It’s graduation season and many high school alumni are considering 4-year universities. However, apprenticeships are continuing to rise in popularity both across the nation and here in Arizona. Often referred to as the “other 4-year degree,” this track is ideal for students who have a clear career path in mind. Here are a few reasons why:
- Earn as you learn: This might be the most popular perk of apprenticeships, because participants begin earning an income on their first day of training. Pay continues throughout the duration of the apprenticeship, allowing student workers to focus their attention on their training, as opposed to picking up odd jobs that aren’t relevant to their career goals just to cover bills.
- Graduate with little to no student debt: According to Credible.com, the average college student graduating with their bachelor’s degree will also leave with $33,654 in student loan debt—a far cry from apprentices who on average complete their programs with little to no debt.
- A clear career path: Apprenticeship programs allow novice workers to immerse themselves in their future career as they train on-the-job with experienced workers known as “journeymen.” Apprentices learn the ins and outs of the industry and many get hired by the company with which they’re training upon graduation.
- Hands-on learning: If you’re the type of student who doesn’t thrive in a classroom setting, an apprenticeship may better suit you as it offers a hands-on approach to learning a skill. While all registered apprenticeships do require some classroom instruction, most of the learning is in the field.
- Graduate with a job: Nationally, 94% of apprentices retain employment either with the company they’ve trained with or within their industry of focus earning an average annual starting salary of $60,000 once their program is completed.
There are currently 177 Registered Apprenticeships in Arizona overseen by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Office of Apprenticeship. To learn more about apprenticeships in Arizona, please visit, www.AZApprenticeship.com.
By Jillian Seamans