Exploring Apprenticeships: A Pathway to Skilled Trades Success

If you’re interested in a skilled trades career, you might wonder how to get started. It is true that there are many entry-level positions in this field that don’t require experience. But you’ll still be expected to have some basic skills and knowledge. And the stronger your skills, the more quickly you’ll move up.

In addition, certain roles require a formal certification. Some people choose to attend trade school, but if you’re ready to get started right away, an apprenticeship may be the right option for you.

What Is an Apprenticeship?

At one time, apprenticeships were the only way to learn the skilled trades. Starting at a very young age, kids would become apprentices to master tradespeople. They would begin as assistants and errand-runners, and gradually learn the trade as they grew up. By the time they were young adults, they were full partners, ready to take over the business when the master retired.

Today’s apprenticeships still follow the same basic pattern, but they’re much shorter and open only to adults. The idea is to learn your chosen trade from the ground up by working under the supervision of someone who is a master of that trade. Rather than waiting around for the master to retire, once your training is complete, you can work in that field at your choice of employers.

Are Apprenticeships Only Open to Those in Trade School?

Each company has its own rules and guidelines regarding apprenticeships. Some run their programs more like internships, in which the apprenticeship supplements the training provided at a trade school. Others open their apprenticeships to anyone who is interested in learning their trade and helpful soft skills, without requiring any classroom instruction. And some people find their own apprenticeships outside of the big companies, by working under someone who runs a sole proprietorship.

Regardless of exactly which path you choose, you’ll be paid during your apprenticeship, although at a lower rate than a fully trained employee would be.

How Long Is an Apprenticeship?

While internships typically last only a few months, apprenticeships tend to be longer. This is especially true if yours is not affiliated with a trade school. Different skilled trades, and different employers, have different program lengths. But on average, you can expect to spend between one and three years as an apprentice.

Which Skilled Trades Offer Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are available in nearly all skilled trades. But they are especially common for such roles as, Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC Technicians and even Welders.

An apprenticeship can be an excellent way to build the skills and certifications you need for a long-term career in the skilled trades and in these high-demand industries and jobs. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to work hard and pay close attention, you can quickly start to achieve success.

Ready for a fresh start?

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