Qualifications for Apprenticeship and its Responsibilities

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To be eligible for apprenticeship, applicants must be at least eighteen years old. They have to be physically fit for the work of the trade and must have a doctor's certificate of health. The employer will pay for the examination.

Applicants accepted for an apprenticeship program who have been employed in the trade may be granted advanced standing as apprentices. Of course, the committee will check the work history and require such applicants to take an examination that covers practical experience and related instruction subjects.

Applicants who are admitted to the advanced standing will be paid the wage rate of the period in which they are placed.

An apprentice who claims previous experience will be expected to furnish evidence of previous employment by a letter from any businesses where he or she was employed, detailing the dates of employment and the type of work performed. The person also will be required to supply a record of previous related instruction subjects and work experience.

Responsibilities of Apprentices

When applicants sign the apprenticeship agreement, they voluntarily agree to abide by the provisions of the apprenticeship program. Here are some of the responsibilities and obligations imposed on apprentices during the apprentice-ship program:
  • To perform diligently and faithfully the work of the trade and duties assigned by the employer, supervisor, or journeyman, in accordance with the provisions of the local program.

  • To respect the property of the customer, employer, journeyman, and others and to abide by the working rules and regulations of the employer and the committee.

  • To attend regularly and complete satisfactorily the required hours of instruction in subjects related to the trade.

  • To maintain records of work experience and related instruction as may be required by the committee.

  • To develop safe working habits and conduct themselves in their work in such a manner as to ensure their own safety as well as that of their fellow workers.

  • To work for the person to whom they are assigned.

  • To conduct themselves at all times in a creditable, ethical, and moral manner, realizing that much time, money, and effort are being spent in affording them an opportunity to become competent technicians.

  • To be neat in appearance at all times.

  • To furnish the required hand tools necessary to perform the work of an apprentice.

  • To purchase their own textbooks or any other items that will become their own property. Some employers agree to purchase textbooks for students who maintain an acceptable grade average.
Related Instruction

As a part of the apprenticeship program, apprentices are required to complement their on-the-job training with formal instruction. Apprentices enroll in and attend related instruction classes for a set number of hours stipulated for the trade they are learning. A minimum of 144 hours of related instruction each year of the apprenticeship is normally considered necessary. Apprentices are expected to exercise the same diligence in their studies as they do in their work on the job.


The regular period for advancement is after one thousand hours. The committee, however, may require apprentices to appear before it and present their work progress records. The examinations will cover both the on-the-job and related instructional subjects. Apprentices may be required to repeat a certain process if they cannot prove during the examination that the subject is fully understood. If they show that they do not have the ability to become competent craft workers, their apprenticeship agreements may be terminated.

Responsibilities of Employers

The apprentice is not the only one who has obligations to the program. The employer is an integral part and has some responsibilities, too. The employer's duties were developed by the Automotive Service Association in its former apprentice program (now inactive). Similar duties are incorporated into some of the new school-to-work programs being developed by auto manufacturers. For example, each employer designates a journeyman or supervisor to act as the supervisor of apprentices on the job and be responsible for seeing that every apprentice is given the variety of work experience on the job required to make them skilled in all aspects of their trade.

Hours of Employment

The workday and workweek for an apprentice is the same as for the journey-man, and he or she is subject to the same conditions. The employer is not allowed to have overtime or out-of-town work interfere with the apprentice's related instruction in the theory part of the learning program. The apprentice is not allowed to work alone. He or she must work under the supervision of the employer, supervisor, or designated journeyman at all times. The apprentice is not allowed to work overtime without being under the direction of an immediate supervisor or journeyman.

Certification of Completion

Upon completing the entire apprenticeship program, the apprentice will be awarded a certificate of completion from the appropriate registration agency, either federal or state.
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