
The U.S. Department of Labor administers apprenticeship training, and the administration is sometimes delegated to a 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, the duration of the program and the training and experience employees must complete as part of their apprenticeship. The apprentice's wages at each stage are also agreed upon as part of the registered program, thus ensuring the apprentice is aware of his rate of pay throughout the apprenticeship process.
Registered apprenticeships are high-quality, earn-and-learn training programs that meet the national standards with the U.S. Department of Labor. Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice must first be employed by an apprenticeship sponsor.
Wake Tech and the WakeWorks program currently offer the following apprenticeship programs:
Degree and diploma programs
WakeWorks® Apprenticeship scholarships cover all eligible tuition costs, fees, books and tools. For degree programs, students are eligible for scholarships once they are hired as an apprentice, and funds are applicable after any financial aid is applied.
Yes, qualifying veterans can use their GI Bill benefits to pay for apprenticeship training while they are employed and drawing a salary.
A high school diploma or high school equivalency is required.
Applicants should have the physical strength and abilities to perform the duties of the particular trade for which they wish to apprentice. They also should have basic math skills through algebra and the ability to read and understand written instructional manuals.
Employment with a WakeWorks® partner employer is required to be an apprentice. However, some programs offer pre-apprenticeship opportunities where you can participate for a limited time while you prepare to secure apprenticeship employment with a partner employer.
Complete an interest form and meet with a Career Navigator to learn more about the opportunities available in your field of interest.
Many businesses are struggling to find qualified workers. Apprenticeship provides a customized training program that meets the specific needs of your business.
In developing the program, you work with NCWorks Apprenticeship to determine the skills you want your workers to have and then design the training to meet those needs. The classroom training is then reinforced through on-the-job learning, where the apprentices are taught by an experienced mentor from your company. The end result is highly skilled workers who are trained not only in their craft, but also in how your company does things.
In addition, apprenticeship offers a safer work environment through increased attention to safety training and improved employee retention. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that 91% of individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are still with their employer nine months later.
There are no direct costs or fees for setting up an apprenticeship program. Monitoring the program will require a company to maintain records on each apprentice's work experience. But the costs of the monitoring should be more than offset by the apprentice's improved performance.
While employers can set up their own training programs, they typically find the process too cumbersome. Those who wish to start an apprenticeship program but want others to do the training should contact John Wojcik at 919-335-1225 or [email protected] to discuss training alternatives and assist with the design of a program that ensures the company is receiving training that fits its needs.