An apprenticeship is a job in which the worker is paid to learn a set of skills through on-the-job training. Unlike an internship—in which the intern works for little or no money and rarely receives formal training—an apprenticeship follows an earn-while-you-learn model and leads to a nationally recognized credential that recipients can take anywhere in the country.
A career in the trades can offer you many things, but one of the best aspects is that your apprenticeship education is almost entirely free and there is no education-related debt once completed, unlike that of a traditional four-year college/university education.
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school years was $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the- job training. It is like a college because you will receive advanced instruction from an accredited program while preparing you for your career. But unlike a college, you will earn while you learn, meaning you will get paid while “on-the-job.”
A typical apprenticeship lasts four or five years. Five years might seem like a long time, but remember you are working and earning a living. Your chosen trade will continue to train you so that you are highly employable.