1. WHAT IS AN APPRENTICE?
2. WHAT IS APPRENTICESHIP?
|A qualified person of legal working age who has entered into a written agreement with
an employer under which the employer is to provide an opportunity for the apprentice
to learn an apprenticeship occupation.
3. WHAT IS A STANDARDS AGREEMENT/671?
|Apprenticeship is a unique, voluntary training through which individuals acquire trade
and craft skills and knowledge. Training combines daily on-the-job instruction in
manipulative skills with periodic classroom (related) instruction in technical subjects
related to work requirements. The training design provides for learning all required
practical and theoretical skills and knowledge for the chosen skilled occupation.
Practical aspects of work are mastered on the job as apprentices are rotated through
all phases of their particular occupations. Theoretical aspects of work are mastered
during related subject instruction in the classroom. Related instruction continues
throughout the apprenticeship term and provides an opportunity to consider, in depth,
the underlying principles of job activities. This arrangement of on-the-job and classroom
instruction is a standard part of typical apprenticeship indenturing agreements. It
ensures the individual’s employability and guarantees competent workers for industry
by providing for learning the complete range of skills and knowledge during training.
4. HOW DOES FEDERAL VOCATIONAL LEGISLATION DEFINE “APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING PROGRAM”?
|A required written agreement or contract between apprentice and program sponsor concerning
the terms of employment and training experience of the apprentice during the learning
period. The agreement sets forth expectations, duties and obligations of each party
for the term of the apprenticeship. Among items typically incorporated into the agreement
are the provision for related instruction, overtime regulations, minimum wage schedule
for each period in the apprenticeship term, and approximate time schedule for training
in different aspects of the occupation.
5. DO THE MILITARY SERVICES OFFER APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS?
|“A program registered with the U. S. Department of Labor or the state apprenticeship
agency in accordance with the Act of August 16, 1937, commonly known as the National
Apprenticeship Act, which is conducted or sponsored by an employer, a group of employers,
or a joint apprenticeship committee representing both employees and a union, and which
contains all terms conditions for the qualification, recruitment, selection, employment
and training apprentices.”
6. IS AN EMPLOYER REQUIRED TO ACCEPT APPRENTICESHIP CREDIT EARNED IN THE MILITARY
OR OTHER RESOURCES?
|Yes. The national apprenticeship system includes over 50,000 apprentices registered
in program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces. Some are civilians.
7. MUST AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM REGISTER WITH THE OFFICE OF APPRENTICESHIP?
8. MUST AN INDIVIDUAL APPRENTICE REGISTER WITH THE OFFICE OF APPRENTICESHIP?
9. MUST PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS THAT OFFER APPRENTICESHIP-RELATED
INSTRUCTION BE REGISTERED WITH THE OFFICE APPRENTICESHIP?
10. ARE APPRENTICES EMPLOYED?
|No; however, many companies generally will allow some credit based on bona fide work
records provided by either the previous employer or prospective employee. In fact,
credit may be given on past employment even if the past employer was not participating
in a registered apprenticeship program. Prospective employers may require testing
to verify the potential employee’s performance level.
11. WHAT RATE OF PAY DO APPRENTICES RECEIVE?
|Yes. Apprentices must be full-time or near full-time employees of the company to which
they are apprenticed. However, in the event of school-to-apprentice programs, registered
apprentices may be part-time. Apprenticeship activities may cease for the apprentice
if either laid off or unemployed. Cessation or continuance of apprenticeship activities
may depend on length of time of layoff or unemployment.
12. WHO DIRECTLY SUPERVISES APPRENTICE WORKING ON THE JOB?
|Usually the wage scale begins at 40%-50% of a journeyperson’s rate and increased progressively
with satisfactory completion of work assignments and training segments. Near the end
of the apprenticeship term, pay ranges from 90%-95% of the full journeyperson’s rate.
