Often referred to as the “original 4 year degree,” apprenticeship is a system of supervised training leading to certification in a trade, occupation or craft. It combines on-the-job training with classroom related instruction. There are approximately 60 registered programs in Louisiana with over 3,500 apprentices registered.
The State Director of Apprenticeship, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and with the advice and guidance of the State Apprenticeship Council, is authorized to administer the provisions of the Louisiana Apprenticeship Law.
All of the programs have different requirements for applicants. Generally, the basic requirements are that an applicant be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or its equivalent before being accepted into a program.
Individual apprenticeship committees accept applications for their own programs. They advertise that they are accepting applications through local newspapers, local schools, community-based organizations, and related web sites.
The waiting period, from the date an application is filled to placement into an apprentice program, varies from industry. 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 by test scores, an interview, an evaluation of past experience and education or random drawing. The applicant is placed on a list of eligible applicants. The program uses this list to fill vacancies, as they become available. Some committees allow direct entry into the program.
There are over 1000 apprenticeable occupations registered with the U. S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. Within the state of Louisiana, over 50 different occupations are represented, and the list continues to grow everyday.
All applications are processed through the individual programs. These individual programs also indenture the apprentice after following the selection method that has been approved by the State Apprenticeship Council. The indenture is then forwarded to the Apprenticeship Division’s staff for processing.
Salaries vary from industry to industry. The average starting wage of an apprentice is about 50% of a journey worker’s rate of pay. Programs are required to progressively increase the apprentices wages provided the on-the-job training and school performance is satisfactory and in accordance with apprenticeship committee.
Programs last from 1 to 5 years depending on the program requirements, but the majority of programs are 2 to 4 years.
Yes. Apprentices must attend related classroom training instruction along with on the job training experience. Louisiana’s minimum requirement for related instruction is 144 hours per year. Programs are required to meet that minimum, but most exceed the 144 hours.
There are some programs that are linked with the community colleges for related training instruction. In those classes the apprentice could receive college credit and work towards a degree.
In many cases, the program sponsor pays the cost of training, although this can vary from program to program. The apprentice may be required to furnish his or her own books and tools. Opportunities for financial assistance may be available through Louisiana Career Solutions Centers, located throughout the state.
If eligible, you may use your veteran’s benefits while you are registered in an apprenticeship program. You must contact the Veteran’s Administration for more information.