Apprenticeships shouldn’t simply be thought of as a way to get a job.
Instead, they should be considered for what they actually are; vital learning experiences that help individuals to gain the necessary hands-on training and knowledge to succeed within the working world, all in a field that they are truly passionate about.
Though apprenticeships aren’t limited to one particular group of people, the vast majority are tailored towards young people looking to support themselves with a living wage whilst actively trying to further their career.
Essentially, apprenticeships try to close the skills gap by combining classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training – all to prepare you for a highly-skilled career that will reap rewards for years to come.
But how long does apprenticeship training truly last? And is it a helpful step in furthering your career?
Is it a winning combination? Absolutely! And we’re happy to reveal why in this article. We’ll be focusing on how long apprenticeship training lasts, and its importance when trying to further your career.
Table of Contents
What Is An Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship allows you to simultaneously get hands-on technical instruction and training all while earning a fair paycheck. Apprentices typically work for either a business-union partnership or an individual employer who will pay a basic wage and provide any necessary training.
During an apprenticeship, you’ll essentially be studying towards a qualification whilst gaining real life work experience and developing your self-confidence. Though it may not sound like much, you’ll be the recipient of a whole host of employee benefits whilst gaining invaluable experience!
Why Is Apprenticeship Training Important?
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to encourage young people whilst helping them to learn a wide range of skills in a field of their choice. Therefore, training is essential to ensure that there is a gap for future job prospects.
Thorough training is also needed to help individuals gain the technical ability to work within a particular field.
Under the guidance of experienced instructors, apprentices are inundated with a range of practical on-the-job training and theory-based instruction that breaks down and teaches specialized occupational skills.
You might find a program offered by a particular labor group, or your employer may even fund an apprentice program.
Apprentices are able to earn at least minimum wage while actively on the job. However, there have been cases where apprentices have made more money, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Apprenticeship Training: Trades And Occupations
Apprenticeships are commonly found in many fields, in occupations ranging from carpentry to PR to other parts of the communication field. You can also find apprenticeships in other sectors such as the arts, healthcare, and information technology.
To get an idea of how long certain programs take to complete, the DOL’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training has a list of occupations that require apprenticeships and their typical program lengths. Examples of such occupations include:
- Carpenter: 4 years
- Electrician: 4 years
- Plumber: 3-4 years
- Baker: 3 years
- Landscape technician: 2 years
- Medical support: 1 year
How Long Is An Apprenticeship?
There isn’t a specific answer: each apprenticeship is different, and they vary in length as a result.
That being said, the average apprenticeship is known to take between one and four years to complete, depending on the industry sector, the level of the program, and the apprentice’s previous knowledge and ability coming into the role.
Formal apprenticeship programs are known to last around 4 years, but this does entirely depend on the occupation or the individual employer. Many of these programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
However, they may take as little as 12 months or as many as 6 years. When you have completed a registered apprenticeship program, you’ll receive a nationally recognized certificate as proof of your newfound skills, and completion of the qualification.
However, if an apprenticeship is undertaken part-time, this will increase the overall length of the program. So what should take a few months may end up taking over a year if you opt to work part-time.
Again, the length of a part-time apprenticeship will vary according to the employer, and the way in which the apprentice’s time is split.
How Long Is Apprenticeship Training Typically?
The average individual takes between three and six months to fully settle into a new job, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you don’t immediately settle into an apprenticeship!
If you begin an apprenticeship, a large majority of the training will take place as you actively work at the company that is employing you.
This means you’ll be participating in a lot of hands-on, on-the-job learning by taking on necessary tasks and responsibilities, and dealing with situations as they arise.
So in this instance, apprenticeship training may take as little as a few days, or it may even last the entire duration of your contracted role with the company. It depends on the type of role that you are undertaking!
How Will An Apprenticeship Further Your Career?
The answer is simple. You’ll learn a whole host of transferable skills that will help you throughout your career and will increase your self-confidence in particular areas, including effective communication, team working, and problem-solving.
In a full time apprenticeship role, you’ll most likely be working at least 30 hours a week for the company. This figure is just under the overall weekly working hours for the average person in full employment.
It means that an apprenticeship of this length will prepare you for the transition into the working world.
Part-time contracted hours, however, may work out at around 16 hours per week, although this may vary from company to company. Part time apprenticeships are a great experience if you lead a busy lifestyle yet still want to gain some experience in a particular industry sector.
Your training may be carried out at a local college, a relevant training provider, or simply in the employers office.
Some employers may even utilize a ‘block training’ approach, which entails concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly interspersed slots across the year.
There isn’t an exact answer as to how long training typically lasts. This is because apprenticeship training varies between each employer. You may be taught all the basics in one day and then gain your valuable experience by on-the-job working.
Or your training may last several months, with one new skill being taught every day. In short, training is company dependent, and differs for everyone!
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