We get questions that often pertain to everyone, so we wanted to share some of the basics with you.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?

An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction, usually held in the programs training facility. The apprentice will learn the technical and practical aspects of their highly skilled occupation from trained and experienced instructors. Apprenticeship programs are operated on a voluntary basis by employers, employer associations, or management and labor groups, or unions. Federal and state governments promote the establishment of apprentice programs and in that they provide technical assistance to program sponsors.

College is not for me, but I still want a good job, what are my options?

A career in the skilled trades, through a Registered Apprenticeship Program, offers many opportunities for a good livelihood, job advancement and security. The apprenticeship program has long served as a major source of needed craftsmen, foreman and contractors. To assure the successful completion of your apprenticeship and advancement in the industry, you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent, good coordination and skillful hands. If you are Interested in a challenging and good paying job in a field that offers outlets for creative and artistic abilities, a Registered Apprenticeship is a good place to start.

How much does it cost to go through a Registered Apprenticeship Program?

Nothing. Actually, you make money! While there may be some administrative fees or the cost of workbooks to factor in, the training is free and you get paid! An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. While on the job, apprentices make money! And each year of your apprenticeship, you make a little more — built in raises! While the specifics of how much you make vary by trade and region across Pennsylvania, it’s all a living wage with the promise of more.

Are there job advancement opportunities?

After the apprentice completes their four to five year apprenticeship, they become a journeyperson. After becoming a journeyperson, you may look forward to advancing to foreman, superintendent or cost estimator for an employer or contractor. Additionally, skilled journeypersons can be superintendents of large contract jobs.

How wide is the employment?

The construction trades work in every part of the country with more work being performed in more populous regions. About 80 percent of these construction jobs include industrial plants, office buildings, banks, apartment buildings, churches, schools and residential homes. The remaining 20 percent are employed mostly by institutions such as hotels and hospitals, whose facilities require continuous maintenance. They may be employed directly by the organization on whose premises they work or by contractors who have contracted with the organization to maintain the building.

What does PACA stand for?

PACA stands for Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association. It’s a group of Training Coordinators throughout the state of Pennsylvania that collected together to share the importance of Registered Apprenticeship Programs and the secure career it can offer to students across the state.

Want to learn more about Registered Apprenticeship Programs and the construction trades that offer training for across Pennsylvania? Check out the PACA links page.


Still have questions? Contact Us!