Engaging in apprenticeships can increase your professional experience, boost your industry knowledge and improve your skills before you start your career. Understanding what apprenticeships are and the benefits they offer, such as pay, is useful when considering what opportunities to pursue to advance your career. Preparing ahead of time can be valuable for your future. In this article, we explain what an apprenticeship is, discuss the ones that might pay and list eight different ones you can consider.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a way for individuals studying trade techniques or other professions to gain practical experiences before entering their professional industry. For example, if you wanted to be a welder, you might pursue an apprenticeship with someone currently working as one to engage in an immersive learning experience. These technical practices are processes that professionals demonstrate to their apprentices while working on actual projects. After observation periods, apprentices can work on performing these processes themselves with the guidance of their professional mentors.
Besides providing you with professional experience, apprenticeships may provide compensation for the work you do. This means they can offer you pay, professional experience and the ability to network with professionals already working in the industry you intend to join. Common requirements include being over the age of 18 and having a high school diploma or general education equivalent.
What does an apprenticeship pay?
The pay you can receive as an apprentice may depend on the individual apprenticeship you engage in and whether it's union or nonunion-based. Other factors may include education or experience level and the location where you earn your apprenticeship. Typically, apprenticeship providers offer to pay at an hourly or salary rate. You can learn more about different apprenticeship pay values by researching offerings in your area.
8 different paying apprenticeships you can engage in professionally
If you're interested in pursuing an apprenticeship, here are eight different ones that often provide pay for you to consider:
Electrician apprenticeships focus on providing emerging electricians with the skills and knowledge they need to pass their professional licensure exams. Apprentices may learn about how to wire electricity for different functions, like lights outside or televisions inside. Other topics might include how to implement electrical wires safely and how to ensure they create no potential risk for clients. These apprenticeships can span from four to six years, depending on whether you choose to engage in them part time or full time.
**Related: 11 Apprenticeship Benefits**
Carpenter apprenticeships focus on helping emerging industry professionals learn how to read blueprints properly, understand specific building codes and create functional wooden structures. Strong math skills can be useful throughout these experiences, especially when measuring wood pieces before you cut them to match the blueprint. These experiences usually take place over four-year periods.
Glassblower apprenticeships teach glass artists how to handle hot glass and mold it effectively into different objects. Examples of what these objects might be are cups, bowls or jewelry. Specific duties mentors can teach you throughout these opportunities are how to use molding tools to form hot glass into different shapes, how to get the glass to reach the right temperature and how to remove air bubbles. You may complete glassblowing apprenticeships within two years, and they usually offer pay to apprentices who are learning the craft.
Plumber apprenticeships focus on teaching apprentices about pipe fitting, unclogging and repairs and appliance installation. Unlike some other apprenticeships, these might require apprentices to engage in traditional instructional learning and practical learning. Instructional learning may include learning about different pipes and their functions. Meanwhile, practical learning might focus more on problem-solving pipe issues. The primary goal of mentors throughout these two- to five-year opportunities is to help prepare you to pass your plumbing licensure exam.
Welder apprenticeships focus on helping emerging professionals learn how to use industry tools properly to connect different pieces of metal. This may include learning how to clamp pieces of metal during welding to ensure the pieces don't move or shift. Apprenticeship mentors might also teach you safety practices to ensure you are safe when handling fire-based welding tools, like blowtorches.
Agriculture apprenticeships focus on providing future farmers with the skills and knowledge they need to grow crops and raise livestock efficiently. When engaging in this type of apprenticeship, you might stay at someone's farm throughout the duration of your apprenticeship and work alongside them. This is a great way for agriculture mentors to share their expertise and knowledge of best practices with you as you're emerging in the industry. The length of these apprenticeships can vary depending on the amount of experience you're looking to gain and the specific opportunity you choose.
7. Business administrator
Business administrator apprenticeships focus on providing future business and administrative professionals with the experience they need to start their professional careers. The work you engage in might include organizing files , managing the front desk, finding times for teams to meet or taking notes during meetings. Depending on your apprenticeship, you might also engage in more specialized tasks, like business analysis or job analysis. If there is something you're interested in learning that you aren't already engaging in, you might communicate that to your supervisor. This might allow them to provide you with a related learning opportunity.
Engineer apprenticeships allow you to engage in professional experiences that are specific to the area of engineering you're interested in, like civil engineering or software engineering. These opportunities are useful because they allow you to engage in different niche areas of engineering and learn about their individual duties. For example, if you did an apprenticeship in civil engineering, you might learn about the different stages and tools professionals use for infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, software engineering apprentices may learn about different digital creation tools and how to identify potential security threats within new or existing software.