26 Students who prefer a hands-on approach to learning may want to con- sider an apprenticeship program. Apprentices learn their trade through acombinationofclassroominstructionandon-the-jobtraining. Appren- ticeship programs are considered by many to be the best way to receive training in the skilled trades. Apprentices receive job training and classroom instruction Apprenticeships are agreements in which employers pay individuals while they learn a trade. Apprenticeship programs demand hard work and dedica- tion; however, those who receive their training through an apprenticeship program often find that they have greater job security, earning power, and opportunities for advancement. Working under the supervision of experienced journey workers, apprentices receive 2,000+ hours of on-the-job training each year. While apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from 1–6 years, most are 4-year programs. Ap- prentices receive almost 150 hours of related instruction each year on safety measures, theories, and techniques. Instruction programs vary greatly in how they are structured. For example, an apprentice could work a 40-hour week and have a 4-hour class one night a week, or work 8 weeks and then go to school for 1 week. After completing the program, an apprentice becomes a journey worker. Approximately half of the apprentices work in the construction trades; however, apprenticeship programs are available in over 1,000 different oc- cupations. Popular apprenticeship occupations include bricklayer, carpenter, chef, dental assistant, electrician, firefighter, painter, plumber, roofer, tool and die maker, and truck driver. It can be difficult to get an apprenticeship Apprenticeshipprogramshavealimitednumberofopeningsandthecompeti- tion can be fierce. Apprenticeship programs, therefore, are often difficult to get into. As a rule, applicants must be 18 years old, physically fit, and have a high school diploma or GED. When competing for apprenticeship openings, applicants with vocational training and job experience have an advantage. Education Choice # Apprenticeships 6