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Summer 2002 Vol. 46, Number 2

Apprenticeships: Career training, credentials—and a paycheck in your pocket

An apprentice grows into a career through a program of on-the-job training and formal instruction. And today’s apprentice has 858 different occupations to choose from.


"I learn new things every day,” says Elizabeth Cummings, who is training as an electrician apprentice. “I get to use my hands and my mind. I’m practically guaranteed a great career in a few years—a job that I know I’ll like and that pays very well.” 

Apprenticeships are available for more than 850 occupations. Construction and manufacturing apprenticeships are most common, but apprenticeships are available for all sorts of occupations. Possibilities range from telecommunications, environmental protection, and pastry making to healthcare, childcare, and the arts. 

What do all of these programs have in common? They combine structured on-the-job training with classroom instruction. 

Apprenticeship also can be combined with other kinds of training. Classroom instruction often counts toward licenses, certifications, and college degrees.

But for all its advantages, apprenticeship takes time and effort. So before deciding if apprenticeship is right for you, keep reading to learn more about what apprenticeship is and how to find, choose, and qualify for a program. 

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: October 08, 2002