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FAQs on Apprenticeship Programs and Skilled Trades

October 24, 2023

With the rising costs of a four-year college or university degree putting traditional postsecondary education out of reach for some, there is (finally!) more focus on skilled trades and apprenticeship programs.

The week of November 13-19 is National Apprenticeship Week, a week that the U.S. Department of Labor, the White House, and employers across the country come together to showcase the impact Registered Apprenticeship programs have in improving job quality and creating access to good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for all, including populations historically underrepresented – women, people of color, and individuals with a disability – and underserved populations, such as youth and young adults.

The Chatfield Edge is a nonprofit organization that supports first-generation and non-traditional students as they gain success in life through education, including the trade school environment. We offer support in choosing a field of study, identifying schools, completing applications, and securing financial aid. We also offer close-the-gap scholarships, mentoring, and opportunities to give back to the community through servant leadership.

If you are thinking about exploring a skilled trade or an apprenticeship, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.

  1. What is an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship is any work arrangement where you learn a skill or trade from someone else on the job. It can be paid or unpaid, formal or informal.
  2. What is a Registered Apprenticeship? A Registered Apprenticeship is a nationally recognized apprenticeship that the U.S. Department of Labor approves of, leading to an “industry-recognized credential.” These apprenticeships are always paid and include regular wage increases during the program. They typically last two to four years. You can learn much more at gov.
  3. What is a pre-apprenticeship? Some Registered Apprenticeship programs require pre-apprenticeships to prepare individuals for the apprenticeship opportunity. These may be paid or unpaid.
  4. Will I attend school during a Registered Apprenticeship? Most opportunities include classroom instruction, often providing college credit for your experience. You will earn wages from the employer at the same time.
  5. How is a Registered Apprenticeship different from a skilled trade or certification program? Registered Apprenticeships are hands-on, paid work opportunities, while skilled trade or certification programs may solely be conducted in a classroom environment at an educational institute. An employer does not always cover the costs of obtaining training for a skilled trade or certificate.
  6. What types of industries offer Registered Apprenticeships? Apprenticeship industries include:
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Cybersecurity
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Information Technology
  • Telecom
  • Transportation
  1. What qualifications do I need to be an apprentice? Qualifications vary depending on the job. Generally, most apprenticeships require an individual to be at least 18 years of age, be authorized to work in the U.S., and have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  2. How do I learn more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in southwest Ohio? – You can visit, or you can contact The Chatfield Edge, and we will help guide you through the entire process. Contact David Hesson, Director of Programs, at or 513-875-3344 ext. 115.




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