dates to ancient times when young boys were indentured to skilled
tradesmen to learn a craft. Today, apprentices are women and men who
earn while they learn through planned, supervised work on-the-job
combined with related classroom instruction.
Just like college, apprenticeships arenít for everyone. To become
an ironworker, firefighter or electrician takes mettle. Apprentices
get up early, take direction from journeypersons, follow precise safety
standards and attend classes at night. But at the end of their apprenticeship
they get a ticket to a career anywhere they care to go: a journeypersonís
card that is proof of their skill and experience when they look for
work. Not to mention the salary and benefits that go with it.
Apprenticeships now cut across the boundaries of traditional trades
such as carpentry, plumbing and firefighting to diverse fields like
arson and bomb investigations and youth correctional counseling.
Finding an apprenticeship program is a mouse-click away. The Division
of Apprenticeship Standards -- the state agency that ensures apprentices
are not exploited -- database provides access to available apprenticeship
programs by craft and geographic region at http://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/das/aigstart.asp.
Candidates select an occupation they like and have the physical ability to perform, find out if they meet minimum qualifications, decide if they can work under the required job conditions and apply for an apprenticeship with an employer in the field, the appropriate union or the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Sometimes aptitude or other tests are required and there may be a waiting list.
Apprenticeships offer challenges and rewards. This site offers stories from a few with the perseverance, ambition and initiative to make apprenticeship training work for them.
More apprenticeship information can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DAS/das.html.
And employers, check out the video, Apprenticeship - California's Best Kept Secret, on line at
for streaming versions or http://ww.dir.ca.gov/das/apvideowdownload.htm
for download versions.
Learn more about Department of Industrial Relations programs at