Apprenticeship Opportunities

Apprenticeship Programs

An apprenticeship is a combination of on the job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs are operated on a voluntary basis by employers, employer associations, or management and labor groups (unions). The Federal and State Governments are also involved in that they promote the establishment of apprentice programs and in that they provide technical assistance to program sponsors. The related classroom instruction is usually given in the program sponsor’s training facility. Most trades require four to five years to complete a program. 

A typical apprentice is a person who is...

  • Being trained on the job in a particular trade by a skilled worker as part of a planned program; 
  • Taking classroom instruction (through adult education, at a community college, or in regular school if on a part-time job); and 
  • In training anywhere from one to six years (depending upon the trade—averaging three to four years).

Additional Facts 

  • Employment is based on supply and demand 
  • The person wanting an apprenticeship may apply to and have a contract with an employer in the trade, the association of employers, the joint apprenticeship committee, and/or the organization of employees registered with the apprenticeship council.

Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association

PACA logo
The Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association (PACA) exists to inform and promote apprenticeship; especially in the unionized building trades. PACA has provided information to help you decide if you have the aptitude and ability to train for a career in the construction industry.
The United States skills gap…
Four years of college isn’t for everyone and the job market isn’t set up for everyone to need a four-year degree. Trade jobs account for 54% of the labor market*, and in 2017 approximately 40% of job growth will be the estimated 2.5 million new middle skill* jobs that are being added to the workforce. The United States has a skills gap, meaning there are more job opportunities than there are skilled labor to fill them.
Data Source: “Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required” The New York Times (2017)
** Data Source: “Where the Jobs Are: The New Blue Collar” USA Today (2014)
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