Howard Chusid, Ed.D, LMHC, NCC | Article

Have You Thought About An Apprenticeship?

If you don't know what to do, and you are not ready for college or college may not be ready for you, what about an apprenticeship? Do you like to work with your hands and your mind? Many occupations can be learned on the job (OJT) through an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship/vocational training prepares you for a career through a planned program of on-the-job learning with classroom instruction, while you work and earn a salary. The programs can last from one to six years, and you can choose careers in areas such as telecommunications, health care, computing, business support and the arts.

What is so special about OJT (on the job training) or a vocational experience?
A vocational experience allows you to learn, work and make money all at once. It affords you the opportunity to learn a trade or apprentice, to learn from the bottom up, to experience daily what the vocation entails, to get educated about the field, and to learn how to actually implement what you learned into the real job. Most of us just read things in a book and decide from there, what we might like and not like. With OJT, you actually do the work, get the education and get paid for it. While most of us know beforehand all about a vocational area and if we would like to do it, the idea of earning and learning is a wonderful prospect.

Most apprenticeships are registered through the U.S. Department of Labor, ensuring the program meets government standards for fairness, safety and training. If you complete a registered program, you will receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor that documents your qualifications for the career. Also, classroom instruction often can be used to earn a license, certification or degree. Unions have great vocational apprenticeships, if you can get on the list.

The following are high growth industries the federal government has identified for the future. Businesses, colleges and government agencies are promoting job training and apprenticeship programs in these industries:

- health care services
- information technology
- biotechnology
- geospatial technology
- automotive
- retail trade
- construction
- transportation
- hospitality
- financial services
- energy

Some of the union apprenticeship programs are:

Auto Building

For more information on apprenticeships, visit with a career counselor.

You also can find apprenticeship information at the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration website, http://www.doleta.gov/oa/

Howard Chusid, Ed.D. has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, is an experienced Career/Mental Health Counselor and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family and Circuit Civil Mediator and a Qualified Arbitrator. He is a member of the National Career Development Association and is a Master Development Career Professional.