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Learn About Registered Apprenticeships

What is a registered apprenticeship?

Registered apprenticeships are an earn-while-you-learn approach to launching an excellent career in hundreds of different occupations, including chef, child care development specialist, dental assistant, and several occupations in construction, health, and public safety, to name a few.

Apprentices receive a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related technical instruction (RTI) to master the practical and theoretical aspects of a skilled occupation.

During the on-the-job training, apprentices learn to do increasingly difficult tasks under the supervision of an experienced journey worker. OJT typically involves a full eight-hour work day, or at least 2,000 hours a year for each year of the apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs normally last between four and six years, with four years being the average.

In the related technical instruction portion of the program, apprentices attend classes at a community or technical college or other training institution. Classes are normally taught in the evening after a regular eight-hour workday, although some programs involve daytime or weekend classes. Apprentices take at least 144 hours of related technical instruction per year, for each year of the apprenticeship program.

Apprentices earn wages throughout the program. Beginning apprentices often start at one-half the pay rate that experienced and fully qualified workers (called journey workers) earn. As apprentices gain more skills and are able to work with less supervision, they enjoy periodic pay raises.

After successfully completing the program, graduating apprentices normally continue working for the same company where they received their on-the-job training. They also receive a Certificate of Completion from the United States Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship (USDOL-OA) which is recognized throughout the nation. This industry-valued, nationally recognized credential makes it easier for journey workers to find work in the same industry if the local job market suffers a downturn.

Applying for an apprenticeship program is similar to applying for a job.

The businesses or labor organizations that sponsor apprentices invest considerable time and money in each apprentice. The selection process is designed to identify applicants who are both capable of success and committed to completing the program. Although entrance requirements vary by program, applicants may be required to take aptitude or skills tests, have a high school diploma, have work experience in a related field, and be interviewed by a selection committee.

County Apprenticeship Coordinators

New Jersey's County Apprenticeship Coordinators ensure that registered apprentices can complete the classroom instruction part of registered apprenticeship, promote registered apprenticeship training programs to jobseekers, expand registered apprentice sponsorship to employers in existing and new occupational areas, and assist in the development of career ladders from high school to registered apprenticeship training and to related collegiate degree programs. To request more information from your County Apprenticeship Coordinator, please visit the  County Apprenticeship Coordinator Directory.