No matter where you are in your education, an apprenticeship program may be an option available to you. These programs can help you get hands-on experience in your intended field and could lead to a full-time job in the future. We’ll go over the basics of companies offering apprenticeships, what the programs look like, the benefits, and how you can find others.
What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a type of work system that helps an individual get on-the-job training in a specific industry. Depending on the type of apprenticeship, it can lead to licenses, certifications, full-time offers, and even degrees. They used to be reserved to very specific trades, but now a number of industries. You can find apprenticeships in
- Pest Control
- Automotive Service
- Food prep
- Animal care
How Do Apprenticeships Differ from Internships?
Internships tend to only last a few months and can involve any number of job responsibilities. These responsibilities can ramp up as you work there longer.
Apprenticeships, however, can last several years and are more structured. You will learn specific tasks and handle detailed responsibilities during the experience. At the end of the program, you should have mastered certain skills.
How Do Apprenticeships Differ from Trade Schools?
Apprenticeships are directly through a company and are work opportunities. While some companies may have partnerships with trade schools, the experience for the individual is entirely in the classroom.
What are the Pros and Cons that Come with an Apprenticeship?
Like any opportunity, there are pros and cons. A few of the benefits of apprenticeships include:
- Hands on experience
- Can lead to a career or career advancement
- They’re available in a number of industries
- Support from the company
- Potentially higher wages in the long run
- Credentials including qualifications, licenses, certificates, and sometimes degrees
- Increased job satisfaction
- Customized training
- Job security
- Little to no student loan debt
Some of the downsides, though, are:
- Lower pay to start with
- Limited on responsibilities and tasks
- Less recognition for hard work
- Can be handed unwanted or unpleasant responsibilities
- Competition can be steep
- Position may require additional credentials even after the program is completed
Companies with Apprenticeship Programs
Organizations from Walmart to local pest control companies offer apprenticeships. These are just a few of the major companies out there that offer these opportunities – there are really too many to list!
Google offers individuals a number of different options in regards to apprenticeships. The length of the apprenticeship depends entirely on the individual program, but the company offers spots in UX Design, Project Management, Information Technology, Human Resources, and more. In the United States, apprentices will be expected to work 40 hours a week. The program begins with a 3 week onboarding and a 6 week boot camp before on-the-job work starts.
You can learn more about Google’s apprenticeship programs on their website. Individuals who apply need to submit a resume, have a strong academic performance, and have authorization to work in the apprenticeship’s country.
REACH is LinkedIn’s technical apprenticeship program. Individuals who participate in the program will be full-time with all the benefits, but have 20% of the period dedicated to self development. Apprentices will also have a dedicated mentor and participate in real projects.
Those who apply to the program do not need a traditional degree, but it is asked that you have some relevant experience. Details for available summer apprenticeships become available in mid-summer each year with more information being released the following February. Those looking to apply will have to complete an essay, take home project, and virtual interview. Some apprenticeships that were available for 2022 included Site-Reliability Engineer, User Interface Engineer, and Backend Engineer.
Microsoft Leap is a 16 week experience that can help someone reenter the workforce or change their career. Apprentices will learn in the classroom but also receive hands on training with current and ongoing projects. Various areas of work include Azure, Business Program Manager, Cloud Solution Architect, and Cybersecurity Engineer. It’s important to note that some of these programs are only available in specific countries.
As with LinkedIn, some experience is necessary in order to apply.
Enterprise also has an apprenticeship program available to interested parties. Individuals can apply to work in management, sales, car maintenance, or another area of the company. In the management program, apprentices will learn about sales, techniques, customer service, and similar areas of work. Enterprise also hires from within and offers each employee support.
Pinterest, the social media site, offers a number of apprenticeship and development programs. Individuals can apply to positions in Project Management, Product Design, Engineering, UX, and more. Those that are accepted will work on projects that impact the company, have access to a mentor, and receive development opportunities
Some of these programs through Pinterest will require some background experience. For example, the Engineering Apprenticeship program does require applicants to be proficient in at least one programming language. Requirements and responsibilities will depend on the program you apply to. Applications open early in the year.
Lyft’s SWE Apprenticeship Program is designed for those who are interested in software engineering and have already completed a bootcamp in the industry. If accepted, you will have a mentor that will regularly check in and you’ll be involved in the ongoing development of Lyft’s offerings.
Applications to the program become available in the Spring. Those interested should submit a resume, include an interest statement, and complete the application questions. Technical challenges will also be required. Some, upon completion of their apprenticeship at Lyft, will be offered a full-time software engineering position.
Some other companies offering apprenticeships include:
- Lockheed Martin
- Buhler, Inc
- Local employers
How Can You Find Apprenticeships?
As mentioned previously, these are only some of the many companies offering apprenticeships available out there! And they’re not at all limited to IT, management, or design work. So how do you find others?
Many can actually be found on job search sites. Simply use the term apprenticeship to find out what’s available in your area. You may even be able to reach out to individual companies to see if they’re willing to start a program for you.
However, another great resource is actually run by the government. Apprenticeship.Gov’s Apprenticeship Job Finder helps you locate one in your immediate area in any number of industries. You can search by location, company name, keywords, skills, and more to find the perfect opportunity for you. If you make an account, you can save jobs to your profile and apply directly through the website. The site also offers a wealth of resources for career searches, events, and more.
An apprenticeship is a great way to enter a new career field, especially if you’re unhappy with your current job or if you haven’t worked in a bit. There are a wide range of possibilities available to you. Some may require a bit of extra work and experience before you qualify, but they can certainly open the doors to opportunities once you complete the program!
Are you on the search for a job that fits you? Use College Raptor’s FREE Career Finder tool to uncover various career fields, average salaries after you complete your apprenticeship, and what the job growth looks like for that specific industry!