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Become an apprentice

Learn about the basic qualifications for apprenticeship programs and how to apply for most programs.

Basic requirements

Every program is different, but these qualifications are true for most:

  • At least 18 years old (if you’re under 18, check out pre-apprenticeship programs!)
  • High school diploma or GED, though not every program requires this so explore! You may need specific math training for certain kinds of jobs, but many don’t and will teach you what you need to know.
  • Certain physical abilities, such as specific stamina or strength, depending on the type of work 
  • Reliable transportation. Sometimes you may work near where you live, but you should be willing to travel locally or possibly out of town. You may need to go to different job sites day to day, so having a plan to get around is helpful.

You are more likely to be successful if you have physical work or volunteer experience, show you can be on time, and have a consistent work history.

A legal history is less of an issue for many construction employers.

You don’t need a college degree to earn good money in a trade and you can earn an associates degree in some programs. Though some trades require a certain math level, many trades don’t and will teach you what you need to know.

Are you a veteran? We provide career counseling, technical assistance, representation, and advocacy for all veterans and members of the Oregon National Guard and Reserve components of the armed forces seeking to be apprentices in the trades. Learn more or contact Aaron for support.
 How to apply
Here’s how to find an apprenticeship program and what to expect in the application process!

  1. Decide what kind of job or trade is right for you. You can find more information about different kinds of jobs in the trades here.
  2. Find an apprenticeship program.
  3. Call or visit the program you are interested in and find out exactly how to apply. Ask them:
    1. Are you taking applications?
    2. What are the steps to apply?
  4. Submit your application, do an interview, and take any required tests.
  5. Then you’ll get on the list of apprentices to be registered. After your interview, many programs will give you a score which places you in a specific order on a list called the Pool of Eligibles (not yet apprentices). Depending on how that list moves, you are then moved onto the list of Out of Work Apprentices before you can move up and go out to work.
  6. Once you are on the list, depending on the trade, you may either find work or be referred to work by the apprenticeship program.
  7. Go to work at your apprenticeship program!
  8. Attend related training classes as a part of your program - usually in the evening or on weekends. 
  9. Earn, learn and progress through all the phases of your training until you become a skilled journeyworker.

We’re here to help!

Contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries at 971-673-0760 or to get in touch with a staff member who can help!