what-is-apprenticeship

Apprenticeship offers unique benefits. Apprentices “earn while they learn,” with a paycheck and benefits. As an apprentice’s skill level increases, by learning a trade in both a classroom and on a job site, wages increase progressively. After completing an apprenticeship, journey-level status and certificate are recognized nationally.

Apprenticeship connects job seekers looking to obtain new skills and employers looking for trained and qualified workers.

The result will be a skilled Alaskan workforce – developed with industry driven training – and employers with a competitive edge.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeship is a highly flexible training and workforce development model that combines on-the-job learning, related instruction and paid work experience. Apprenticeship will prepare and train our workforce to meet industry demands and deliver on the promise to hire Alaskans first and put them to work!

The Oil and Gas industry is just one component of apprenticeable industries. The construction of a natural gas pipeline in Alaska is among the most promising economic and workforce drivers. Additional industries with apprenticeship include Health Care, TransportationConstruction, Forestry and Mining occupations.

Unlike a four-year degree program at a university where you pay, apprenticeship pays you while you train for well-paying jobs with promising futures.

Registered Apprenticeship is one of the oldest and most portable industry credentials. It makes you eligible to work anywhere you can land a job for which you qualify.

Registered Apprenticeship:

  • Offers wage progression on an increasing scale;
  • Provides on-the-job learning for industry driven skills that make you more competitive in the labor market;
  • Provides an opportunity to convert completed registered apprenticeship training into college credit and degrees at participating colleges and other postsecondary institutions;
  • Offers training and certifications that meet industry standards; and
  • Allows direct entry out of high school, in some cases.
  • The Alaska Performance Scholarship can be used to cover some costs of a Registered Apprenticeship program

How does Apprenticeship work for me?

The first step is to look at which apprenticeable occupations are available in Alaska. Then:

  • Be assertive and research the field;
  • Figure out what appeals to you;
  • Think about what you want in a career – and what you don’t want;
  • Narrow down your choices to three occupations or less;
  • Talk to people who work in the occupation.

What does it mean to be an apprentice?

Apprenticeship is one of the oldest methods of career preparation. It means you earn while you learn. Apprenticeship comes in all shapes and sizes. In Alaska, the greatest opportunities are in the high growth industries of oil and gas, healthcare, forestry, construction, mining, seafood, and transportation.

An apprentice spends some of the time in the field learning the trade and some of the time in a classroom for related training. It varies, but it can take up to four years to acquire the necessary hours and skills to complete. Apprenticeable occupations are high pay and high skill. Apprenticeships are job based with industry-recognized credentials, which means transferring from one job to another is easier. At the end, the apprentice will have a career, hold a nationally recognized credential, may be on track to a university degree, or can become a leader of industry.

Who to Contact for Assistance:

Contact an Apprenticeship Specialist who can help you identify apprenticeable occupations and help you prepare for your future.


Student Looking for a New Career?

Did you know that when you complete a registered apprenticeship program in Alaska, you can earn up to 38 credits with the University of Alaska. In addition, an apprentice who concurrently enrolls in apprenticeship and in university programs may graduate with an associate’s degree in the same time as their classmates. More importantly, you will not have the high cost of college loans. As an apprentice, you will earn while you learn so in two to four years, you will have the work experience and possibly an associate degree or better but are now a Journeymen with a portable skill and education.

Can I start right away?

Yes, no matter where you are in life.  If you are still in high school, School to Apprenticeship (STA) is an agreement  with business, industry, education, government, parents and you, a student who knows the opportunities of apprenticeship and wants to go directly into a career without closing the door on their education. Most school districts have STA opportunities. Check with your high school counselor or career & technical education teacher at your local high school. Remember you have to graduate high school.

For others with a diploma or GED, you too can be an apprentice. You must have the same dedication however; the rewards last a lifetime. Contact a Job Center near you or ask your employer if they would like to sponsor apprenticeship where you work.

When preparing for a career many students, parents and school districts have found the information contained in the career cluster model helpful. You can see it at http://careertech.org/Alaska. There you will see that pathways are broad groups of industries with similar occupations, let us say Health Care. Within this pathway, the occupation of Surgical Tech is located.

To begin creating a “plan” or “program of studies” think about modeling your education through high school and on to your career . Many school districts have customized the chart to support local instruction, check with your high school. Learn More

Ask your high school counselor or career & technical education teacher about using career clusters and what programs of study are available in your school district.

Another planning tool for Alaskans is the Alaska Career Information System, Click here to visit website. Here you will find statewide resources for careers and education in Alaska.

What can I do to prepare myself?

Parents and school districts in Alaska have found the information contained in the career cluster model helpful, www.careertech.org. The plan or program of studies allows you to model your education through high school and on to a career. It offers suggestions for academic classes as well as technical training while still in high school and lets you know what opportunities exist after high school. Ask your high school counselor or career & technical education teacher about using career clusters and what programs of study are available in your school district.


Veteran Services

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible spouses in all Qualified Job Training Programs funded in whole or in part by the U. S. Department of Labor.

Priority of service means that veterans and eligible spouses are given priority over non-covered persons for the receipt of employment, training and placement services provided under a qualified job training program.

What we provide:

  • Priority Job Referral
  • Career Counseling
  • Career Assessment
  • Employment Assessment
  • Job Development
  • Labor Market Information
  • Education Assessment
  • Job Search Workshops
  • Special Programs
  • Testing
  • Referral to Educational Services
  • Resume Assistance

For more resources click here

If you are interested in any of these services please contact your nearest Alaska Job Center. The Job Centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, Kenai and Eagle River have veteran employment assistance specialists assigned to them. All Job Centers have staff ready to provide service to veterans.

Helmets to Hardhats

Helmets to Hardhats provides construction-related training for Veterans or transitioning military members. For more information, visit the Alaska Works Partnership website at http://alaskaworks.org/index.php?page=helmets-to-hardhats or call 907-569-4722 or toll free 1-866-993-8181.