An apprenticeship program is a course of education that is based on on-the-job experience. Furthermore, an apprenticeship program usually focuses on one trade or skill rather than on a variety of subject areas. For example, someone trying to get started in event photography might apprentice for a photographer who makes a living shooting events. Alternatively, someone interested in learning how to become a car mechanic might apprentice at a garage. Apprenticeship training can take anywhere from one to six years, depending on the trade. In general, you have to be eighteen years old to begin an apprenticeship program. However, it is possible to begin apprenticing at the age of sixteen with parental permission.
Apprentices function as both assistants and shadows to their employers. Because of the nature of apprenticeships, it is possible to learn a great deal about an industry in a rather short amount of time. Furthermore, all of the learning is hands-on rather than theoretical. While apprentices may have to take care of a good deal of menial tasks, they also get the ability to watch professionals in action, which is a great way to learn a trade. One unique aspect of apprenticeship programs is that, while learning a particular trade, it is also possible to learn the business behind the trade.
One of the major benefits of participating in an apprenticeship program is that you can earn money while you are learning a trade. It is important to note, however, that there are many employers in the market who, although they might be impressed with the credentials that you will gain in an apprenticeship program, require a diploma from an accredited institution in order to consider you for a position.
Research the field that interests you and find out what employers are looking for. If most employers are looking for a two year degree or a four year degree, consider including an apprenticeship program in your degree. It is possible that you will be able to earn college credit for your work as an apprentice. Many colleges offer credit to students who complete apprenticeship and internship programs.
Many states offer information about apprenticeship programs on their Department of Labor and Industries websites. Consider researching the information on your state's website or calling your Department of Labor for more information. The United States Department of Labor website also has information that is helpful to people throughout the country about finding jobs and participating in apprenticeship programs.