What is an Apprenticeship

Instructor teaching students at a blackboard

A Registered Apprenticeship is a formalized, structured training program. It combines on-the-job training (OJT) or mastery of competencies and related technical instruction in which you receive practical and technical training. Industry determines the essential skills, because apprenticeship is industry-driven career training. Each apprenticeship requires from 2,000 to 8,000 work hours or mastery of competencies to complete. The apprenticeship is broken down into skill areas with a set number of hours for each skill area or Job Function for a competency based Apprenticeship. An apprenticeship also has structured formal training. Each year of apprenticeship (2,000 hours), requires 144 hours of apprenticeship-related training.

This apprenticeship program has two components – formal classroom instruction and OJT or mastery of competencies.

Formal Classroom Instruction

An apprenticeship has a structured formal training requirement. Each year of apprenticeship (2,000 hours), requires 144 hours of apprenticeship-related training. Classroom training provides members with the required background knowledge of the trade. Completion of "A" school or Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) training (for Navy and Coast Guard) will usually meet this requirement. For other services, military occupational (MOC) training usually meets this requirement. When military schools or training have not been completed, you can use formal related civilian training such as vocational schools, college classes, trade schools, and correspondence courses. Contact the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) office before beginning any training program to make sure the training is acceptable.

On the Job Training and Competency Mastery

On-the-job training encompasses the skills and work experiences learned while doing the actual job. The amount of OJT hours required to complete your apprenticeship is trade related and will differ from trade to trade. To complete your OJT requirement, total work hours of between 2,000 to 8,000 hours must be completed and documented. Each trade is broken down into work processes or skill areas. These skill areas form an outline of the tasks to be completed and the work hours required in each skill area. The outline of tasks is called a Work Processes Schedule (WPS). A WPS is simply a breakdown of the work experience to be completed. Competency-based apprenticeships also use a WPS which provides Job Functions with specific Competencies that must be mastered. Go to the Trades page to find out more on the work processes scheduled for your military occupation.