From Novice to Professional: How Apprenticeships Can Launch Your Career

Kelsey Wolf-Wallace

Apprenticeships are a great way to enhance your career and develop specific job skills while doing on-the-job training. According to the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship, “Apprenticeship is a system in which workers train on-the-job earning wages and doing productive work – while also taking courses. When someone completes an apprenticeship, they’ll have valuable work experience and a recognized industry credential that allows them to continue in the field and advance their career over time.” 

Since 2011, there has been a 70% growth in new apprentices with 13,500+ new apprenticeship programs created in the last 5 years. Those who complete a registered apprenticeship retain employment and earn an average annual salary of $77,000 (ApprenticeshipUSA). If you’re looking for a new job, an apprenticeship may be a great option!

Benefits of an Apprenticeship 

  1. 1.)  Grow your skillset
  2. 2.) Become specialized in an industry
  3. 3.) Learn opportunities without gaining student debt
  4. 4.) Many employers hire direct after the apprenticeship is completed
  5. 5.) They are paid positions that often offer benefits

Apprenticeship Opportunities 

There are apprenticeship opportunities in a variety of industries and career fields. Many assume that only trades jobs offer apprenticeships, but there is a range of options.  Here are a few examples:

  • – Advanced Manufacturing 
  • – Agriculture 
  • – Care Economy (including Social Services and Education) 
  • – Construction 
  • – Cybersecurity
  • – Energy
  • – Financial Services
  • – Healthcare 
  • – Hospitality 
  • – Information Technology
  • – Public Service
  • – Telecommunications 
  • – Transportation

How to find Apprenticeships

Not all apprenticeship opportunities are created equally so be sure to research and verify that the apprenticeship program is registered through Apprenticeship opportunities are offered through an employer or a program sponsor. To become an apprentice, search for an opportunity using the Apprenticeship Finder and apply directly with the employer or the program sponsor. 

How Your VA Benefits Could Help

If you are eligible, your GI Bill benefits can provide a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and stipend for books and supplies in addition to your registered apprenticeship pay. Veterans with at least a 10% service-connected disability that qualify for Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) could use their benefits for eligible apprenticeships.

Bottom Line

Apprenticeships are fully paid on-the-job training opportunities that can be a worthy option for veterans and military spouses breaking into a new career field. Do your research and find out if there are apprenticeship programs and opportunities with an employer or industry you are interested in working for. If you are a Hire Heroes USA client, you can speak to your Transition Specialist to learn more! 

Kelsey Wolf-Wallace is the Program Manager for the Junior Enlisted Program. Hire Heroes USA provides free job search assistance to U.S. military members, veterans and their spouses, and we help companies connect with opportunities to hire them. We have a proven track record of success helping over 75,000 veterans and military spouses get hired since the company was founded. The services never expire. Sign up today at