Apprenticeship Programs: Earn and Learn

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a talent development strategy that combines on-the-job learning (OJL), related instruction (RI), and mentorship to train individuals to be experts in their field.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program? 

A Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is a proven model of apprenticeship that has been validated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or State Apprenticeship Agency.  RAPs are known for their structure, rigor, and quality and are designed for organizations interested in receiving DOL approval and funding opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the components of Registered Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeships are apprenticeship programs that are well-defined and documented, and are approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  The DOL has been overseeing and registering apprentices in the US for nearly one hundred years.  Registered Apprenticeships are employer-driven and sponsored. A company or union/labor organization sponsoring a Registered Apprenticeship Program determines whom they will employ, and apprentice.

All high-quality Registered Apprenticeship programs consist of five core components.

  1. Employer Designed and Driven
  2. Structured On-the-Job Learning (OJL)
  3. Related Instruction (RI)
  4. Wage Progression
  5. National Credential 

What is an Apprenticeship program sponsor?

Registered Apprenticeship
Any employer, association, committee, or organization that operates a Registered Apprenticeship Program. This entity assumes the full responsibility for administration and operation of the apprenticeship program. Sponsors can be a single business or a consortium of businesses. Alternatively, the sponsor can be a workforce intermediary, such as an industry association or a labor-management organization. Community colleges and community-based organizations can also serve as sponsors of apprenticeship programs.

Sponsors design and execute apprenticeship programs, provide jobs to apprentices, oversee training development, and provide hands-on learning and technical instruction for apprentices. The programs operate on a voluntary basis and they often receive support by collaborating with community-based organizations, educational institutions, the workforce system, and other stakeholders. 

Is Apprenticeship a job?

Yes! Apprenticeship is an “earn and learn” model – apprentices start working and earning wages from the first day on the job.  Apprentices obtain paid, on-the-job learning (OJL), related instruction (RI), and a DOL certificate of completion or journeyperson card, both which are a nationally-recognized, portable credential demonstrating an apprentice's mastery of chosen occupation that is widely understood in business and industry. 

What is the length of a Registered Apprenticeship?

Depending on the occupation, Registered Apprenticeships lasts from one to six years. For each year of the registered apprenticeship, the apprentice typically receives 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning (OJL) and 144 hours of related instruction (RI) in college classes. A majority of apprenticeships last four years in length. 

Can previous work or classroom experience be used towards completion of an Apprenticeship program?

Yes, but it varies by program. If your prior coursework aligns with a registered apprentice program, and your sponsor approves this coursework as relevant, then it may count toward completion of your apprenticeship program. A determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. With accepted credit, you are required to participate in at least 6 months (equivalent to 1,000 hours) of a Registered Apprenticeship Program to complete the credential. 

Do you earn college credit while participating in an Apprenticeship program?

Yes! Most apprenticeship opportunities include on-the-job learning and classroom instruction. Therefore, apprentices can earn up to 45 credits toward a certificate or degree.

What will I receive after I complete a Registered Apprenticeship program?

The Office of Apprenticeship or the State Apprenticeship Agency grant apprentices who have successfully completed a registered apprenticeship program with a nationally recognized Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship.

Available Apprenticeship Programs

Oakland Community College in cooperation with local employers, offers the required related instruction (RI) for apprentices, advises and approves the apprentices sequence of courses to ensure compliance with apprenticeship standards for the occupation and company.  Upon completion of a defined apprenticeship program, apprentices are encouraged to apply for certificates and degrees from Oakland Community College. 

Please note, employee-in-training (EIT) programs (non-apprentice) are also available for employers.

Over the next 5 years, 37% of Michigan's Job Growth will be via education and training programs live ApprenticeshipsMichigan Ranks 8th in the nation with over 14,000 apprenticeshipsMichigan has 1,181 Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship Student