Not even a century ago if you had made it through high school you were considered well educated and you could easily get a good job. Soon, as more and more people became “well educated” you would need to get a college degree in order to get a good job. Now many people with college degrees are having trouble breaking into the job market. Some people may continue on to graduate school, others can find an internship for a professional level job, yet other may be best served by taking part in an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are similar to internships as they provide on-the-job training. But unlike internships, they are often required before one can truly get started in a highly skilled position. For instance, an engineer may do an internship to get an “in” with the company (and because his or her degree program requires it), whereas and electrician would take part in an apprenticeship in order to learn the tricks of the trade. The apprenticeship training lasts between 1 and 6 years (depending on the skills being learned), and it is during this time that young workers can perfect their craft.
There are many benefits to a registered apprenticeship. For starters, it is a leg up in the working world. Landing an apprenticeship is an immediate job in the industry with entry level wages. These wages increase as you learn the trade and as your knowledge and skills increase. When you finish with the apprenticeship, you receive a certificate of completion. Then no matter where you go, you can be sure that you will be able to be more competitive in that industry because you have already been trained.
It is not all for the benefit of the employee however. Employers can benefit from offering apprenticeships and from hiring those who have already completed one. They are generally better workers. They know the rules and regulations, and they understand how to perform their trade in a safe manner. After spending 6 years learning the trade, those who have completed apprenticeships are much more likely to stick around.
Most of the people who have gone through training for a professional degree completed an internship. Most of those who have gone through training for a highly skilled job have completed an apprenticeship. It is a way of testing the young worker’s mettle to see if they have what it takes to become a skilled worked. If you want to break into one of the skilled labor industries, look into registered apprenticeships offered by your state.
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