What is an Apprenticeship?
Not all careers require a degree.
Some jobs either require or can benefit from career and technical training that can include on-the-job learning and formal learning. Several tracks in manufacturing, for example, have programs you can complete, become certified, and "earn while you learn."
A great career resource - CareerExploreNW - prepared great information about apprenticeships:
"An apprenticeship is the original 4-year degree and the oldest method of training used to learn a skilled trade. You get to earn while you learn, gaining valuable experience in your chosen occupation. Generally, a 3-5 year program with job site and classroom time. In most apprenticeships, you can expect to gain ninety percent of your education working on the job. You will learn the rest in a classroom and shop from skilled instructors. These classes sometimes earn college credit as well, depending on the organization. Upon graduation, apprentices continue their careers completely debt free."
You don't have to wait until you graduate to begin an apprenticeship. Many programs can begin while you are in high school. Pre-apprenticeships allow you to begin working in your desired field, giving you the knowledge and skills you need to get a head start - often right after graduation.
Learn about programs that can help you prepare for apprenticeships.
The following are additional resources that may provide you with more information to help you learn about available apprenticeships and training you need for a career in your desired field.
Resources provided by WA State Dept of Labor and Industries for the latest policies and opportunities.
Sponsored by the WA State Dept. of Labor & Industries
A "one-stop shop" to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources.
Sponsored by the US Dept. of Labor
Click here to find an apprenticeship program within the State of Washington.
Sponsored by the US Dept. of Labor
Get the information you need about available apprenticeship opportunities in several career fields.
Get information on programs and how to find them throughout Washington.
Careers that Use Apprenticeships
Several industries rely on apprenticeships to train their workforce for high-paying technical careers. For example, careers in aerospace, automotive, machining, and manufacturing industries can include several positions, such as those identified in the following resources.
(More job summary information can be found here.)
What is a pre-apprenticeship program?
Pre-Apprenticeship programs offer an opportunity for people to gain valuable skills that they will need to be successful in their Apprenticeship experience. Many pre-apprenticeship programs are short and cost-effective, allowing participants to determine if the next step, an actual apprenticeship, is right for them. Many vocational high school programs exist to give students 16-18 a chance to experience and learn skills in an environment similar to an apprenticeship or technical program.
What is the benefit of beginning with a pre-apprenticeship program?
Pre-Apprenticeship programs offer learners basic skills necessary for entry into an apprenticeship, things like first aid, applied math, financial literacy, and skills specific to certain trades. The programs are often short and don't cost much to participate in. Pre-Apprenticeship programs often have direct connections to full apprenticeships and can help students get a placement.
Can I get a job directly after completing a pre-apprenticeship program?
Do I have to attend class if I become an apprentice?
What do I get when I complete an apprenticeship?
Upon completing your apprenticeship, you will receive an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate from the Apprenticeship Section of the Department of Labor and Industries and will be recognized as a qualified journey-level worker nationwide. This certificate is one of the oldest, and most highly portable, industry credentials in use today.
What is a journey-level worker?
A journey-level worker is a highly experienced individual who is recognized by a state or federal registration agency, and/or an industry, to be fully qualified to perform the skills of their trade. A journey-level worker has sufficient knowledge and skill of their trade received through formal apprenticeship training or practical work experience.
Who is eligible to apply for an apprenticeship program?