13. WHAT IS RELATED INSTRUCTION?
|Apprentices are directly supervised by journeyworker. The ratio of apprentices assigned
to a journeyworker is dependent on the trade or craft involved, union contracts, and
14. WHAT ARE THE SUBJECTS TAUGHT IN RELATED INSTRUCTION?
|Related instruction is the “classroom: portion of apprenticeship and is an integral
part of an apprenticeship program. It provides each apprentice with the related instruction
and technical knowledge base necessary to become a successful journeyworker. It also
provides additional practice and useful example of job-related skills and knowledge
at work. All registered programs include related subject instruction. The National
Apprenticeship and Training Standards require that minimum of 144 per year of apprenticeship
training be provide to each trainee in related and supplementary subjects. This period
of time can be increased by trade and craft standards or by program sponsors if content
warrants the increase. Some industries require as much as 200 to 300 hours yearly
in related subject study by apprentices. Some states require all related training
to be provided by the public school or institutions.
15. IS RELATED INSTRUCTION REQUIRED OF AN APPRENTICESHIP?
|The contents of related subject instructions, like the number of hours required, varies
by trade or craft. In general, the kinds of subjects taught include:
A. The theory, principles, and technical knowledge needed on the job;
B. Auxiliary information that assists workers to better accept and discharge their
C. Occasional manipulative skills that are important to the craft or trade but are
not provided conveniently in the apprentice’s on-the-job training. Frequently this
means that related subjects instruction includes the principles, concepts, and information
that apprentices must know and use from the subject matter such as mathematics, general
physical sciences, safety, basic measurement, and blueprint reading, as well as the
study of trade-specific materials and work processes and procedures. In addition,
related subject instruction helps to ensure that workers can communicate effectively
in job-specific ways, can work effectively in organizations, and have knowledge about
apprenticeship system. However, regardless of the trade, craft, or situation, the
subject matter is current on job demands, practical, and directly useful in working
in the craft or trade.
16. MUST AN APPRENTICE COMPLETE THE PROGRAM OF RELATED INSTRUCTION?
|Yes, the arrangement of on-the-job and related instruction is a standard part of typical
apprenticeship indenturing agreements.
17. HOW LONG DOES RELATED INSTRUCTION LAST?
|In order to be certified as a completer by the Office of Apprenticeship, an apprentice
must attend and successfully complete the program of related instruction.
18. HOW MANY HOURS OF RELATED INSTRUCTION ARE REQUIRED PER YEAR?
|Related training (instruction) continues throughout the apprenticeship term.
19. WHERE CAN RELATED INSTRUCTION BE PROVIDED?
|144 hours or more, depending on the craft or trade.
20. WHO DETERMINES RELATED INSTRUCTION?
|At the public secondary schools offering adult education and at postsecondary institutions.
Related instruction can also be conducted at a plant, union hall, etc. Many of the
union apprenticeship programs are fully staffed by journey-level teachers. In extenuation
circumstances for example: when the apprentice lives in a rural area or when the particular
apprenticeable trade population does no warrant class size training, the related training
may be provided to the apprentice(s) by correspondence course or by independent study
arrangements. Some states mandate that the public schools and institutions provide
21. WHEN DOES THE APPRENTICE ATTEND RELATED INSTRUCTION?
|The sponsor of the program established training curriculum. Some trades and crafts
with national associations or unions provide nationally-recognized curriculum; however,
such curriculum may be tailored to the local level need of the program.
22. DO APPRENTICES GET PAID FOR ATTENDING RELATED INSTRUCTION/CLASSES?
|Some apprentices attend related training on weekends or evenings. Other may attend
during the workday. i.e., two days per month.
23. WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR AN OCCUPATION TO BE APPRENTICEABLE?
|If the apprentice attends related training provided during the workday, the employer
may be required to provide half-pay or some other reduced rate of pay. Provisions
for paying apprentices to attend related training would be provided for in the indenturing
agreement or in contractual form.
24. HOW MANY OCCUPATIONS ARE APPRENTICEABLE?
|Apprenticeable occupations generally are defined as those occupations for which:
A. Skills are primarily learned through a combination of on-the-job training supplemented
by related instruction;
B. Requires at least 2000 hours of work experience plus related instruction;
C. Involves manual, mechanical, or technical skills and is practiced industry-wide
as a recognizable trade or craft;
D. Involves the development of a body of skills sufficiently well-defined to be applicable
throughout an industry; and
E. Does not primarily involve only selling, managerial, clerical, or professional
25. WHAT SPECIFIC OCCUPATIONS ARE APPENTICEABLE?
|As of February 01 2012, over 1000 occupations were recognized by the U. S. Department
of Labor as being apprenticeable. More are added from year to year.
26. WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF APPRENTICES?
|Too numerous to mention here; however, the current occupations “by the Office of Apprenticeship
are available from your local Office of Apprenticeship Representative.
27. WHO PAYS FOR THE APPRENTICE PROGRAM?
|Requirements vary depending upon the apprenticeable trade or craft. Some require very
specific educational requirements; however, most require a high school diploma or
28. WHAT IS A PROGRAM SPONSOR?
|The program sponsor plans, administers, and pays for the program.
29. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROGRAM SPONSOR?
|The program sponsor can be individual employers, groups of employers, or combinations
of employers and unions, combination of equal numbers of employers and unions are
called joint labor management apprenticeship committees. The term often is shortened
to Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) or Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee
(JATC). The latter term, JATC, applies if the committee administers a journeyperson
training program to upgrade skills in addition to directing an apprentice program.
Committees may represent labor and management interests at the national, state, or
local level. Program sponsors may be governmental agencies at all levels, including
universities and the military.
30. WHAT IS THE OFFICE OF APPRENTICESHIP?
|The sponsor sets policy concerning the conduct of the program. The sponsor’s jurisdiction
includes selecting and indenturing apprentices, supervising training, establishing
training curriculum, and certifying apprentices as journeyworker upon completion of
31. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR OFFICE OF APPRENTICESHIP IN
|It is an agency of the United States Department of Labor that stimulated and assists
industry in the development, expansion, and improvement of apprenticeship and training
programs. The Office of Apprenticeship’s principal functions is to encourage the establishment
of sound apprenticeship and training programs and to provide technical assistance
to industry in setting up such programs.
32. HOW CAN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION ASSIST THE APPRENTICESHIP SYSTEM?
|The federal role, as authorized by the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937, is to
promote labor standards that safeguard the welfare of apprentices and to guide, improve,
and assist apprenticeship. The Office of Apprenticeship is also responsible for registering
apprenticeship programs and individual apprentices.
33. WHAT IS A JOURNEYWORKER?
|By providing evaluation and assessment services, associate degree programs, pre-apprenticeship
experiences, curriculum development projects, instructor training and certification,
related instruction, and advisory committee participation. Few of these are provided
to the apprenticeship system. Generally, the related instruction is the most common
type of service available from the educational system.
34. TO BE IN AN APPRENTICE PROGRAM, MUST THE APPRENTICE BE A MEMBER OF A LABOR UNION?
35. WHAT PERCENT OF APPRENTICES ARE NOT MEMBERS OF (ORGANIZED LABOR) UNIONS?
36. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AGE OF APPRENTICES?
37. WHAT IS A SCHOOL-TO-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM?
|A worker who has satisfactorily completed an apprenticeship and is classified as a
skilled worker in that trade or craft. The journeyworker level of competency is conferred
by a registered program sponsor.
38. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A SCHOOL-TO-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM?
|It is a collaborative effort between business, industry, labor, the Office of Apprenticeship,
and education. The linkage may serve secondary, postsecondary, or adult students.
School-to-Apprenticeship Programs are similar to cooperative education; both involve
formalized on-the-job training and require related classroom instruction. Sometimes,
school-to-apprenticeship is part of co-op, with co-op coordinators recruiting the
youth, assisting in placement, and arranging for related instruction.
39. DOES THE OFFICE OF APPRENTICESHIP PROVIDE JOURNEYWORKER CERTIFICATION TO APPRENTICES
AFTER COMPLETION OF THEIR APPRENTICESHIP?
|To enable persons to achieve apprenticeship entrance competencies and advanced standing
while achieving their formal educational requirements. Students are guided into part-time
(cooperative) employment or preparatory in-school training as registered, part-time
apprentices leading to an accepted journeyworker level as an occupational goal, including
transition to full-time registered apprenticeship upon satisfactory completion of
the formal vocational/technical program.
