Apprenticeships - A time-tested pathway to careers through on-the-job training

An apprenticeship is composed of highly-structured and paid on-the-job training with an employer paired with classroom instruction directly related to the trade or industry. The apprentice works full-time for the sponsoring employer in order to learn the skills of the trade.

Registered apprenticeship programs enable employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs for registered apprentices that can increase productivity and improve the quality of the workforce. Apprentices who complete registered apprenticeship programs are accepted by the industry as journey workers. By providing on-the-job training, related classroom instruction,and guaranteed wage structures, employers who sponsor apprentices provide incentives to attract and retain more highly qualified employees and improve productivity. For each “apprenticeable” occupation, a set of requirements details the duration and/or competency standards necessary for completion. When an apprentice completes these requirements, the government issues a certificate of completion that then serves as a nationally recognized portable credential.

Certifications earned through registered apprenticeship programs are recognized nationwide. As with other forms of postsecondary institutions or programs, research to ensure that the program is properly registered with the State Apprenticeship Council and/or the United States Department of Labor.

Program Length

Apprenticeships are required to abide by State and Federal Apprenticeship Rules and Regulations. In Florida, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction for each year of apprenticeship is required. Related instruction is organized related supplemental instruction in technical subjects related to the occupation. Most programs utilize local technical schools or community/state colleges for the related classroom instruction. Programs may also provide their own related instruction to its apprentice. Depending on the trade, an apprenticeship is a commitment of between one to five years and is more suitable for someone who can commit to a long-term training program. Absence from work and related instruction classes is not tolerated and can lead to termination from the program or at the least, delay your pay raises and completion date.

Available Programs and Entrance Requirements

Applicants seeking entrance into a registered apprenticeship program must apply to the registered program sponsor. For a complete list of registered apprenticeship occupations in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education website on Apprenticeships at From there, click on contacts, then, search by “Registered Apprenticeship Occupation”.

Each registered apprenticeship program operates independently and establishes its application process and minimum qualifications. The required minimum qualifications for persons entering an apprenticeship are an eligible starting age of not less than sixteen (16) years. Most programs’ minimum qualifications require the following of all applicants – being at least 18 years of age, possess a High School Diploma or a high school equivalency diploma, possess a valid drivers’ license and be physically able to perform the work of the trade.

Cost of Attendance

There are no tuition fees for registered apprentices for related instruction provided through Local Education Agencies (LEA) as stipulated in Florida Statute 1009.25. The only costs would be tools, books and materials needed for the trade. This program does not supply vouchers or loans for those seeking to participate in the apprenticeship program, nor would they provide relocation expenses.


Registered pre-apprenticeship programs provide an avenue for both adults and youth who are at least 16 years old to become qualified to enter registered apprenticeship programs. District school boards and community colleges are often involved in pre-apprenticeship programs, assisting sponsors in providing related technical instruction. Programs for high school students may begin in the junior year and may include on the job training with participating employers. Adult programs may include GED completion, as well as technical instruction and on the job training.

After completing their programs, pre-apprentices may be granted the preference for entry into registered apprenticeship programs. They may also receive credit towards the completion of their registered apprenticeship program, often shortening the program length by as much as a year. For more information, please visit the Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education website on pre-apprenticeships.


Florida Resources

Apprenticeship Programs in Florida
The Apprenticeship section of the Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education website features general information and contacts for apprenticeships in Florida, including an Apprenticeship Toolbox and business partners.

Frequently Asked Questions about Apprenticeship Opportunities in Florida

General Information Sheet on Apprenticeships, Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education (pdf)
This one-page general information sheet provides an overview of Apprenticeships in Florida, including program details and requirements.

The Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education website on pre-apprenticeship which features lists of youth and adult pre-apprenticeship programs.

National Resources

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Disability Employment Policy Resources on Apprenticeship
This website features resources to promote inclusive program models that fulfill employer needs by attracting a diverse array of candidates, including people with disabilities. Several key resources are listed below.

Apprenticeship FAQs
This U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet outlines the key elements and benefits of Apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship Works Video Series
This U.S. Department of Labor series features short videos of apprentices with and without disabilities in high-growth industries like information technology, healthcare, and marine engineering and their apprenticeship sponsors. They talk about how apprenticeship works for them and how it can work for other job seekers and businesses across the country.

Connecting High Schoolers to Apprenticeships

My Future, My Way; First Steps Toward College, A Workbook for Middle and Junior High School Students.

Equal Opportunity in Apprenticeship for People with Disabilities - Fact Sheet (pdf)
This two-page fact sheet for employers provides insight into DOL Equal Employment Opportunity requirements which help individuals with disabilities succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
This U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet specifically outlines key elements of the pre-apprenticeship programs available to high school students.

Youth with Disabilities Entering the Workplace through Apprenticeship (pdf)
This toolkit was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to provide information on a series of topical areas around registered apprenticeship and how it can be used to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Key sections include Preparing Youth and Young Adults for Apprenticeship Programs (pdf) and Increasing Participation of Young Adults with Disabilities In Apprenticeship Programs (pdf). The intended audiences for this toolkit are service providers that work with young people, including youth workforce development professionals, vocational rehabilitation and other disability service providers, One-Stop Career Center personnel and high school personnel that work with youth on postsecondary transition planning.

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
Contains information on registered apprenticeships in the United States including answers to common questions about apprenticeship, newsletters, research on apprenticeships and a new Apprenticeship Community of Practice for apprentices, employers and national sponsors to recruit apprentices and share experiences, best practices and innovations.

Apprenticeship Tax Credits
This U.S. DOL website provides a list of states which provide a tax credit to employers that hire registered apprentices and states that offer tuition support for registered apprentices.

Search Sponsor Programs Database
This site provides information about apprenticeship and training programs throughout the country.

Women's Bureau
A website about women in apprenticeship and non-traditional positions. Read the Women's Bureau's electronic newsletter called e-News, which highlights policies and programs for today's working women.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s ApprenticeshipUSA website features current apprenticeship programs in your area.

Workforce GPS - Expanding Apprenticeship for Individuals with Disabilities
This website provides a list of programs and resources that encourage hiring individuals with disabilities into apprenticeship programs, including related programs and toolkits.