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What is Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeship

Through the U.S. Department of Labor, this program includes on-the-job training with accompanying study for a trade/profession resulting in a national industry certification with wage increases at specified timeframes.

Most training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentice learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies.

Apprenticeships typically last 3 to 7 years. People who successfully complete an apprenticeship reach the "journeyman" or professional certification level of competence.


Indiana’s State Earn and Learn (SEAL) programs are certified through the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship.

They are structured, but flexible, programs that include an education component and OJT component. SEALs focus on employer needs, with sustainable partnerships and embedded industry certifications.

They can last from weeks to years depending on employer, education, certification, or licensing requirements. These can be developed as youth or adult programs with K-12 or post-secondary partners.

Pre-Apprenticeships are very similar to SEALs but contain an Articulation Agreement for credit into a Registered Apprenticeship.

WBL StandardsRegistered ApprenticeshipPre-ApprenticeshipState Earn and Learn
Paid Work Experience Participants are paid employees who work, learn, and enhance their skills while increasing their employer’s productivity Required: Min Wage
Average: $16.50
Required: Min Wage
Average: $16.50
Required: Min Wage
Average: $16.50
On-the-Job Learning Develops skilled workers through structured learning in a work setting 2,000 Hr. Min. 6 months-2 Years 200 Hr. Min.
Classroom Learning Improves job-related skills through education in a classroom setting with college credit typically available 144 Hr./Yr. Min. 12-100 Hr. 40 Hr. Min.
Mentorship Provides participants with the support of a journeyman/skilled worker to assist and enhance critical hands-on learning Required Required Recommended
Credentials Offers a portable, nationally-recognized credential to be issued during or at the completion of the program Included In Program Articulation Agreement to Registered Apprenticeship Certification chosen from Indiana Promoted Industry Certification List
Rewards for Skills GainsParticipants receive progressive wage increases as their skills and knowledge increase $ $ $
Programs must go through a review process in order to become state certified or federally registered Federally Registered State Certified State Certified