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An apprentice is someone who learns a trade or skill under the supervision of a skilled worker, often referred to as a Journeyman. Apprenticeship is the relationship between an employer and an apprentice employee during which the apprentice learns a specific trade. An apprentice who completes the term of apprenticeship is granted the privileges of journeyman status, however the term of apprenticeship varies by trade and may range from I to 6 years.
When entering a trade through an apprenticeship program, one receives the benefits of employment, education and often union membership. During the term of apprenticeship, an apprentice is required to complete a specific number of hours on the job as well as in the classroom. Apprentices are paid as employees according to a specific scale set forth in the standards established for the program. Generally an apprentice's pay starts at about half of the journeyman scale wage but is upgraded periodically to reflect the increased skill and experience of the apprentice.
An additional benefit is the recognition as a skilled worker one receives by graduating from a program of apprenticeship. Studies have shown that a in comparison of apprenticeship graduates to other craft workers, apprenticeship graduates work more steadily, learn the trade faster, are more productive, work safer and are more likely to be supervisors.
Apprenticeship programs are found in a variety of trades. Information on the many apprenticeship programs affiliated with the Western Apprenticeship Coordinators Association may be found on the following pages. When selecting a trade, prospective apprentices should consider the vocational characteristics of the trades as well as the program qualifications and the employment opportunities available in each field. Other relevant considerations are the training facilities available, work environment, tools needed, union membership and cost. Also, community college credit is often given for learning through an apprenticeship program.
Once you have considered the apprenticeship programs on the following pages, you are encouraged to contact the facilities in person to have your questions answered and make application. Be aware that many programs take applications only at specific times during the year and that the number of acceptances made may be limited.
The Western Apprenticeship Coordinators Association hopes that the information contained in this booklet will aid prospective apprentices in making important career choices by showing Apprenticeship as a viable educational choice for your future.
WACA of Southern Nevada
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