All About Apprenticeships

All About Apprenticeships - IowaWORKS-Southern Iowa Blog

Apprenticeships have been around for a long time but are still a mystery to most people.  Apprenticeships are an opportunity for people to earn an income while they attend school.  When most people think about apprenticeships, they might think of construction occupations.  However over 1,000 occupations can be apprenticed, a list that includes Automobile Mechanic, Candy Maker, and Home Health Aide.  To view the full list, click here.

Apprentices can earn an average starting salary of $50,000 per year while gaining a credential that is equivalent to a 2 or 4 year college degree.  A Registered apprentice starts working from day one with incremental wage increases as they become more proficient.  The average starting wage for an apprentice is approximately $15 per hour.

So what makes Registered Apprenticeship different from other types of work-based learning?  Registered Apprenticeship training is distinguished from other types of workplace training by several factors:

  1. Participants who are newly hired (or already employed) earn wages from employers during training;
  2. Programs must meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally-recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies);
  3. Programs provide on-the-job learning and job-related technical instruction;
  4. On-the-job learning is conducted in the work setting under the direction of one or more of the employer’s personnel; and
  5. Training results in an industry-recognized credential.

To qualify for a Registered Apprenticeship Program an employer will determine the minimum qualifications for an individual to apply, similar to a job posting.  Depending on the position the starting age can be 16 to 18 years old.

The length of an apprenticeship program depends on the complexity of the occupation and the type of program (Time-based, Competency-based, or Hybrid). Apprenticeship programs range from one year to six years, but the majority of programs are four years in length. During the program, the apprentice receives both structured, on-the-job training and job-related education. For each year of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will normally receive 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and a recommended minimum of 144 hours of related classroom instruction.

To learn more about this great opportunity for both job seekers and employers, please visit:


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