APPRENTICESHIPS – The Original 4-Year Degree

Training – Work – Pay – Repeat!

I was looking for good pay and benefits and looking for something long term, a stable career. This had it all.” Travis Slipher, 3rd-year apprentice, Oregon & SW Washington Roofers & Waterproofers.

Apprenticeship programs give students training in a skilled trade in the classroom and on the job. Each apprenticeship trade has a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) that decides how students complete the apprenticeship program and move on to the next level as a journeyperson. Apprenticeship programs usually consist of two to five years of supervised, on-the-job experience in a chosen trade. On-the-job and trade-related hours can only be logged once you are indentured.

In order to qualify, apprentices must meet basic qualifications based on age, education, and experience. State-registered Apprentice Programs require a minimum of 144 classroom hours and lab/shop training per year plus 4,000 to 8,000 hour of on-the-job training, depending on the program.

If you’re ready to train for a job, apprenticeships a pretty great way to learn. As an apprentice, your day will look something like this:

  • 20% in-class training
  • 80% on-the-job training/work
  • 100% mentored by a professional



Training is free, and lets you earn a salary while you learn. No student loans, no tuition fees, and, hopefully, no debt. Your salary will increase as you learn more skills.


Apprenticeship programs are intensive, combining classroom study and hands-on, on-the-job training at an actual construction site. You’ll work side-by-side with a seasoned professional who will supervise your work, teach you the necessary skills, and teach you about safety and the rules of the job site.


Once you complete your apprenticeship, you’ll be on your way to a successful long-term career with a competitive salary.


You’ll receive national industry certification upon graduation from a career training program, which you can take anywhere in the United States.

Ready to apply to an Apprenticeship Program?


Orientations help you understand the trade and type of work involved. You can attend one in-person or online. An orientation is a chance to ask questions about the apprenticeship program itself.

Apply for the Apprenticeship Program

Once you’ve decided on a trade and you are ready to apply, there will usually be some online applications to fill out and some required documents you’ll need to provide.

A face-to-face interview

Next, you will be called in for an interview. These sessions give you and the apprenticeship provider a chance to get to know each other and to talk about the next steps.

Hands-on skills assessment and initial training

These evaluations are a chance for you to show you have what it takes to pursue the trade you have chosen. The assessment can be challenging and physically demanding.

You may also be asked to take a New Member Orientation and OSHA 10 course. Once you have completed all of the preliminary requirements, you will be placed on a “ready-for-dispatch” list.



Employers call the union to ask for journey-workers and apprentices to do jobs for them. When your name comes up, it will be your chance to go to work!


You will need to look on job boards or solicit individual construction companies, contractors, and sub-contractors. These employers may have work by the piece or hire you on as an employee or subcontractor.

Apprenticeship Training Centers, Joint Apprenticeship Training Centers, and Unions in Oregon and SW Washington:

Central Oregon community college

The college combines on-the-job training and classwork leading to journeyperson status in the trades.

Oregon Apprenticeship

This website was developed, supported, and endorsed by Oregon’s apprenticeship community to inform, encourage, and recruit Oregon’s next generation of apprentices.

Area 1 Inside Electrical JATC

Area 1 is an open-shop inside electrical training program.

Area 1 Plumbers, Painters, and Sign Installers

Area 1 is an open-shop plumber, painter, and sign installer program.

IBEW Local 48

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 is the local that covers Portland, Oregon, Bend, and SW Washington and surrounding areas.


The NW College of Construction is a non-profit education foundation, licensed “career school,” and approved apprenticeship program overseen by BOLI and the WSATC.

Northwest Laborers-Employers Training Trust Fund

The Northwest Laborers-Employers Training Trust Fund trains professional construction laborers in Washington and Utah.

Northwest Line Construction JATC

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the Northwest Line Construction Industry (NW Line JATC) is a non-profit association formed to systematically train unionized workers for outside electrical construction.

NW Power Line Tree Trimmers Apprentice Training JATC

The focus of the NW Line JATC is to provide the Northwest’s outside electrical industry with highly skilled journey-level workers. They do this by offering two different apprenticeship programs, the outside line construction program and the power line clearance & tree trimming apprenticeship.

Oregon & Southern Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust

The Oregon & Southern Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust trains professional construction laborers in Oregon and Southern Idaho.

Oregon & SW Washington Roofers & Waterproofers JATC

The Roofers and Waterproofers JATC provide quality education for future roofers and waterproofers entering the construction industry.

Oregon State Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors

The Oregon State Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors (ORPHCC) is the program administrator for the Mid-Valley Sheet Metal Workers and Mid-Valley Steamfitters/Pipefitters apprenticeship programs.

Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute

Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute (PNCI) is the premier educational institution in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and Idaho for carpenters and the affiliated trades.

Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters

Northwest Carpenters works with partner contractors to provide reliable and professional service to meet the growing needs of the Northwest’s construction industry.

Plumbers & Steamfitters, Local 290

The UA Local 290 Training Center offers five-year apprenticeship programs for plumbers and steamfitters consisting of on-the-job training and night school.

Sheet Metal Training Center

The Sheet Metal Training Trust, Union Local #16, and the Columbia Chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, have funded this training center.


Washington State Labor and Industries provides apprenticeship programs and resources throughout the state.