Q: What is Registered Apprenticeship?
A: Registered Apprenticeships are innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and- learn models that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Q: What are the basic program components of Registered Apprenticeship?
A: The basic program components are:

Business Involvement: Employers are the foundation of every apprenticeship program and the skills needed by their workforce are at the core. Businesses must play an active role in building the program and be involved in every step in designing the apprenticeship.

On-the-Job Training: Every program includes structured on-the-job training. Apprentices get hands-on training from an experienced mentor at the job site for typically not less than one year. On-the-job training is development through mapping the skills and knowledge that the apprentice must learn over the course of the program in order to be fully proficient at the job.

Related Instruction: Apprentices receive related instruction that complement on-the-job learning. This instruction delivers the technical, workforce, and academic competencies that apply to the job. It can be provided by a community college, a technical school, an apprenticeship training school, or by the business itself. Education partners collaborate with business to develop the curriculum based on the skills and knowledge needed by apprentices. All partners work to identify how to pay for the related instruction, including the cost to the employer and other funds that can be leveraged.

Rewards for Skill Gains: Apprentices receive increases in pay as their skills and knowledge increase. Start by establishing an entry wage and an ending wage, and build in progressive wage increases through the apprenticeship as apprentices attain skill benchmarks. Progressive wage increases help reward and motivate apprentices as they advance through their training.

National Occupational Credential: Every graduate of a Registered Apprenticeship program receives a nationally recognized credential. As you build the program, keep in mind that apprenticeship programs are designed to ensure that apprentices master every skill and have all the knowledge needed to be fully proficient for a specific occupation.

Q: How is Registered Apprenticeship different from other types of work-based training?
A: Registered Apprenticeship training is distinguished from other types of workplace training by several factors:

  • Participants who are newly hired (or already employed) earn wages from employers during training
  • Programs must meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Programs provide on-the-job learning and job-related technical instruction
  • On-the-job learning is conducted in the work setting under the direction of one or more of the employer’s personnel; and
  • Training results in an industry-recognized credential.

Q: What types of industry sectors will Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA) assist with?
A: Alabama Office of  Apprenticeship has five Industry Focused Sectors:

  • Healthcare
  • Construction/Carpentry
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Distribution/Transportation and Logistics
  • Advance Manufacturing

Q: How does a Registered Apprenticeship program benefit employers?
A: First and foremost, Apprenticeship sponsors develop highly skilled employees. Once established, Apprenticeship programs also reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment, and increase safety in the workplace/job site.

Q: How much money can an apprentice earn?
A: Apprentices earn competitive wages, a paycheck from day one and incremental raises as skill levels increase. The average wage for a fully proficient worker who completed an apprenticeship translates to approximately $50,000 annually. Apprentices who complete their program earn approximately $300,000 more over their career than non-apprenticeship participants.

Q: Who administers Registered Apprenticeship programs?
A: The U.S Department of Labor (USDOL) Office of Apprenticeship administers the program nationally. USDOL is responsible for:

  • Registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards
  • Protecting the safety and welfare of apprentice
  • Issuing nationally recognized and portable Certificates of Completion of Apprenticeship to apprentices
  • Promoting the development of new programs through marketing and technical assistance
  • Assuring that all programs provide high quality training
  • Assuring that all programs produce skilled and competent workers

In addition, a wide variety of stakeholders exist, including state organizations, industry associations, educational organizations (both secondary and post-secondary), workforce development organizations, economic development organizations, community-based organizations, and others. These stakeholders have a substantial interest in the success of Registered Apprenticeship.

Q: Do apprentices earn college credit while participating in a Registered Apprenticeship program?
A: Some Registered Apprenticeship opportunities include on-the-job training, and classroom instruction provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, community colleges, and even distance learning. Often Registered Apprenticeship sponsors work directly with community colleges that ultimately provide college credit for an apprentice.

Q: What are the advantages of registering an apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor?
A: Technical Assistance and Support. The program joins the ApprenticeshipUSA network, which provides access to a nationwide network of expertise, customer service, and support at no charge.

  • National Credential – Graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs receive a national, industry-recognized credential.
  • Quality Standards – Registration means the program has met national and independent standards for quality and rigor. Registration tells prospective employees, customers and suppliers that you invest in your workforce and that you believe your employees are your most important asset!
  • Income Tax Credits – Businesses may qualify for an Alabama Income Tax Credit related to apprenticeship programs. In addition, employers may be able to claim some expenses for training as a federal tax credit.
  • Federal Resources – Business and apprentices can access funding and other resources from many federal programs to help support their Registered Apprenticeship programs.

Q: Are there other possible federal resources that can help support apprenticeship programs?
A: Other possible federal resources include:

  • WIOA
  • GI Bill
  • Pell Grants
  • Federal Work Study

Q: What is an employer’s role in Registered Apprenticeships?
A: Employers play a critical role in Registered Apprenticeships. There cannot be an apprenticeship without an employer. Employers drive the design of an apprenticeship program. An individual business or a consortium of businesses often serves as the sponsor of a Registered Apprenticeship. Sponsors make significant investments to design and execute Registered Apprenticeship programs, provide jobs to apprentices, oversee training development, and provide hands-on learning and related technical instruction for apprentices.

Q: Who are typical Registered Apprenticeship partners?
A: Through a proven system of public-private partnerships, Registered Apprenticeship partners with a wide range of organizations including, (but not limited to): Businesses, employer and industry associations, Labor-Management organizations, State and local workforce development agencies, Workforce Development Boards, Two and four year colleges that offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in conjunction with a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship, U.S. Military, Community Based Organizations and economic development organizations.

Q: Where can I find technical assistance resources to help me develop and register my apprenticeship program?

Alabama Office of Apprenticeship