40. HOW MANY PE0PLE PARTICIPATE NATIONALLY IN THE APPRENTICEESHIP PROGRAM?
|No. The Office of Apprenticeship provides only a certificate of completion of the
apprenticeship program. The Office of Apprenticeship does not certify completers of
the apprenticeship as journeyworkers. If the apprentice is a member of a union, the
union (under its own rules) may provide journeyworker certification.
41. CAN APPRENTICES EARN COLLEGE CREDIT FOR THE APPRENTICESHIP EXPERIENCE?
|National 1987 data indicated that each year approximately 320,000 individuals participated
in 45,000 registered apprenticeship programs. National 1989 data indicated that 22%
of the apprentices were minorities and 7% were females.
42. WHY IS APPRENTICESHIP IMPORTANT FOR THE APPRENTICE?
|Yes. Most technical colleges offer college credit for many apprentices. Many large
corporations/unions nationally have transferred apprenticeship-related training to
postsecondary institutions from non-postsecondary schools in order for the apprentices
to receive college credit.
43. WHY IS APPRENTICESHIP IMPORTANT TO THE PROGRAM SPONSOR?
|(a) Gaining varied skills through instruction and experience in all major aspects
of a trade or craft; (b) Learning to work in harmony with different types of trades
and crafts people in a work setting (c) Learning to work in a company or work organization;
44. HOW LONG DOES A TRADITIONAL APPRENTICESHIP LAST?
|For the program sponsor, the advantages for participating in the apprenticeship training
system include the following:
A. Developing and ensuring a supply of trained, skilled, and knowledgeable workers
and supervisors for their occupations:
B. Increasing workers productivity, overall skill levels, and versatility;
C. Lessening the need for supervision of employees by developing initiative, pride
in craftsmanship, speed and accuracy in work; and
D. Continuing to attract a constant flow of capable people in the trade or craft.
45. HOW LONG DO PERFORMANCE-BASED APPRENTICESHIPS LAST?
|The traditional apprenticeship system stipulates requirements about the time-period
for training. For example, the required length of time for training ranges from one
to six years, depending upon the specific trade. The majority of programs require
three to four years of work and study to complete an apprenticeship.
46. WHAT IS A STATE APPRENTICESHIP COUNCIL (SAC)?
|Under the performance-based approach, the time required by an apprentice to accomplish
individual tasks and complete the overall program depends on the apprentice’s ability
to complete the work. Apprentices are permitted to move ahead at their own pace, depending
on their prior training, ability to master the task, and motivation to progress.
47. ARE STATE APPRENTICESHIP COUNCILS REQUIRED BY LAW?
|A council created by a state to encourage apprenticeship training within the state’s
industries and by establishing minimum standards as a basis for apprenticeship training.
The councils also assist and promote interest in the establishment of apprenticeship
training and by serving as a clearinghouse for all matters pertaining to apprenticeship
training in the state. The councils work in cooperation with the Office of Apprenticeship.
Each council uses the Office of Apprenticeship standards establishing programs but
may add any other state requirements in addition to the Office of Apprenticeship specifications.
48. WHAT OCCUPATIONS ARE GENERALLY ACCEPTED TO HAVE THE LARGEST NUMBER OF APPRENTICES?
|State Apprenticeship Councils are not required by federal law. Throughout the U.S.
32 states do have such state councils.
49. WHAT DOES THE TERM “WORK EXPERIENCE” MEAN IN RELATION TO APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS?
|Electrician, carpenter, plumber, pipe fitter and sheet metal worker. In fact, nearly
80% of all registered apprentices in the United States are in the building or metal
50. WHERE DO INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN BECOMING APPRENTICES GO TO FIND ABOUT SUCH
|The time apprentices spend on the job under journeyworker supervision, learning step-by-step,
through demonstration and practice, the individual work process of a chosen skilled
|Individuals should get in touch with their local employment service office or the
appropriate joint apprenticeship committee, union, or employers for the craft they
want to enter.