Apprenticeship & Training Program

The Necessary Steps to Becoming a Registered Apprentice

  1. Select a trade / occupation for which you have an interest, aptitude or some previous experience in. Apprenticeship needs to be thought of as a career path choice, not as a temporary job. 
  2. Find out if you meet the minimum qualifications for that trade / occupation. The majority of apprentice-able occupations require a minimum of 18 years of age, a high school degree or a GED equivalent and the physical ability to perform the duties required by the occupation.
  3. Decide whether you can work under the required job conditions, some of which may be hazardous, dirty, in confined spaces, in heights and in all seasonable weather conditions.
  4. Application for an apprenticeship can be with an independent employer in your chosen trade / occupation.  The Montana Apprenticeship and Training Program can provide you with a list of employers in your area that have registered apprenticeship programs and the “Yellow Pages” in your local telephone directory is another good resource for employer availability, but it is up to you to make that initial contact.  The Program suggests that you develop a concise one page resume designed for your job search. Please be aware though, most apprenticeship sponsors/employers will expect an apprentice applicant to work as labor or shop person prior to apprenticeship to verify that the necessary work ethic and base skills can be demonstrated.
  5. Application for an apprenticeship can also be with a union sponsored Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) in your chosen trade or occupation.  Union application announcements can in most cases be found at your local service office, on the Apprenticeship and Training Program website or by contacting the Program for current union application opportunities.  Union sponsored apprenticeship programs unlike the independent sponsor fall under both federal and state regulations that require an announcement of apprenticeship opportunities and a formalized selection procedure.  The majority of union sponsored program in Montana will require a formal application, in some cases a required aptitude test and a formal interview conducted by a joint committee of both labor and management representation.  As a rule, the interview questions are assigned points and the total number of points scored in the interview will place an applicant on a ranking list.  The higher number of points scored, the higher the ranking on the list.  Apprentice applicants are taken off of the list as ranked, as the sponsoring union needs apprentices.  This process which starts with the application and concludes with being placed on a ranking list is common with the majority of union sponsored apprenticeship programs.  On a final note, during a strong economy, ranking list’s as rule are depleted on a timely basis, but during slower economic times, it may take up to several months to be taken off of a ranking list.

The above process stated in items # 4 and 5 would apply to any job search for apprenticeship entry in apprentice-able occupations.  The process is not just exclusive to construction related occupations but would also include health care, the culinary, mechanical and automotive trades.  It is the responsibility of the apprentice applicant to initiate employer contact, but once an interest in apprenticeship has been established, the Apprenticeship and Training Program needs to be contacted for any possible follow-up information and/or possible apprenticeship registration.  The Montana Apprenticeship and Training Program is the legal registration and over sight agency for Apprenticeship and is not a hiring or referral agency and does not provide employment placement with employers.  The Program will provide interested parties with information, direction and other technical assistance concerning registered apprenticeship. 

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