• An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional. Workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation while earning wages and benefits for the job. After completing an apprenticeship program, the worker's journey-level status provides an additional benefit of nationwide mobility at the journey-level scale.

    • Apprenticeships are available in over 1,000 occupations.
    • The majority of apprenticeship programs are in construction and manufacturing.
    • Employers and employee associations manage apprenticeship programs, choose apprentices, and pay their wages.
    • Apprentices who complete a registered program receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor. They then become journey workers.
    • Most programs require that the applicants be 18 years old and a high school graduate.
    • Apprentices are employees and are paid at least minimum wage for their work.

    How to become an apprentice

    1. Find a Program
      • Look for apprenticeship programs in your area at The Washington Department of Labor and Industries.
      • Contact trade associations, unions, and other professional organizations.
    2. Complete an application
      • Once you have found a program, contact the organization directly for application materials and take any required tests.
    3. Interview
      • An apprenticeship interview is like a job interview. Arrive early. Be courteous and friendly to everyone you meet. Emphasize that you are willing to work hard and eager to learn. After the interview, an applicant is given a numerical rating based on his/her employment history, education, skills, test scores, an interview. Applicants are then ranked and put on a waiting list to be placed into a program.