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You probably have a lot of questions running through your head about your future - education/training, potential occupations, and of course, wondering how to make it all happen.

Apprenticeship is an employer-sponsored training that allows students with a high school diploma or GED to work in their field of interest, getting on-the-job, hands-on experience while earning a salary. Not only do you get to dive into your future career, you take college courses part-time, working toward an Associate Degree. With The Maine Apprenticeship Program, you can earn while you learn!

Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from an Apprenticeship:

  • Receive wages and benefits. You are an employee of your sponsor. If you comply with all the program requirements, you receive an increasing scale of wages during the entire training period - as your skills grow, so does your paycheck.
  • Get on-the-job learning under the supervision of skilled experts in your occupation of interest.
  • Increased knowledge through academic and theoretical courses.
  • Up to HALF of your tuition costs are reimbursed by The Maine Apprenticeship Program.
  • Have a detailed, planned training schedule for your time as an Apprentice. The Registered Apprenticeship program will make sure that the training will meet the standards for your field.
  • Earn local, state, and/or national recognition for your successful completion of the program.
  • Get your career started on the right foot by receiving vital training and college courses that take advantage of your abilities and interests.
  • Acquire the skills necessary to advance more quickly to positions with higher responsibility and pay.

Contact your high school counselor, work-based learning coordinator, community college advisor, or the Maine Apprenticeship Director for more information about the doors that Apprenticeship can open for you.

How long does an Apprenticeship usually last?

To earn your certificate of completion and achieve journeyperson status (or your occupation’s equivalent level), ex:

  • Approximately two to four years of work and school training, a portion of which can be completed during high school. This depends on the occupation. A full-time Apprentice can expect related instruction to be 180 hours per year and on-the-job training for 2,000 hours per year.

Once you determine an occupation of interest, you need to find a job with a Maine Apprenticeship Program sponsor. This may be a company with an existing program or a new company that is willing to register a program. Program sponsors individually determine when they will take applications.

Common Misconceptions about Apprenticeship

  • Fiction: Becoming an apprentice is as simple as filling in an application.
  • Fact: Apprenticeship is full-time employment under a Registered Apprenticeship sponsor who is openly recruiting new apprentices. Most sponsors will place recruitment ads where other job opportunities are listed.

  • Fiction: Apprenticeship programs are for students over 18 years old
  • Fact: The student must be at least 16 years old and have a GED
  • Fiction: Apprenticeships are only available in the "traditional trades"
  • Fact: There is a huge variety of apprenticeable occupations—over 800 to choose from in fields like Culinary Arts, Information Technology, Cosmetology, Mechanics/Repair. There are always new Apprenticeships being developed so you are bound to find an occupation that fits your abilities and interests.
  • Fiction: Apprenticeships are only for students who aren’t “cut out” for college
  • Fact: Apprenticeship requires knowledge as well as skill. Part of your Apprenticeship includes the educational component, which requires you to take college courses to eventually earn an associate degree. Apprenticeship in the 21st century requires related instruction as well as on-the-job training. Many apprenticeable occupations require at least an associate’s degree, while some professions require a bachelor’s degree. Many professions require extensive math skills, i.e. electronics, electricians, computer repair technicians, etc. The difference is you immediately get to put academic theory into practice. Apprentices learn skills in the context of their occupations and the way that they will be used.
  • Fiction: Once you start an Apprenticeship, there is no turning back
  • Fact: Apprenticeships demand a strong commitment, but in the event that you choose an occupation that does not fit for you, there is the ability to cancel the Apprenticeship.
  • Fiction: Apprenticeship exploits cheap student labor
  • Fact: Apprentices earn wages, even while they are training. You typically start out being paid a certain percentage of the salary given to a professional or journeyman in your occupation. As you develop more skills and understanding, your pay increases for every fixed number of hours of training you complete.

Did you know…?

  • There are over 1,000 apprenticeable occupations.
  • According to the Urban Institute apprentice graduates earn up to $250,000 more over their lifetime than Associate degree graduates AND they may graduate at the top of the pay scale with less college debt.
  • Apprentices gain work credentials/certifications upon their completion of the Apprenticeship program that are recognized in all 50 states and in some foreign countries.

Learn More

To find out more about the Maine Apprenticeship Program, contact your Maine's Apprenticeship Program Specialist.