There are many educational paths to working in construction, and apprenticeships can be a popular one. The concept of the apprentice is hundreds of years old, presuming that people who wanted to take up a particular trade would study under an expert for years. At the satisfactory conclusion of the apprenticeship, the apprentice would have the skills they need to move into their careers. Here are a few things you should know about construction apprenticeships.
Why Does Construction Offer Apprenticeships?
If you’ve worked in other industries, you might wonder why apprenticeships are much more common in construction. There are many industries in which you can learn everything you need to know simply by doing the job. In others, you might need to pursue a college education in order to get the foundation you need to qualify for the job. Construction is a little different. In this industry, workers can often start doing the most entry-level tasks with relatively little instruction. Over time, they need more support and training to be able to do the work correctly and safely. Apprenticeships are a great way to get that training in a supportive environment, without having to work for free.
How Does an Apprenticeship Work?
If you’re familiar with the concept of internships in other industries, it may be easier to understand how a construction apprenticeship works. Apprenticeships are paid positions, and they usually involve working with a specific company. You have to apply for the apprenticeship, and depending on how popular it is, it may be difficult to get one. The company pays your wages while you are in the apprenticeship, although they may get some of that funding from government grants. During the apprenticeship, you receive on-the-job training and support from a qualified mentor. By the end, you may receive a certification or meet most of the requirements you need to apply for a contractor license.
What Are the Basic Qualifications for an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships may have a variety of qualifications. It all depends on the particular job, so it’s a good idea to investigate and make sure that you can meet the requirements before you apply. As a general rule, you can expect these qualifications:
- At least age 16, or 18 for certain jobs
- High school graduate or appropriate alternative
- Ability to do all the tasks that the job requires
- Residency in the region, or a willingness to relocate
In some cases, you may need to have a certain amount of experience in the industry or additional training.
How Does an Apprenticeship Compare to College Education?
In many ways, apprenticeships are comparable to a college education. For example, an apprenticeship gives you access to experts in the field who can teach you and guide you through the tasks, not unlike a college program. Some apprenticeships can last for several years, approaching the length of a four-year college program. In some cases, you can even get college credit for completing an apprenticeship, although that’s heavily dependent on the individual program and school. The biggest difference is that you don’t generally get paid to get a college education, while an apprenticeship usually does provide some kind of stipend.
How Can People Find Available Apprenticeships?
The availability of apprenticeships depends a lot on the area you live in and the field you’re looking to go in. If you’re interested in applying for an apprenticeship, you can search online for options close to you. You may be able to locate them through job-posting websites, or from listings tied to local trade organizations. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, keep searching. The availability of apprenticeships may not follow a typical calendar or school year, as it depends on the company offering it.
An apprenticeship might be a way to jumpstart your construction career. For more information about what you’ll need to become a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!