About Registered Apprenticeships

Registered Apprenticeship is an employer-driven “earn and learn” model that combines on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction (RSI) under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.

Registered apprenticeship programs are one year to six years in length depending on the occupation and include 2,000 hours of OJT and 144 hours of RSI per year.

Benefits of a Registered Apprenticeship


  • Develop highly skilled workforce
  • Increase retention rates
  • Repeatable, organized framework for recruitment, hiring, onboarding and advancing
  • Higher productivity
  • More diverse workforce
  • Greater employee loyalty


  • Paycheck from day one
  • Guaranteed wage increases
  • Hands-on career training
  • Potential to earn college credit toward a degree at 50% reduced tuition – no student debt
  • Career advancement
  • Industry issued, nationally recognized credential

How does a Registered Apprenticeship Work?

Programs can be sponsored by joint employer and labor groups (union and open shop), individual employers, and/or employer associations. The sponsor of an apprenticeship program develops the apprenticeship standards, registers the program with the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council and manages the program activities.

Registered apprenticeship programs are governed by state and federal regulations. The program sponsor forms a committee made up of employers and employees.  They develop the apprenticeship standards that set the forth the terms and conditions of training, including eligibility, application process, wage rates, supervision methods, curriculum, skill and proficiency requirements, equal opportunity, etc.

Apprentices manage their time, keep work records, attend classes and progress in their apprenticeship program.

Employers pay wages, oversee the OJT, monitor attendance at classes and evaluate progress.

See also Federal apprenticeship programs.

Who is eligible?

Every registered apprenticeship program has their own specific eligibility requirements, however there are some basic guidelines.

  • Most registered apprenticeship programs are open to anyone 18 years or older, sometimes younger depending on the occupation.
  • High school diploma or equivalent – sometimes with math requirement
  • Able to perform the physical requirements of the occupation
  • Aptitude testing is sometimes required

How do I find Registered Apprenticeship programs?

The Department of Labor and Industries has an online Apprenticeship Registration and Tracking System (ARTS) to find programs by occupation and/or county(s) and by program name. The apprenticeship program details include all the occupations in that program, the program length, the journey wage, address, contact information, website and the apprenticeship program standards. By contacting the program directly you can inquire about current openings and the application process.

If you need additional assistance, please contact one of the following: