Apprenticeship is the process of learning a skilled occupation through:

  1. Employer-Paid On-The-Job Training 
  2. Classroom Related Instruction

To become an apprentice, you must be:

  • 18 years old
  • 16 years old with parental approval

The process starts when you let your employer know that you would like to become an apprentice. Your employer will then apply to become a sponsor through the NYS Department of Labor. 

Each apprenticeable occupation has a standard training outline. This assures that apprentices across the state have the same set of skills. The length of time it takes you to learn the skills of the occupation will depend upon the standard training outline and how fast you learn. 

Once your apprenticeship is approved, you will work under the guidance of experienced craft workers called journeyworkers. From them, you learn the skills of the trade. As you master each skill, you become a more productive employee.

At the same time you are working, you are also required to attend classroom-related instruction. This is usually in the evenings. The place and time of instruction is set up by the employer and the local educational provider. WSWHE BOCES is a related instruction provider for the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program.

Your progress is tracked by

  • You
  • Your employer

There is a written contract between the apprentice and the employer that acknowledges your shared commitment to the training process. This agreement is approved and registered by the New York State Department of Labor. 

Each trade has a definite term of training listed in years. As a registered apprentice, you may progress according to that training term OR you may become skilled more quickly or more slowly than the training term. You may even start your apprenticeship with credit toward your goal. This is because your employer may choose to award you credit for prior work experience or coursework in the occupation.

The length of training varies from one to six years, depending on the occupation. 

The WSWHE BOCES classroom related instruction has been designed and developed to meet the mandated requirements for the New York State Registered Plant Maintenance - Electrician (4 years) and Electrician (5 years) Apprenticeship Programs. (See information below.) 

At the successful completion of each registered apprenticeship, the Department of Labor awards the apprentice with a "Certificate of Completion." This is a nationally-recognized credential. 

Approved employers/sponsors provide up to 9,000 hours of on-the-job training in targeted skills in addition to at least 180 hours per year of classroom related instruction through WSWHE BOCES. Classroom instruction includes both theory and hands-on training; classes take place two nights per week and follow the school-year schedule. Classroom instruction will be offered at the F. Donald Myers Education Center, located at 15 Henning Road in Saratoga Springs.

For questions or additional information regarding classroom related instruction provided by WSWHE BOCES, please call (518) 581-3555.

For more information about apprenticeships, please visit the NYS Department of Labor website.

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