Through the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Program, workers have the opportunity to receive paid on-the-job training in combination with related in-class coaching.
The program is administered by the Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS), an agency under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD).
About the Apprenticeship Program
According to the DAS Apprentice Handbook, apprenticeship in the Commonwealth dates back to the 1600s, when people were trained for positions in trades including blacksmithing and silversmithing. Today, apprentices earn wages while learning on the job under the supervision of a mentor.
Occupations with apprentices are available in a range of industries, with 452 employment locations registered in Massachusetts. Residents can apprentice to be a firefighter, a computer operator, or a cook. Many apprentice opportunities — including as electricians and plumbers — are also available with Massachusetts construction labor unions.
Depending on the trade, apprenticeships can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Most apprenticeships consist of at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 150 hours of classroom instruction per year.
Eligibility requirements and apprentice policies vary based on the specific apprenticeship and sponsor. In general, an apprentice must be at least 16 years old.
Apprentice Opportunities for Veterans
Massachusetts offers special benefits for veterans in apprenticeships. Veterans, reservists, and National Guard members who are employed in an apprenticeship program may be entitled to receive G.I. Bill payments in addition to wages earned through the apprenticeship. There are a number of veteran apprenticeship resources available to help individuals find occupations with apprentice opportunities.
- Prospective apprentices are responsible for finding an apprenticeship and sponsor. DAS is not responsible for placing apprentices in jobs; the agency’s goal is to promote, regulate, and service registered apprenticeships across the Commonwealth.
- DAS requires all apprentices to complete and submit the Apprentice Agreement form stating that they agree to the terms and work they are responsible for performing. The sponsor must also sign this form.
- All apprentices are required to have an Apprentice ID Card. The fee is $35 and the card is valid for one year.
Find the apprentice program that’s right for you! Contact the appropriate DAS office staff member with any questions or for additional information.
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