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Registered Apprenticeship for Job Seekers

Apprenticeship is post-secondary education like a college or university. But there's a big difference. Apprentices learn only a portion of their skills in a traditional classroom. They receive most of their training on-the-job, while working for an employer who pays a good wage. The employment is the primary requirement for an apprenticeship - a job must exist in order for the apprentice to be trained. The classroom instruction is usually provided through the Wisconsin Technical College system.

Benefits of Apprenticeship How do I become an apprentice? FAQs

Benefits of Apprenticeship

  1. A paycheck
    From day one, you will earn a paycheck guaranteed to increase over time as you learn the skills of your new career.
  2. Hands-on career training
    As an apprentice, you could receive practical on-the-job learning in a wide selection of programs, such as health care, construction, technology, manufacturing and service careers.
  3. An education
    You'll get hands-on training and can earn college credit, even an associate degree, often paid for by your employer, all while earning a great wage!
  4. A career
    Once you complete your apprenticeship, you will be on your way to a successful long-term career with competitive wages, and little or no educational debt.
  5. National industry certification
    Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you'll get a nationally recognized completion certification and can take it anywhere in the U.S.

How do I become an apprentice?

STEP 1: SELECT AN OCCUPATIONAL AREA
Explore what occupations and industry sectors fit your interests. You can search what industries are offered in your location and discover the average income offered. Wages may vary depending on the occupation you choose. Most apprentices begin at approximately 50% of the current skilled wage rate. Occupations may provide a periodic step increase every month or 1,040 hours. Apprentice’s wages must average 60% of the skilled wage rate during the term of the apprenticeship program.

STEP 2: BEGIN APPLYING
Applying for Apprenticeship
The process for applying for an apprenticeship differs based on your industry and occupational interests.

You can apply for most apprenticeships through an employer’s personnel or hiring office:

Often the best chance to obtain an apprenticeship is to find an employer willing to hire you and persuade them to provide skilled training. However, some large industrial/manufacturing plans have a bargaining agreement with a union that makes apprenticeship opportunities only available to workers already employed in their workforce.

The process for construction occupational areas is a little different.

Unlike the other Apprenticeship programs, construction apprenticeships are offered through Local Apprenticeship Committees instead of the employer. You can search for the nearest committee to your area by visiting Local Apprenticeship Committees and searching by county or trade.

Before contacting your Local Apprenticeship Committee, select one or more construction occupations that interest you. Once you have discovered some trades, contact your Local Apprenticeship Committee training office and speak with the Apprenticeship Training Coordinator for further information about beginning your time as an apprentice.

FAQs

Q. Do you provide apprenticeship sponsor listings?
A. Some featured sponsors choose to be listed or post openings on Wisconsin Job Center.

Q. Is there a waiting period before I can enter apprenticeship?
A. The waiting period to begin the program varies from trade to trade and depends on whether employers have jobs available. Once eligible for the program, applicants may wait several weeks or months, depending on economic conditions and employment opportunities.

Q. What happens when I become a registered apprentice?
A. You will sign a legal document called an Apprentice Contract between yourself, your apprenticeship sponsor, and the State of Wisconsin. This contract identifies the responsibilities and obligations that each party must hold as part of the apprenticeship.

Q. What is my cost for apprenticeship training?
A. Normal costs are tuition and books required for the course of instruction. The method used varies and costs are typically minimal compared to other educational programs.

Q. Can my current employer participate in apprenticeship training?
A. Yes, providing the occupation and your employer meet all eligibility requirements.

Q. Who do I contact for information in my area?
A. Once you've found a trade or trades that suit you, your best source for apprenticeship information is your local Apprenticeship Training Representative (ATR).