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Careers you can begin with an apprenticeship.

Launching a career via an apprenticeship has become a popular and viable alternative to obtaining a 4-year college degree. They can be a great way for younger people, people with a GED or technical certificate and others to both gain the skills they need for their career. Apprenticeships can also be for people who want to renter the workforce or gain new skills. A number of corporations and non-profits provide support, and learn more about apprenticeship jobs and careers below.

Traditionally, apprenticeships have been available in most industrial trades, but today, apprenticeships are offered in many more professions including information technology, software development, hospitality, banking, health care, culinary work and cosmetology. Positions can be found in almost every industry.

Most apprenticeships combine technical instruction with hands-on work during which you learn from a mentor and other professionals. Unlike many internships, apprentices earn while they learn and usually see wages increase as more skills are acquired. Many also get benefits, including health insurance or access to retirement plans.

At the end of an apprenticeship, the apprentice receives one or more nationally recognized certifications accepted by employers across the country. They are for younger workers as well as adults. Those certifications can be the foundation for a rewarding, long term career in almost any field.

The length and requirements of apprenticeships vary by industry. Some may take six months while others may require several years. The following are just a few of the careers that offer apprenticeships. There are also many CDL, truck driving training programs as well as apprenticeships, and learn how to get free CDL truck driving.

Examples of industries and types of positions for apprentices

Note all of the income and hourly rates referenced are ranges, and can even be higher based on city or region of the country. As an apprentice, as well as the job they eventually, will probably pay more in “coastal” parts of the country, or NE or western states, that have a higher cos.t of living then say in the central US.

Medical Record Technicians, often referred to as medical coders, are responsible for managing patient records including admission, discharge and treatment documents. Techs must be able to quickly access records and relevant information for medical professionals. Apprenticeships typically consist of 2,080 work-related hours plus 565 instruction hours. The average national salary for medical record technicians ranges from $25,000 to $35,000.




Automotive technicians are the people you trust to repair your vehicles to get you back on the road safely and quickly. Auto techs must be able to diagnose vehicle problems and handle routine matters ranging from refilling fluids and replacing brakes to rotating tires and fixing electrical issues.

Techs should also have good interpersonal skills as they must frequently interact with customers to report findings, discuss repairs and provide advice to keep vehicles in top shape. Apprenticeships vary in length usually lasting for at least one year. Auto tech apprentices earn over $20 an hour. The national median average salary for an auto tech is about $44,050. Companies like Pep Boys offer apprenticeship programs.

HVAC technicians install and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in residential and commercial buildings. Apprentices typically assist with on-site preventative maintenance, routine repair and calibration following installation. The typical apprentice salary is about $17 per hour. Apprenticeships can run between six months and two years. The median salary for HVAC techs is about $50,000, but the top 10% of earners in the field bring in around $70 – 80K annually. The demand for HVAC techs is expected to increase over the next several years.

Welders work in manufacturing to fabricate metal parts and products but are also in high demand in the auto, aerospace and construction industries. Welding apprenticeships vary in length depending on the company and program. They generally require at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and 3-4 years of working under the supervision of a licensed journeyman.

Your first year may include everything from carrying tools and running lines to cleaning welds, but by the time your apprenticeship is complete, you'll have most skills of an average journeyman. Apprentice welders earn close to $20 per hour, and the median pay for certificated welders is about $40,000 to $50,000.

Carpenters build everything from homes and furniture to cabinetry. Carpentry covers a diverse range of skills and crafts from general carpentry to roofers, joisters and finish carpenters. Apprenticeships typically run 3 to 4 years but may take longer to earn certifications in specialized areas.

Apprentices typically learn a broad variety of skills such as reading blueprints, ordering required materials, measuring, cutting and assembling materials, installing frames, windows and flooring and repairing wood frameworks.  The average annual carpenter salary is $40 to 50,000 a year, and an apprentice can expect to earn about half that amount at the start.





Software developers are in high demand around the world, and the need for developers is expected to increase by at least 10% per year over the decades to come. Apprenticeship programs in this field vary depending on the company. Apprentices typically learn to design, code, develop and test numerous types of applications. Major companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google and others have apprenticeship opportunities for younger workers, minorities, older adults and others.

The program offered by Catalyte provides one apprenticeship example. The program begins with a 22-week pre-apprenticeship at 40 hours per week. A stipend is paid during the final six weeks. Everyone completing the apprenticeship program is offered a job by the company in the form of a 2-year apprenticeship, a duration similar to apprenticeships offered by many companies in this field.

Apprentices work closely with a coach and peers to further develop skills and become more marketable while receiving competitive pay and benefits. According to the company, a Catalyte-trained developer can expect to earn over $100,000 a year within 5 years of graduation from the training program.

Cosmetologists can earn a license through an apprenticeship in 22 states as an alternative to completing beauty school. While an apprenticeship may require more time to complete than a beauty school training program, an apprentice will usually begin hands-on work almost immediately. There are some programs that focus on single mothers as well. A typical apprenticeship requires about 3,000 hours to complete but varies by state.

Cosmetologists, also called hairdressers, provide a variety of beauty services including cutting, coloring and styling hair. They may also perform manicures, pedicures, facials and make-up services. The cosmetology, barber and hairdressing industries are expected to grow at a slightly faster pace than most careers in the country.Apprenticeship career opportunities

Apprentices work with a licensed cosmetologist in a salon to observe and learn techniques. In some states, apprentices may begin at age 16. As an apprentice, you may be responsible to pay for your supplies, plus the cosmetologist may charge a training fee. However, an apprentice may also be paid an hourly fee and a share of the tips. The median annual salary for cosmetologists is $25,000 to $35,000, but top earners make more than $50,000.

Tailors use sewing machines and hand sewing techniques to create and alter clothing such as dresses, blouses, suits and pants to help ensure a correct fit. People depend on tailors to help make them look their best.  Many tailors are self-employed. Others may work in alteration departments of major clothing stores or as costume designers and professional stylists.

A tailor apprenticeship often starts with simple sewing and mending tasks. Apprentices will learn how to measure, mark and adjust hems and seams for alteration, develop a variety of sewing techniques and may also learn about business management if working with a self-employed tailor.

A typical tailor apprenticeship requires 4,000 hours, and a custom tailor apprenticeship may require twice that amount of time. You may have to provide a sewing machine and basic sewing supplies and have at least a basic knowledge of your machine's operation. Tailor apprentices earn about $15 per hour. The average annual salary of a tailor is around $35,000 to $40,000 but some earn more than $60,000.

How to find an apprenticeship role

You can begin looking for an apprenticeship from a variety of sources. Check with local trade unions, community colleges and vocational or training schools, as many of them bring younger people in the the career. Building contractors may provide or know of apprenticeships in carpentry, plumbing, bricklaying and other building trades.







The federal government also offers a free to use directory to find apprenticeship programs in all states. The US Department of Labor owns and operates it, with thousands of companies listed roles. Find the directory here.

In the health field, check with medical centers and larger hospitals for information. If you're interested in tailoring, check with companies like Men's Wearhouse and Nordstrom. Software development and tech apprenticeships are available at many companies including Amazon Web Services, IBM, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft.

The opportunity to receive hands-on training from the start while earning a paycheck can be an attractive alternative to spending weeks in a classroom and running up a significant college or trade school debt. An apprenticeship is a great way to jump-start a career, particularly if you are passionate about working in a specific field. Doing some research and investing a bit of time to discover the right apprenticeship for you can help to launch a long and rewarding career.


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