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An apprentice is an individual who learns a craft through classroom instruction and on-the-job training.  Classes are taught by men and women who are skilled in that trade while on-the-job training is overseen by construction employers.

Apprenticeships are continuing education.  They last three to five years depending upon the trade and include regular classroom training as well as on-the-job experience.  Some apprentice programs provide an Associate Degree from a community college upon achieving journeyman status. 


How do I get started?

1. Select the building trade program that you are interested in and would like to apply for. If you already know which program you are interested in, please proceed to Step 2. Building trade schools are more commonly referred to as "building trade apprenticeship programs".

2. Determine if the building trade program is accepting applications at this time. After you determine if the program is or is not accepting applications, please choose from one of the following three options:

Yes, the program is accepting applications:

1. Call the program to confirm that they are still accepting applications.

2. Request any information and/or materials you might need to bring with you when you obtain an application, such as birth certificate, driver's license, application fee, etc.

3. Fill out the application. Pay close attention to the instructions on the application, as they vary greatly from trade to trade.

4. Return the application and ask if you will be required to take an aptitude test. Once you have determined whether or not you will need to take an aptitude test, choose from the following two options:

Yes, an aptitude test is required.
If an aptitude test is required, you should ask the following questions:

1. When will the test be given?

2. Is there a placement list? For example, individuals who had the highest test scores are accepted first.

3. What material is recommended to study for the test? Or you may be interested in ordering the CISCO Pre-Apprentice Basic Skills Training Manual.


Once you know when the test will be held, ask the following questions:

1. When will I be notified if I passed?

2. Will I be told how I am ranked on the list of applicants who passed?

3. How long will the list of applicants who passed be kept on file? Can you reapply after the list is no longer being used?

Keep in close contact with the program after you've tested, passed and are placed on a list. You will be responsible for keeping them informed of any changes in your address and/or phone number.


No, an aptitude test is not required.

If an aptitude test is not required, you should ask the following questions:

1. What requirements or criteria do they use to accept students?

2. How or when you will be notified once you are accepted into the school?

You will be responsible for keeping the program informed of any changes in your address and/or phone number.


No, the school is not accepting applications

1. Call the program to confirm that they are not accepting applications.

2. Ask when they will be accepting applications. If these dates are already established, the program should be able to supply them to you. However, certain programs may not yet have determined when their next application period will be.

3. If the program of your choice is not certain when they will be accepting applications, ask them if they have a list you could be placed on to be notified when applications are available. Or you may contact your local AIC (Apprenticeship Information Center) to be put on their mailing list.

4. If the program does not have a notification list, ask how often you should contact them as to when applications will be available.

In some cases, programs might not accept programs for a long period of time (ex: two years) so you may need to consider choosing another trade.


Requires employment with a union contractor

If the program you are interested in requires that you must be employed with a union contractor before you can be accepted into the program, ask the following question:

1. Will the program provide assistance in finding you employment?

If the program does not provide assistance, ask the following question:

2. Can the program provide you with a list of union contractors and contact names for you to call?

Once you have this list, begin to call and visit the contractors listed. Explain that you are trying to be accepted into the union apprenticeship program and need to be employed by a contractor first and ask if there any job openings available. Pursue a job with the contractors listed in the same manner that you would use for employment in any industry.



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