Apprenticeships

If you are looking to learn a trade or enter into a profession that interests you, consider doing an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships can be an alternative to higher education.

Unlike college, with an apprenticeship you have the opportunity to go directly into an industry after receiving proper training from an employer. This training is referred to as an earn and learn model because you are getting paid to train and learning along the way. Apprenticeships are becoming more popular in the U.S. because they allow you to enter a program that pays you to learn a trade. It is a great alternative to going off to college because you do not have to obtain any student loans in order to participate in an apprenticeship. Instead of accumulating debt, you can actually make money during an apprenticeship. Many industries offer apprenticeships. From advanced manufacturing to telecommunication, there are a great number of options to explore. To find out more about apprenticeships, how they differ from internships, who benefits from having them and more, refer to the sections below.

Additional Apprenticeship Information

As stated above, apprenticeships are a proven way to prepare you for a job. You will receive job-related training from a curriculum that meets the national skills standards. This type of training allows you to progress and advance your skill set. As your skills increase, some programs will increase your pay. You can begin an apprenticeship either as a new hire or a current employee. This model of training is the most popular strategy in preparing workers in America to compete in today’s economy.

Another advantage to this system is that it keeps you up to date with advanced technology and innovations while training. You can expect your employers to be present for the entirety of the program, especially during the educational process, teaching you what you need to know about the industry.

Apprenticeships are common in traditional industries, such as construction and manufacturing. Many skilled trades, such as plumbing, offer apprenticeship programs. Today, these programs cover a wide spectrum of industries such as health care, information technology, transportation, logistics and energy. Apprenticeships are ideal for you if you fall between the age of 16 to 24 years. There are also adult apprenticeships for you if you are older than 25 years of age.

Components of an Apprenticeship

There are currently five components to the typical, registered apprenticeship program. These components are business involvement, structured on-the-job training, related instructions, rewards for skills gained and receiving nationally-recognized credentials.

Business involvement is just what the name suggests. The employer plays a major part in every apprenticeship program. You can expect them to be involved in every aspect of your apprenticeship. In order to maintain the apprenticeship program, employers are expected to work together with apprenticeship councils, industry associations or other partnerships.

Structured on-the-job training, also known as OJT, is always included in apprenticeships. As an apprentice, you will receive training from experienced mentors that is hands on. Training usually takes place on the job site. During OJT, your mentors will focus on the skills and information you must know so that you can be fully equipped to perform in the industry. This training is customized to the necessities of the employer but must follow national industry standards.

The related instruction component is when the apprenticeship combines OJT learning with instruction related to technical and academic ability that applies to the job. You can expect to learn from business professionals who collaborate with education partners to provide a curriculum that meets the national-level skill standards. You will receive these teachings at a community college, technical school or apprenticeship training school. You could also receive training from the business itself in the form of online content or on the job site.

As an apprentice, you will receive rewards for the skills you learn. You will begin to receive wages as soon as you begin working and receive pay increases as you meet different benchmarks for skills. This training system allows you to be rewarded throughout your training and serves as motivation to help you keep going.

The last component of apprenticeships involves being nationally recognized for completion of the program. Graduates from registered apprenticeships receive nationally recognized credentials. These credentials prove to employers that you are fully qualified for a job in that industry.

Apprenticeships and Internships

There are many differences between apprenticeships and internships. There are advantages to both programs as you are able to receive hands-on training and experience no matter which route you take. If you attend a college or university, internships are sometimes required in order to receive a full-time position, whereas apprenticeships grant you a higher chance of procuring a high paying job once you complete them successfully. Apprenticeships have recently become more common in the United States but have been very popular in Europe for some time. Apprenticeships are usually utilized in industries with highly skilled technical jobs.

Another difference between the two is the time for completion. An apprenticeship takes longer to complete than an internship. While internships can be completed in a semester, you can expect apprenticeships to take a few years. As an intern, you will gain work experience, but as an apprentice you will likely be offered a position when the program ends. You can also expect apprenticeships to have some sort of classroom instruction unlike internships. Depending on the industry, apprenticeships can be very competitive to get into. This is because you get paid to learn. There are some internships that do not pay you at all. When you do get paid from an internship, it is usually a stipend.

Apprenticeships give you training and responsibility while in the program. You can receive training from internships, but in a big industry, you will not be responsible for much as an intern. Lastly, when comparing these two types of job-based trainings, it is important to note that an internship does not guarantee you a job. You may not receive an offer from an employer for simply completing an internship, but it certainly is a possibility. With an apprenticeship, you are receiving training from the employer. Because they are spending so much time on you and equipping you with the tools and knowledge to perform the job, it is more likely for them to offer you a position at the end of the program.

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