Apprenticeship requires commitment but yields big rewards

By Susan Pohorski

Unlike the television show, you don’t have to compete to be an apprentice in Wisconsin. These on-the-job training and classroom education programs can lead to a highly-skilled occupation in two to five years without having to face Donald Trump.

You do have to have an employer to get you started. These employers are willing to pay you at least 60% of the wage a skilled worker would earn while you learn from someone who already has the skills. That’s right, you get paid while you learn. You also must sign a contract with the employer stating the terms and conditions of the apprenticeship. The employer promises to teach you skills and you promise to learn them. The process is administered by the State of Wisconsin.

Apprentices also get paid for the time they spend in the classroom. The Wisconsin Technical College System usually provides this instruction, required by Wisconsin law.

Construction apprentice working at job site.What careers require apprenticeship? You can gain employment skills in construction, manufacturing and service occupations through apprenticeship. If you want a career operating heavy equipment, installing data communications equipment, styling hair, working on electrical lines or machining, apprenticeship can get you there. But there are many more career fields with apprenticeship programs.

According to a recent article from the Center for American Progress, apprenticeship can raise workers’ wages, increase employee productivity, and improve employers’ bottom lines. Find out what it can do for you or your son or daughter.

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