What does apprentice mean? How do you define apprentice? Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary training for individuals to acquire skills and knowledge to perform a job to an industry standard. That is the common apprenticeship definition.

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom technical instruction. They provide practical, hands on training that is perfect for students that learn better by seeing and doing. This is combined with a strong theoretical background knowledge to be able to enter a highly skilled industry or occupation.

Apprenticeships are available in a broad category of industries.  You can find on-the-job training in fields such as agriculture to manufacturing and construction as well as healthcare.

Technical training can occur at a college, trade or vocational school, trade union, a private employer or online.

Apprenticeships allows you the ability to earn an income while you learn as they provide pay during the training period.

Apprenticeships are regulated by individual states and each state has a specific agency that oversees the credentialing of apprenticeship programs.




A paycheck: You will begin to earn a salary from day one and income will rise with time as you gain proficiency in your trade. The average starting wage for an apprentice is approximately $15.00 per hour.

Hands-on Training: You will gain work experience with on-the-job training.

An education: You will receive classroom training with the possibility of earning college credit, potentially paid by the employer.

A career: Once you graduate, you will have the skills to enter the labor force with a competitive salary and little to no student load debt to pay off.

Certification: You will graduate with a nationally recognized training certificate in your field allowing you to work anywhere in the country.




The duration of an apprenticeship program varies and depends on the complexity of the occupation and the type of program.

Most programs are about four years in length but can range from one to six years. 

Each year spent in an apprenticeship, the apprentice typically receives about 2000 hours of on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours of instruction in the classroom.




Apprenticeships that are registered must meet national standards for quality set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies).

To be a registered apprenticeship program, training must meet the following criteria:

(1) Employers provide an income to participants during the 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;

(5) training results in an industry-recognized credential.




Use this site to find an apprenticeship. You can explore different careers to see if the skills required or the type of work each field involves interests you. There are over three hundred job descriptions available for you to explore and learn more.

Go to the SEARCH page and enter a career or job name to find more information about that field. Information provided for each career includes job growth prospects, income levels, typical education required to enter that field, skills and knowledge base used in that field. May job descriptions also includes a video describing providing more details about that career field.

Go to the SITE MAP page to see careers divided by growth prospects, industry sector, training levels required or potential for income.

Go to a STATE’S PAGE to get details about what careers are paying well or have good job prospects currently or expected to grow in the future. Contact the state’s office(s) that regulate apprenticeships to learn more about the opportunities available within each state.

Search for apprenticeship jobs: Search NATIONALLY or by individual STATE.




  • 505000Apprentices currently enrolled in a program
  • 206000New apprentices entering the apprenticeship system
  • 49000Apprentices graduated
  • 21000Registered apprenticeship programs
  • 1700New apprenticeship programs started

Secretary Acosta meets BMW U.S. employees Eric
Bunts, Carmin Rodriguez Valenti and Richard Young.