Apprenticeship Information for Women Interested In Trades Careers

An exciting career with family-supporting wages is waiting for you!

Apprenticeship offers paid job training for skilled workers and is the gateway to many high-wage career opportunities. Although many occupations in the construction and manufacturing industries have been traditionally viewed as “male” jobs, these are great opportunities for women!

Apprenticeship is a rewarding but demanding choice that requires willpower, dedication, grit and physical fitness to succeed. For those women who succeed in completing apprenticeship, the rewards are excellent wages and benefits in a meaningful career anywhere in the United States. There is enormous unmet demand for skilled trades workers nationwide.

Introduction to Registered Apprenticeship for Women



What is apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Because apprenticeship provides good pay throughout the training program, it is a great alternative to a college education.

Trades apprenticeships require a 2 – 5 year commitment.


Who is eligible to be an apprentice?

Registered apprenticeship in most apprenticeable occupations is open to anyone age 18 or older, but this job training is not just for college-aged women! Many women who are returning to work, considering a career change, or need to earn more income to support their families choose to become trades apprentice. A high school diploma or GED is required for most skilled trades apprenticeships.


What is pre-apprenticeship?

Pre-apprenticeship training is a good way to improve your skills if you don’t have any experience working in the trades or other blue collar jobs. In addition to providing basic skills training, many pre-apprenticeship programs work directly with apprenticeship programs, making apprenticeship easier to access for women who don’t have family or friends already working in the trades. Two examples of pre-apprenticeship programs that are specifically designed for women are Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (based in Portland), and Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Employment for Women (based in Seattle). Although there is a lot of variation in pre-apprenticeship training programs, they generally require a time commitment of between one and three months.  Unlike apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship does not provide pay to students.

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