I want to Become an Apprentice/Pre-Apprentice

Do You Want to Become an Apprentice?

Apprenticeships are a learn-while-you-earn approach to career development through which individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential. They provide on-ramps to rewarding and family-sustaining careers, without the burden of debt that traditional 4-year programs bring.

The Basics

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is a structured education and training program that takes place in the workplace and includes formal on-the-job training (OJT) and classroom-based, related technical instruction (RTI). An apprentice is a full-time, paid employee of the sponsoring organization from the start of the program. An apprenticeship must include at least 2,000 hours of OJT and a required 144 hours of RTI, but many programs last for four or more years.

An apprenticeship is not an internship, nor is it a short-term training program. Apprentices work full-time and are paid a wage that is subject to minimum wage regulations, but may begin below that of incumbent worker. As the apprentice hits milestones such as completing a certain number of program hours or demonstrating job competencies, their wages increase according to the agreement signed by the employer and the apprentice at the beginning of the program.

Become an Apprentice

The Benefits of Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship allows individuals to earn a nationally industry-recognized credential while still earning a paycheck. Unlike traditional postsecondary education programs that are designed to prepare students for any number of careers and generally focus more on theory than practice, apprenticeship is designed by and for the employer and is highly specialized to meet the unique needs of a specific job. Because apprentices learn primarily in the workplace, they are trained using the same state-of-the-art equipment that they will use on the job. Moreover, they will be instructed and mentored by skilled workers who have done the job the apprentice is training to do and who will ensure that apprentices are acculturated to workplace norms and expectations.

How to Get Started

Use the search feature below to search for Registered Apprenticeship programs in your region.

Your local PA CareerLink® office will be able to connect you to apprenticeship opportunities, and may be able to provide additional funding and other resources to support your apprenticeship training. To learn more, visit your local PA CareerLink®.


Provides an overview of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs for job seekers.
Provides an overview of how veteran jobseekers access apprenticeship, the benefits, and how the GI BIll can be used to support during a program.
Guide for job seekers and those that work with job seekers and bridging connections to Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs, providing benefits of apprenticeships, and guidance on available funding options for apprenticeship programs. Guide is a resource to connect with the Job Seeker Liaison to request apprenticeship information in your area for job seekers, Workforce Development Staff, educators, and educational organizations.
The official list of currently registered pre-apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania, including organization and contact information.

Do You Want to Become a Pre-Apprentice?

If you need to learn some additional skills before qualifying for a Registered Apprenticeship program, a pre-apprenticeship program might be for you! They provide foundation skills that employers are looking for, and are linked to existing Registered Apprenticeship programs.

The Basics

Pre-apprenticeship programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenceship program, and ultimately a career. They can be delivered by a range of entities including employers, community-based orgranizations, high schools, labor organizations, workforce agencies, or community colleges. For educational institutions, the programs are often integrated directly into their exisiting curriculum and structure. Pre-apprenticeship programs are linked with exisiting apprenticeships programs and provide the instruction, preparation, and supports to advance participants to apprenticeship programs or other careers.

The Benefits of Pre-Apprenticeship

Pre-apprenticeship programs expands participants’ career pathway opportunities with industry-based training and classroom instruction, preparing individuals to enter and succeed in registered apprenticeships.

Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for participants to:
  • Explore and learn about exciting careers.
  • Qualify to meet the minimum standards for selection to a registered apprenticeship program.
  • Benefit from classroom and technology-based training.
  • Build the literacy, math, English, and work-readiness skills employers desire.
  • Gain advanced standing in partnered registered apprenticeship programs.
Become a Pre-Apprentice

How to Get Started

Your local PA CareerLink® office will be able to connect you to pre-apprenticeship opportunities, and may be able to provide additional funding and other resources to support your training. To learn more, visit your local PA CareerLink®.

Funding Opportunities

Registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships have access to a growing number of federal and state funding programs that can support your training, including the GI Bill (which provides supplemental support to veterans engaged in apprenticeship), Pell Grants (which can cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies) and the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (which may provide wage reimbursements to the employers or wrap around services for apprentices). The PA Department of Labor & Industry also makes supports apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs through its PAsmart and Apprenticeship State Expansion (ASE) funding initiatives. Please refer to the resources below for the latest opportunities.


Provides an overview of funding resources available for apprenticeship programs in PA.
This quick guide provides information for companies, employers, labor, apprenticeship sponsors, educators, workforce professionals, intermediaries and community-based organizations on using Federal funds and resources to support registered apprenticeship.

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