The job market is tough. It’s even more difficult when you compete with skilled tradespeople. If you are looking to gain hands-on experience and industry credentials while working, apprenticeship may be for you.


It’s a job. It’s also school. Apprentices work under master craftsmen who are experts in their field. They also take college level classes specific to their occupation and industry. As an apprentice’s skills increase, so do their wages.


Upon successful completion of classes and a set number of hours of on-the-job training, an apprentice earns a journey level “Completion of Registered Apprenticeship” – an industry issued, nationally recognized credential that he or she takes with them validating proficiency in an occupation or trade.


If you want to learn more about how apprenticeship works and see the variety of apprenticeship programs available throughout the United States, visit Labor & Industries. 


Several companies in South Central Washington have apprenticeship programs managed through AJAC. These are company sponsored; you need to be employed and chosen by the business to enter the training program. 


In our area, AJAC runs a pre-apprenticeship program called Manufacturing Academy that provides the foundational skills and credentials to enter a formal apprenticeship. Manufacturing Academy is open to individuals 17 years age and up.


AJAC also offers youth and adult apprenticeship programs in Central Washington.

In this 11-week pre-apprenticeship, you will learn and get certified in the following:

This program is open to enrolled high school juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years of age with a minimum GPA of a 2.0. There are three pathways to choose from:

Bootcamp - 30 hours of live lecture and in-person learning that offers an understanding of the manufacturing industry and valuable  employment prep. You will also earn industry certifications and learn on-the-job safety protocols.

AJAC Classes - Take three classes equal to 15 college credits. Upon completion, tour partnering companies, job shadow, and network with industry mentors.

Apprenticeship - Interview with partnering companies. Upon hire, enroll and complete all three AJAC classes and 2,000 hours of paid, on-the-job training! Upon completion, earn an industry recognized, Journey-level credential as either a Production Technician or Automation Technician.

This program is open to adults 18 and up with a high school diploma/GED, a solid foundation in basic math, and an interest in mechanics. Two to five-year apprenticeships are available in areas like Advanced Manufacturing, Industrial Maintenance,  Food Processing, and more. As a registered apprentice, you will:

  • Work full-time while training with a mentor.
  • Earn a livable wage plus benefits.
  • Earn college credit towards an Associate's Degree that can turn into a four-year degree.
  • Graduate with a nationally recognized Journey level industry credential.


We can connect you with available apprenticeships in our area.

What our apprentices say about the program