The Importance of Apprenticeships

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is deciding what you want to do with your life. The career path you choose can influence your earnings potential and future happiness. For example, if you choose a career that requires years and years of schooling and long hours on the job, you might find yourself dissatisfied, and in debt, pretty quickly.

For many people, becoming an apprentice is the first step on the path toward a fulfilling and well-paying career. When you become an apprentice, you don’t have to spend years in school before you get any actual on-the-job experience. You work and train at the same time.

Learn more about becoming an apprentice and why apprenticeships remain an important career pathway.

What Are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are programs that let students receive an education while working in a particular industry. Don’t confuse an apprenticeship with an internship, though, as the two are notably different.

With an apprenticeship, you typically learn specialized skills that will allow you to perform specific tasks on the job. You’ll most likely also work closely with a mentor during your apprenticeship. Your mentor will give you individualized training and support.

Another notable difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that apprenticeships are always paid. You’ll earn an entry-level salary during it. Once the apprenticeship is over and you’ve successfully completed your training, you can get a full-time job from your employer.

Also, you earn an industry credential at the end of a successful apprenticeship. The credential is nationally recognized, so you can work anywhere in the country.

What Are Examples of Apprenticeship Jobs?

Apprenticeships are available in many industries. You can find apprentice jobs in industries such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Technology
  • Plumbing
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Funeral Direction
  • Meat packaging and butchering
  • Media and performing arts
  • HVAC
  • Distribution
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical/Health care
  • Transportation

Depending on the industry and type of apprenticeship, it might be sponsored by a particular employer or by a trade organization.

Why Should You Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program?

An apprenticeship program might be just what you’re looking for if you’re searching for a new career or aren’t sure where to get started. If you don’t think a four-year program is right for you and would rather earn as you learn, becoming an apprentice is most likely the right choice.

There are a few other reasons to become an apprentice:

  • You get to experience the job: As an apprentice, you’re immersed in the job. You get to see what it’s like to go to work each day, interact with your colleagues, and learn more about the job culture.

  • You earn a salary while training: Apprenticeships are paid, so you don’t have to rely on student loans or other sources of aid. After completing a program, the average starting salary is $72,0001.

  • You can make industry connections: You usually work with a mentor in an apprenticeship program and can connect and network with others in the field.

  • You can earn college credit: Depending on the type of program you participate in, you can earn college credit, which you can transfer to a four-year program if you wish.

  • You can quickly see if a career is a good fit for you: Since you’re working and on the job from day 1 of the apprenticeship, you can quickly discover whether the job is right for you or not.

How to Find Apprenticeship Programs Near You

The admissions office at Orange Technical College can help you find apprenticeship programs nearby. You can also search on the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) apprenticeship job finder.

When you apply for an apprenticeship, you do so directly through the employer or organization. The employer or organization will select candidates based on criteria established by the DOL.

If an apprenticeship appeals to you, drop by the admissions office at the Orange Technical College campus nearest you or request more information online.


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