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What Is an Apprenticeship?

If you are interested in pursuing a new career or expanding your job opportunities, you might be wondering if an apprenticeship is the right path for you. Perhaps you have heard of a friend or family member who used an apprenticeship to gain employment, or maybe you are simply curious about what an apprenticeship entails.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at what an apprenticeship is, what the benefits are for taking this path, what industries typically use apprenticeships, and what you can do to land one.


Apprenticeship Definition

Before diving into why you might choose an apprenticeship, let’s first answer, what is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a method for training a new employee for a particular skill or trade. Through on-the-job training, educational opportunities, and working alongside a seasoned mentor, an apprentice is able to potentially earn licensure or credentials in a specific field.



Apprenticeship vs. Internship

Distinctly unique from one another, an apprenticeship and internship differ in the following key ways:

  • An apprenticeship is a long-term role. Internships typically only last a few months, whereas apprenticeships often span years.
  • An apprenticeship is a structured training program that usually involves a combination of on-the-job training and coursework. An internship is less structured and doesn’t involve the high level of training found in an apprenticeship.
  • An apprenticeship is a paid role, whereas an internship can be unpaid.
  • Apprenticeships are designed to lead to full-time employment. Internships have less of a guarantee of employment at the end of the role.
  • Apprenticeships earn you credentials or licensure at the end of the program. Internships simply offer you on-the-job experience.


Do You Get Paid for an Apprenticeship?

If you are considering an apprenticeship, you might wonder, will I get paid as an apprentice? The answer is yes. Apprenticeships are paid roles. Generally, an apprentice will make a portion of the income that a certified and experienced professional in the same role might earn during an apprenticeship.


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Benefits of an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer numerous benefits, particularly for those who are looking for a new career path or are just entering the job field. Unlike attending a university, which comes at a high cost, apprenticeships allow you the chance to earn money while you develop a skill set.

The following are all reasons why you might consider becoming an apprentice:

  • Making money while being trained: One of the top benefits of becoming an apprentice is that you have the ability to make money while learning a new trade. With full-time pay, you can afford to pay your bills while receiving an education.
  • Earning credentials: After the successful completion of an apprenticeship, you will walk away with more than just experience. You will also earn important credentials or licensure that translates to the ability to hold skilled positions.
  • Increasing your potential starting salary: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average starting salary for those who have completed an apprenticeship is $72K.
  • Improving your chances of landing a full-time job: An incredible 92% of those who complete an apprenticeship obtain full-time employment at the end of their program.


Which Career Would Benefit From an Apprenticeship?

There are numerous career paths available for those who choose an apprenticeship. Most apprenticeships focus on trades, but there are also an increasing number of tech-related apprenticeships available.

The following are all common career paths for apprenticeships as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor:



How to Get an Apprenticeship

To become an apprentice, you’ll first need to locate an apprenticeship in your preferred line of work. The U.S. Department of Labor has a dedicated Office of Apprenticeship that works with individual states to create a list of nationally accredited and recognized apprenticeship programs.

Once you find an apprenticeship in your state, you will need to apply for the apprenticeship. In most cases, you will need to meet a certain set of criteria, and you may be asked to undergo additional evaluations.


Starting out on your career path? Check out our entry-level job seeker resource center for more guides to finding the best job for you.

By iHire | March 04, 2022
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