How Do Modern Apprenticeship Programs Work?

October 26, 2015

Apprenticeship programs have evolved in the centuries since their inception as vocational training for boys and young men. Continue reading to learn how modern apprenticeship programs are structured, and explore some of the many occupations that offer apprenticeship opportunities.

How Modern Apprenticeship Programs Work
Modern apprenticeship programs provide both on-the-job training and classroom instruction, allowing apprentices to earn wages while learning a craft or trade. Apprentices usually start out by taking on simple tasks. As time goes on, they progress to more complex tasks.

Sponsoring Employers
Most formal apprenticeship programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, which guarantees that the programs have met standards.

Program Requirements
Prospective apprentices usually need to be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. An agreement between the sponsor and the apprentice outlines the specifics of the individual apprenticeship program.

Available Programs
Apprenticeship programs can be completed in just about any skilled field that lends itself to on-the-job training. Some of the most popular apprenticeships in 2012 included programs for carpenters, electricians, stonemasons, elevator repairers, pipefitters, plumbers, glaziers and steelworkers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

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Northwood University Partnership:
The Michigan Chamber has partnered with Northwood University to help educate future business leaders on Michigan’s business climate. This two-fold partnership offers a $1,000 scholarship for eligible Northwood University students and a free student membership to all enrolled Northwood students. View the Northwood University Partnership webpage for more information.