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QUESTIONS ABOUT APPRENTICESHIP
Oregon Apprenticeship Guide
 
What is Apprenticeship?
How do I apply for an apprenticeship program?
How long must I wait for an opening?
How long must I serve as an apprentice?
What occupations are available?
Can I expect steady work as an apprentice?
How much pay does an apprentice receive?
Are apprentices required to attend school?
Are there age limits for apprentices?
What are the minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship?
Who can apply for apprenticeship?
Who pays for the classroom training?
What other costs must be paid by the apprentice?
What are some of the career opportunities open to journey workers?
Can training and education received during military service or prior work experience be credited towards apprenticeship requirements?
Can I use veterans´ benefits as an apprentice?
How do I prepare for apprenticeship?
How do I receive my on-the-job training?
What is my relationship with the apprenticeship committee?
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Q.  What is Apprenticeship?
A.  Apprenticeship is not just a job, but a career opportunity! It is occupational training that combines supervised on-the-job training experience with classroom instruction. Apprentices usually begin at half the salary of journey workers - those who have completed their training and have industry certification. Instead, apprentices receive pay increases as they learn to perform more complex tasks. When they become journey workers, they increase their chances of finding a well-paying job in industry and may become supervisors or go into business for themselves. Apprenticeship committees, made up of employee and employer representatives from the specific industries, operate apprenticeship programs. Both state and federal government have a role in regulating apprenticeship programs. 
 
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Q.  How do I apply for an apprenticeship program?
A.  Individual apprenticeship committees take applications for their program. They advertise that they are accepting applications through an opening announcement. Applicants can find apprenticeship opening announcements posted at Bureau of Labor and Industries´ (BOLI) offices, local schools, community colleges, Oregon Employment Department offices, local newspapers and community organizations. Announcements contain the details about the application process. You can also access Apprenticeship Opportunities Statewide at this website. 
 
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Q. How long must I wait for an opening?
A. The waiting period, from the date an application is filed to placement in an apprenticeship program, varies by industry. It can last from two weeks to two years. This is a competitive process and it´s not unusual for people to apply more than once. The apprenticeship committee reviews applications to make sure the applicants meet the minimum qualifications for the program. If an applicant is qualified, the application is ranked either by a test, an interview, an evaluation of past experience and education or a random drawing. The applicant is placed on a qualified list, called a pool of eligibles, in order of their ranking. If you do not meet the minimum qualifications or if your application ranks low on the pool of eligibles, contact the committee to find out what you can do to improve your chances and try again. Employers use the list to fill apprenticeship vacancies as they become available. Some committees allow direct entry into the program under certain circumstances. Information about a committee´s selection method is included on the opening announcement for the program. 
 
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Q. How long must I serve as an apprentice?
A. Typically, apprenticeships last two to five years, depending on industry requirements.
 
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Q. What occupations are available?
A. There´s a wide range of occupations available, from corrections officer to heavy equipment operator. Not all programs are available in all parts of the state. The variety of available occupations depends on local industry needs.
 
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Q. Can I expect steady work as an apprentice?
A. An apprentice works about as much as the average industry worker does. And, like fellow workers, an apprentice may be subjected to industry layoffs. Most employers, however, make an effort to have the apprentice work as steadily as possible.
 
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Q. How much pay does an apprentice receive?
A. Although it varies from industry to industry, the average starting wage of an apprentice is about 50 percent of a journey workers rate of pay. Apprentices usually earn a five- percent raise every six months if training and school performance is satisfactory.
 
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Q. Are apprentices required to attend school?
A. Apprentices must attend related classroom training along with on-the-job-training experience. Most programs require approximately 144 hours of school per year. This usually works out to one or two evenings per week during the regular school year. Like other aspects of apprenticeship, the local committee determines the related training requirements according to industry standards. Apprentices can earn credit towards an associate degree at a community college for classroom hours or for the completion of an apprenticeship program.
 
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Q. Are there age limits for apprentices?
A. Each industry establishes its own minimum age requirement, although the typical minimum age is 18. Except in very limited situations, there are no upper age limits on apprentices.
 
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Q. What are the minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship?
A. Most apprenticeship programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some occupations require completion of specific subjects such as algebra, blueprint reading or related shop work.
 
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Q. Who can apply for apprenticeship?
A. Anyone who meets the apprenticeship committee´s qualifications may apply, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
 
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Q. Who pays for the classroom training?
A. It varies among different occupations, industries and employers. In some cases, apprentices pay the cost of related training. In other cases, industry pays training costs.
 
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Q. What other costs must be paid by the apprentice?
A. Costs vary depending on the program. It´s important for apprentices to have reliable transportation available in order to get to a job on time, travel from job site to job site or run errands associated with the job. Many programs require that apprentices have a basic tool kit and/or appropriate work clothes, work boots and safety equipment such as gloves or goggles. Some programs supply or pay for these requirements and others do not. It´s important to talk with the committee about the requirements, the costs to the apprentice and whether there is any financial help available.
 
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Q. What are some of the career opportunities open to journey workers?
A. Highly trained journey workers are sought by industry for well-paying jobs. Many journey workers advance to become supervisors or superintendents. Others, with additional years of advanced studies, go on to become technicians and engineers. There are many opportunities for advancement, depending on the abilities, attitudes and ambitions of the individual.
 
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Q. Can training and education received during military service or prior work experience be credited towards apprenticeship requirements?
A. Some apprenticeship committees give credit for prior training. Each committee should have a policy describing if and how credit for prior experience will be granted.
 
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Q. Can I use veterans´ benefits as an apprentice?
A. If eligible, an apprentice may use veterans´ benefits while registered in an apprenticeship program. Contact your local Veterans Administration office or call 1-888-442-4551 for more information.
 
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Q. How do I prepare for apprenticeship?
A. Today´s competitive industries require employees, who are able to perform technical tasks, exercise good judgment and possess a strong work ethic. The importance of a well-rounded high school education cannot be over emphasized. A strong background in math and science is important. Good attendance is a necessity.
 
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Q. How do I receive my on-the-job training?
A. After registering as an apprentice, you´ll be assigned to an employer who is registered as a training agent with the committee. Such "training agents" have promised to provide the on-the-job training and supervision according to approved industry standards. The employer evaluates progress and makes recommendations to the apprenticeship committee regarding your advancement in the program.
 
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Q. What is my relationship with the apprenticeship committee?
A. As an apprentice, you make a registration agreement with your apprenticeship committee. The committee´s responsibility is to provide the opportunity for you to become a skilled journey worker in the occupation you´ve chosen. The committee must assure that you´re treated and evaluated fairly during your apprenticeship. The committee decides what employer you are assigned to, when you advance in the program and what rules and policies you must follow. You have the responsibility to fully participate in the apprenticeship program by working cooperatively with the training agent you´ve been assigned to, to complete all of your related training classes and to follow the committee´s rules and policies.
 
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