Special thanks to Mr. Leo Kane,
Apprenticeship Training Representative, NYS Department of Labor

Once upon a time, young people learned a trade through years of apprenticeship.

As a matter of course, they not only gained proficiency and skill, they became educated in the nuances – the hows and whys – of their professionapprenticeship graphic. This immersion in vocational training was repaid with the guarantee of a life-time job. Eventually the students became the masters, taking on their own apprentices and continuing the cycle for another generation.

While apprenticeships are no longer the norm, there are still many opportunities for a young person with aptitude and commitment to learn a craft that all but guarantees future employment. According to the web site “Career Voyages,” there are approximately 29,000 apprenticeship programs throughout the country and currently more than 420,000 individuals in the “apprenticeship system.”

Apprentices must be 18 years of age for most occupations, although for some trades they can be as young as 16. They receive a combination of academic and vocational instruction, and are paid for their on-the-job training. Some vocational training institutions such as Job Corps have partnerships with national and regional employers. Students are trained to meet the specific needs and practices of those businesses, where they are placed upon graduation. In addition, many colleges are beginning to offer academic credit for participation in registered apprenticeship programs.

Generally, apprenticeship sponsors can be described as a single employer, collective of employers, employer associations, or joint labor-management organizations. Locally, there are apprenticeships available through trade unions and other businesses ranging from the boilermakers to bricklayers to electricians to plumbers to roofers. Nationally, the trend is toward apprenticeships across a wide spectrum of employment sectors including information technologies, health services, transportation and advanced manufacturing.

Apprenticeship opportunities are ever-changing with new press releases posted regularly. Check out the New York State Department of Labor’s web site or visit your local One Stop for current information.


NYS Department of Labor

Career Voyages


U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer & Labor Services
Anita Reyes, Apprenticeship Training Rep.
Leo O’Brien Federal Building,
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 431-4008

NYS Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Training
Christine Timber, Director
State Campus Building 12 – Rm 436,
Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-6820