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School to Apprenticeship

What does it mean to be an apprentice?

Apprenticeship is one of the oldest methods of career preparation. It means you earn while you learn. Apprenticeship comes in all shapes and sizes. In Alaska, the greatest opportunities are in the high growth industries of oil and gas, healthcare, forestry, construction, mining, seafood, and transportation. An apprentice spends some of the time in the field learning the trade and some of the time in a classroom for related training. It varies, but it can take up to four years to acquire the necessary hours and skills to complete. Apprenticeable occupations are high pay and high skill. Apprenticeships are job based with industry-recognized credentials, which means transfer from one job to another is easier. At the end, the apprentice will have a career, hold a nationally recognized credential, may be on track to a university degree, or have become a leader of industry.

Are you interested in an alternative to a traditional 4-year degree?

Did you know that when you complete a registered apprenticeship in Alaska, you might earn up to 38 credits with the University of Alaska. An apprentice who concurrently enrolls in university programs may graduate with an associate’s degree in the same time as their classmates attending for a four-year college degree. More importantly, you will not have the high cost of college loans. As an apprentice, you will earn while you learn so in four years, you will have four years of work experience and an associate degree.

Can I start right away?

Yes. If you are still in high school, School to Apprenticeship (STA) is a linkage with business/industry, education, government, parents and a young person who knows the opportunities of apprenticeship and wants to go directly into a career without closing the door on their education. Most school districts throughout the state have some apprenticeship or STA opportunities available. Check with your high school counselor or career & technical education teacher.

What can I do to prepare myself?

Parents and school districts in Alaska have found the information contained in the career cluster model helpful, The plan or program of studies allows you to model your education through high school and on to a career. It offers suggestions for academic classes as well as technical training while still in high school and lets you know what opportunities exist after high school. Ask your high school counselor or career & technical education teacher about using career clusters and what programs of study are available in your school district.


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Page Updated January 31, 2018