Apprenticeship & Training Program


Link to

Check out our new website that is exclusively designed for middle and high school students.

VideoEarn While You Learn

Registered Apprenticeship Training - Road to a Real Future

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 a really smart option 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 wage. Not only do you get to dive into your future career, with the Montana 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 considered an employee of your sponsor. You have an increasing scale of wages during the entire training period—as your skills grow, so does your paycheck.
  • Get on-the-job training with the guidance of skilled/experts in your occupation of interest.
  • Receive related instruction related to your Apprenticeship in classroom, home study or correspondence courses.
  • Have a detailed, planned training schedule for your time as an Apprentice. Your Registered Apprenticeship program will make sure that the training will meet the standards for your field.
  • Earn local, state, and federal recognition for your successful completion of the program.
  • Get your career started on the right foot by receiving vital training and related instruction courses that take advantage of your abilities and interests.
  • Acquire the skills necessary to advance more quickly to positions with higher responsibility and pay.
  • Earn nationally recognized certification of your skills upon completion of your Apprenticeship.

Contact your high school counselor, work-based learning coordinator, or the Apprenticeship Coordinator at your local Montana Career Center for more information about the doors that Apprenticeship can open for you. Students who successfully complete a 2-year AAS degree program in electrical technology or plumbing technology at MSU-Northern or Flathead Community College may receive credit towards the 4-year registered electrical or 5-year plumber apprenticeship programs.

How long does an Apprenticeship usually last?
To earn your certificate of completion and achieve journeyperson status (or your occupation’s equivalent level), ex:

  • 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. Apprenticeship programs vary in the length of the term from 2,000 hours to 5 years. The average term for a construction trades apprenticeship is 4 years/ 8,000 hours.

Once you determine an occupation of interest, you need to find a job with a Montana Apprenticeship Program sponsor. This may be a company with an existing program or a new company that is willing to register a program. Some Apprenticeship sponsors can be found on our ATP sponsorship page. This partial listing of program sponsors does not indicate that they are taking applications for Apprenticeship or employment. Program sponsors individually determine when they will take applications. It’s a place to start!

Due to state and federal child labor laws, any high-school-aged Apprentice must be registered in an Apprenticeship program. As a participant in the program, you must abide by the rules and training plan as outlined in the Apprenticeship standards for your particular apprenticeable occupation. Your training plan outlines what you will learn on-the-job as well as the related instruction associated with the occupation.

Common Misconceptions about Apprenticeship
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 level courses.
Apprenticeship in the 21st century requires related instruction as well as on-the-job training. 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. Successful completion of a registered apprenticeship training program is comparable to a 4-year degree relative to earning potential, job security and workplace portability.

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 hundreds of apprenticeable occupations.
  • Apprentice graduates are more likely to become supervisors and less likely to experience unemployment compared with non-apprenticed workers.
  • Apprentices gain work credentials/certifications upon their completion of the Apprenticeship program that are recognized in all 50 states and in some foreign countries.

Apprenticeable Occupations
Examples of occupations in which you can become an Apprentice:

LINKS FOR STUDENTS - An electronic labor exchange that provides job seekers and employers a marketplace to connect online at no cost to them

Job Corps - A no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor

Business, Trade and Technical Schools - Searchable vocational school database and career training resources a complete resource covering the technical schools and programs in the US.