Apprentices



8 Reasons You Should Become an Apprentice

1. A paycheck while you learn

Apprenticeships offer a great system where you earn an income while undergoing training and developing new skills for a career.


2. Excellent start to your professional career

Many people find themselves stuck in a "catch 22," where they lack the experience to get a job but can't get a job to attain the necessary experience. Apprenticeships allow you to work in real world environments while gaining essential experience needed for a rewarding career.  


3. Anyone can become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships aren't just for those of a young age. In fact, anyone who wishes to learn new skills and get on a career path can become an apprentice.


4. A secure future

With an apprenticeship, you'll have the chance to gain the skills and technical know-how to become one of the best in your field.  Achieving such a high level of skill will lead to a higher salary and greater job opportunities.


5. You could boost your starting wage

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers who complete apprenticeships have an average starting salary (after completion) of more than $50,000, and earn $300,000 more, on average, than non-apprentices over the course of their careers. But what about during apprenticeship? Apprenticeship programs must pay at least minimum wage. On average, according to the Department of Labor, apprenticeships make a starting wage of around $15 per hour. Plus, programs provide wage increases that gradually bump up your pay as you pick up new skills or reach set milestones.


6. You won't go into debt

Student debt is at a record high, and apprenticeship programs could offer an appealing alternative to four-year college programs, with a debt-free path to a well-paying career. Many apprenticeship programs are linked to college credit-bearing courses, which could lead to an Associate's degree or even a Bachelor's degree. There may be some rare instances where the apprentice is asked to pay for the total cost of the related instruction. In other cases, the employer may pay for the related instruction but specify that if you leave the program before completion, you must pay back those costs. As a rule, there are no costs to you.


7. Great opportunities

A high school diploma is no longer enough for many jobs today. There are apprenticeships in nearly every field you can imagine: from chef or store manager to machinist or web developer. And, if you complete an apprenticeship, you'll have the skills and job experience to earn higher wages.


8. You could help the economy

The supply of skilled workers in the United States is shrinking. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce predicts a shortage of five million workers with technical certificates by 2020. Apprenticeships could be a key force in shifting that trend. According to the Center for American Progress, more than 80% of U.S. companies with apprentices said that these programs helped them meet staffing demands.


Next Steps
To learn more about what apprenticeships are, click here.

If you are ready to talk about apprenticeships and opportunities with a workforce professional, find the closest Illinois workNet Center or partner site near you with the Illinois workNet Service Finder. Email apprenticeship@illinoisworknet.com for questions about apprenticeships.

You may also search for Registered Apprenticeship Programs at Apprenticeship.gov.