Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions

Can I access WIOA services and enroll in an apprenticeship at the same time?

The answer is yes. WIOA services and apprenticeship are not mutually exclusive. Just because you are employed as an apprentice or in preparation to become an apprentice, that does NOT mean that you are not eligible for any WIOA services. The nature of these programs is very customizable so that there is no simple answer that applies to everyone. If you are interested in these options or think you might be eligible, you should contact your local Job Service office.

How long is apprenticeship training?

Apprenticeships vary in length from one to five years depending on the trade. In some cases, credit for previous training may be granted. Credit must be requested by the employer and then approved through the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. Upon completion of the paid-related instruction, the apprentice is granted a completion certificate by Lakeshore Technical College. Upon completion of the apprenticeship contract, the graduate apprentice is awarded a certificate of completion by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and their Journeyworker card.

What does it cost?

Costs for fees and books vary by trade. Click on the trade you’re interested in for more information.

How much is an apprentice paid?

The apprentice generally starts out at about half the wage paid the skilled trade worker (Journeyworker) in that specific trade. The apprenticeship contract provides for periodic pay increases, generally at six-month intervals. The apprentice usually reaches 90% or 95% of the skilled pay rate by the end of his/her apprenticeship. He/she is also entitled to any fringe benefits which may be furnished by the employer, such as sick leave, paid vacations and holidays, workmen's compensation, etc.

Starting wages will differ from trade to trade and may vary within trades according to geographical locations. To get an idea of current wages in the construction trades, visit this website, You can get an idea of what other Lakeshore program graduates are paid by reviewing the graduate follow-up survey.

What are the minimum qualifications for apprenticeship?

Minimum requirements for entry into an apprenticeship vary by occupational and geographical areas. Where standards have been incorporated covering the selection and training of apprentices within a particular trade, the entrance requirements may be exacting. The applicant must have at least average aptitude and must be physically fit for the trade. Some trades prefer an applicant to have had either a course in chemistry or physics and a minimum of two years of high school mathematics. In some trades it is not only advisable but essential to have a basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.

How does a person become an apprentice?

Start by learning all you can about the trade you are interested in by talking to people who are currently in the trade. You can also talk to counselors at your high school, employer associations, labor unions, and you can contact the Apprenticeship Office at Lakeshore Technical College.

Remember, looking for an apprenticeship is like looking for a job. After you have decided which trade you wish to follow, contacts should then be made so that you will be considered for future opportunities.

For an apprenticeship in the Industrial and the Service Trades, individuals are required to be employed and then sponsored by their employer.

For an apprenticeship in the Construction Trades, individuals are required to make an application with the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees.

Entering a construction trade requires action by a Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, so it will be necessary to go through an interview process in order to receive consideration for present or future openings.

How are apprentices selected?

The selection of the apprentice is the responsibility of Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees or the employer depending upon the trade and/or industry involved. Selection standards indicate that most employers prefer candidates who demonstrate maturity and a sense of responsibility, are high school graduates or the equivalent, and have the applicable aptitude, mechanical or otherwise, required to perform on the job.

On my way to becoming an apprentice, what can I do in the meantime?

You can do several things. You can enroll in courses to develop your basic work and study skills by talking with the local job service center and student services at Lakeshore. You can brush up on some basic academic background skills such as reading, writing, and math. If you feel that your basic academic skills are up to or exceeding the 12th grade level and you think you might be interested in the Journeyworker Technical Studies associate degree, you can begin taking the general education requirements for that degree. You can finish your GED or HSED. You can prepare for and take your Accuplacer tests. You can even enroll in other related Lakeshore programs. 

School Closings

Lakeshore may close as a result of weather conditions. Check these sources for the latest announcements:

  • Lakeshore website
  • Lakeshore cancellation hotline- 920-693-1825 and 888-468-6582.


Accuplacer is a computer-generated assessment, developed to help students entering college achieve their education goals. Accuplacer assists an apprentice applicant with identifying academic strengths and needs in reading, writing and mathematics so that they can succeed in the classroom portion of their apprenticeship training.

What is a Technical Studies Journeyworker Degree?

