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Selecting a Trade

Time-Based or Competency-Based Apprenticeships

Time-based apprenticeships are designed for enrollment of Service members new to an occupation and allow them to document their time as they learn their trade.

Competency-based apprenticeships are designed for enrollment of Service members who are experienced in their occupation (typically at least one year of experience). These Service members are expected to be able to demonstrate mastery of the competencies of their trade.

The trade you select for your apprenticeship must be related to your military occupation. For example, if you prepare food you would select the Cook trade. You are not eligible to select the Lithographer trade because it is not relevant to the work you normally do. You must be assigned as a full-time billet. You may only enroll in an apprenticeship that aligns with the occupation you are performing.

Work Process Schedule

Each trade is broken into work process schedules (WPS).

The WPS for time-based apprenticeships lists the total hours required for the apprenticeship and forms an outline of the skill areas and associated tasks broken down into the hours required for each skill area.

The WPS for competency-based apprenticeships is broken down into job functions and related competencies.

The WPS also provides more information about the trade, including the source occupations. Source occupations are the military occupations that align with that trade.

Below are links to the various WPS for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel. Use these links to identify apprenticeships that are available for your specific rate or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).