How to Find an Apprenticeship
May 19, 2020
Author: Kelsey Zibell, NCCER Guest Contributor
One of the most unique and exciting aspects of starting a career in construction is an apprenticeship. As an apprentice, students become craft professionals through hands-on training and working, all while earning a paycheck and gaining employment within a company.
With a steady increase in apprenticeships since 2013, there were over 585,000 apprenticeships available in 2018 across all industries. As approximately 30% of all active registered apprenticeships are within the construction industry, it’s clear that there are many opportunities through this model in the building crafts.
With all these great opportunities, it’s important to talk about how you can get connected. Here is a walk-through of how to find apprenticeships near you.
National Apprenticeship Database
One of the best resources for apprenticeships in the U.S. is the national apprenticeship database. This website is equipped not only with listings for opportunities, but with a plethora of information about the apprenticeship system within the country.
On the website, you can find apprenticeships through individual employers or through program sponsors. After finding an apprenticeship that matches your interests and qualifications, you can apply directly with the company or sponsor.
To search opportunities, type in your desired career path or craft focus and enter your city. This will pull up the available opportunities within your area. While this website doesn’t provide a comprehensive list of available apprenticeship opportunities near you, this is a great start for discovering what companies are offering learning opportunities.
Another way to find opportunities using the federal apprenticeship system is to reach out to your state’s apprenticeship contact. These representatives work for the Department of Labor and can be reached using the state contact list.
Online Job Boards
Just like the federal database, Build Your Future (BYF) provides access to job opportunities on our BYF Career Center. The best way to use this board for apprenticeship purposes is to type ‘apprentice’ into the search bar and then set area restrictions by city or zip code. This will provide you with the apprenticeship listings in your area.
With this same strategy, you can search on websites like LinkedIn to help find employers and companies offering apprenticeships. LinkedIn will also allow you to learn more about the employer if they have a page on the website. Here, you can gain an understanding of what it may be like working for that company.
Again, these resources will not give you a comprehensive list of the opportunities near you. However, it is a great starting point for your job search!
One of the best ways to scout opportunities in your area is reaching out to local companies in your craft and asking them about their apprenticeship opportunities. The best way to do this is to first compile a list of all the companies in your area that you would be interested in working for. Then, check their websites and social media accounts for advertised opportunities. If they advertise an apprenticeship, perfect! Go ahead and apply.
But what happens when they don’t have any job postings? The next step is to reach out to the company. Make sure to be respectful and professional when asking about the opportunities they provide to those entering the industry. By establishing a connection with this company, you are exhibiting interest and making yourself known to them.
With national construction organizations like Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), there are additional resources for connecting those starting in the industry to companies and industry veterans at state and local levels.
ABC provides formal apprenticeships that are registered with the Department of Labor and result in journey-level status upon completion. To find opportunities through ABC, use their Chapter Locater to find a chapter close to you!
Similarly, the best way to find apprenticeship programs and opportunities through AGC is to use their Chapter Map to locate a chapter near you and reach out for more information.
With so many opportunities available and so much opportunity to learn, earn a paycheck and work in the craft of your choice – apprenticeships are incredibly beneficial for those starting out in the industry. The jobs are there, you just have to find them.