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Apprenticeship FAQ


What is An Apprentice?
An apprentice is an employee who learns a craft through planned, supervised on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction. In addition, apprentices are taught the proper use, care and safe handling of their tools and equipment.

What is the difference between apprenticeship and other types of training?
Apprenticeship includes on-the-job training and classroom instruction which usually occur simultaneously. The result is that apprentices learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of the job. Apprentices are taught all of the craft skills associated with the trade, and not just a few related segments.

How is the training structured?
Most apprenticeship programs last from 2 to 4 years. Apprentices work on actual job sites under the supervision of qualified journey workers. The training may include courses in mathematics, sciences, and other craft-related technical subjects.

What is a journey worker?
A journey worker is a person fully skilled in a trade. Some trades also have a master, which is a higher level of skilled worker.

How much are apprentices paid?
New apprentices typically earn 50 percent of the journey worker wage and, if progress is satisfactory, they usually receive increases every 6 months. Most apprentice entry-level wages range from $9.00 to $11.00 per hour.

Apprentices nearing the end of their training generally earn 90 to 95 percent of the journey worker wage, which typically ranges from $14.00 to $20.00 per hour.

What does it take to qualify as an apprentice?
Qualifications vary from program to program. Almost all require a high school diploma or GED certificate, some basic mathematics and science courses, aptitude and the physical ability to perform the work.

Can I get help to qualify?
Yes. If you are having difficulty with basic math skills, writing or reading comprehension, you should contact Adult Basic Education at 1-800-322-4004.

If you are a woman who needs assistance or training to qualify for entry into a non-traditional trade, you should contact your local Vermont Department of Labor Career Resource Center.

What types of apprenticeship programs are available?
The Apprenticeship Department currently has over 800 Vermonters registered in more than 30 trades. All are employed in the crafts of their choice and, when they complete the program, enjoy continued employment at a higher, skilled rate of pay. These programs include electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, child care development and line maintenance.

How can I become an apprentice?
If you are employed, your employer should contact the Apprenticeship office in Montpelier at 828-5250. An Apprenticeship Field Representative will be sent to make an on-site visit. This representative will help you and your sponsor complete an Apprenticeship Agreement.

If you are not employed, you can find employers who may be interested in a variety of ways, including contacting your local Vermont Department of Labor Career Resource Center. You can also apply directly to employers who employ the type of workers in occupations in which you are interested. For example, if you would like to be a plumbing apprentice, you could apply for work with any of the local plumbing contractors. If you were interested in becoming a child care development specialist, you could check with any of the local day care centers. You may also check with any of the apprenticeship sponsors (link to Apprenticeship Sponsors by Trade) listed on this site. (Being listed as an apprenticeship sponsor does not mean the company is looking for apprentices; it only means that they are participating in the program.)

What is an “Agreement to Indenture” form?
This agreement informs both the program sponsor (employer) and the apprentice of their rights and obligations during the training period. Under the agreement, the apprentice receives supervised instruction, increased job security and periodic wage increases throughout the training period. A sponsor benefits by way of improved job performance as new skills are learned and perfected.

What do I get when I complete the Apprenticeship program?
Each graduate of the Apprenticeship program receives a Completion Certificate. This certificate, recognized nationwide, attests to the apprentice’s achievement and abilities.

How many apprenticeable trades are there?
There are currently over 800 trades that are approved for apprenticeship training in the areas of construction, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, service, transportation, communication, public utilities, wholesale and retail, finance, insurance, real estate and public administration.

What About High School Students?
High school and technical students who are enrolled in a course of study that includes an employer/employee relationship within the community should ask their high school instructor or guidance counselor to contact the Apprenticeship office at 828-5250.

Vermont has developed an Apprenticeship program in order to meet industry’s need for a highly skilled workforce. Apprenticeship can help employers identify skilled training needs within their organizations and assist them in developing a training plan to meet those needs. Qualified employees can increase their job security and advancement potential by learning new skills on-the-job and in the classroom.

If you are an employee who wants to learn new skills with your present employer to advance and earn more money, you should discuss the apprenticeship program with your employer. You can ask that they contact the Apprenticeship Department at 828-5250 for additional information and an on-site visit. If you are not currently employed, you should contact your local Vermont Department of Labor Career Resource Center for job placement assistance or, as above, you can contact employers directly.

If you are an employer who would like to upgrade the skills of your workforce, please feel free to contact the Apprenticeship Department at 828-5250. An Apprenticeship Field Representative will conduct an on-site visit and help you with developing a successful Apprenticeship program.

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