In response to requests for academic recognition of registered apprenticeship training in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) provides a Technical Studies-Journeyworker Associate in Applied Science Degree (WTCS Program Number 10-499-5). The Technical Studies-Journeyworker AAS Degree is designed to support lifelong learning and accelerate the achievement of individual career goals. A person who successfully completes a Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards registered apprenticeship program which includes a minimum of 400 hours of paid-related instruction in the Wisconsin Technical College System and is at least three years in length is granted the 39 credits of technical studies portion of the Technical Studies-Journeyworker AAS Degree. Additionally, the candidate must then complete 21 credits of General Education including: 6 credits in Communications, 3 credits in Social Science, 3 credits in Behavioral Science, 3 credits in Math and/or Science and 6 credits of other General Education electives.

NOTE: All general education courses must be selected from the approved list of WTCS general education courses. If you are interested in this degree option, please make an appointment with the Dean of Advanced Manufacturing at Lakeshore Technical College.

What is Evening / Night / Non-paid-related instruction?

Apprentices are required to complete a minimum number of non-paid-related classes as outlined for their specific trade. The apprentice should check the terms of his or her contract to establish what non-paid-related instruction he or she is required to complete on his or her own time and at his or her own expense. It is advised that apprentices consult with the joint apprenticeship committee for the specific trade if it is not clear what is required in their non-paid-related instruction. Lakeshore Technical College operates an evening schedule for non-paid-related instruction scheduling courses in the fall, winter, and spring.

What is the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Law?

Wisconsin Apprenticeship law is found in Chapter 106 of the Wisconsin Statutes and in Chapter DWD 295. The law was created to fulfill the following three purposes:

  • To assure the state's industries a continual supply of highly skilled workers.
  • To provide additional career opportunities for many of the workers of the State.
  • To serve as a protective measure for the people who enter the skilled trades.

The Wisconsin Apprenticeship law functions to set minimum standards on the industry and basic legal requirements with regard to the quality of training, wage progressions, and schooling.

The law works to the advantage of the apprentice, the employer, the public, and the industry by requiring that the employer make good the implied promise to teach a trade and that the apprentice fulfill his/her obligations to the employer.

What is an Apprenticeable Trade?

An apprenticeable occupation is clearly defined in Chapter DWD 295 as one where the DWD finds that the occupation:

  • Involves manual, mechanical, or technical skills
  • Is customarily learned in a practical way through training on the job
  • Requires related instruction to supplement what is learned on the job
  • Is commonly recognized throughout an industry
  • Is not part of an occupation already recognized as apprenticeable

What are Apprenticeship Committees?

State and local area apprenticeship committees set trade standards including apprentice qualifications, terms of training, related instruction requirements, training processes, and minimum compensation schedules. These committees are comprised of experienced members of the trade from both labor and management. These standards are adopted after considerable consultation with representatives of the specific industries and upon recommendations of a State Joint Apprenticeship Committee.

In what instances must training be done through apprenticeships?

Licensed Trades: Several statewide licensing laws require that an apprentice be contracted prior to employment and also require that the apprenticeship be com­pleted before the apprentice may take the license examination. The trades governed by these statewide license laws are: (1) Plumbing and (2) Sprinkler fitters.

Carpentry Law: Chapter 106.02 of Wisconsin State law directs that anyone who is learn­ing to be a carpenter must be contracted.

Local License Laws and Ordinances: Many communities have enacted local ordinances requiring one to show evidence of either being an apprentice or having completed an apprenticeship in order to be employed in certain work. Electrical ordinances with these requirements are fairly common throughout the State.

What is the definition of “An Employer”?

An employer may be an individual, a Joint Apprenticeship Committee, an owner of a business, or a company or corporation. All sponsors contracting apprentices are equal opportunity employers.

In trades that have joint apprenticeship committees, the committees provide direction for apprenticeship training, select qualified candidates for apprenticeship, and advise the school in updating curriculum for apprentices.

A Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC or JAC) is made up of equal representation from both management and labor together with various consultants, such as the Dean of Advanced Manufacturing from Lakeshore Technical College, and a representative from the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards.

Some large industrial plants have bargaining agreements with unions that offer apprenticeship opportunities only to workers already employed in their unskilled labor pool. This may make it necessary for an applicant to accept some other job at such a firm and then apply for apprenticeship training when the opportunity arises. Some plants have established in-plant joint apprenticeship committees that oversee training of apprentices.

How do I contact the construction trades Joint Apprenticeship Committees in the northeast Wisconsin area?

Bricklayers and Cement Masons