Aspiring Tradeswomen

Apprenticeship Information for Women Interested In Construction and Skilled Trades Careers

The skilled trades and construction offers a dynamic career pathway for women. It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure with excellent benefits such as family-supporting wages, a solid retirement plan, and free industry training through registered apprenticeship – that means no college tuition debt!  Learn more about how to get started at Chicago Women in Trades.

What is apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship offers paid job training for and is the gateway to many high-wage, nontraditional career opportunities for women. Although many occupations in the construction and manufacturing industries have been traditionally viewed as “male” jobs, these are great opportunities for women offering excellent benefits and an exciting career pathway.

Apprenticeship is a rewarding but demanding choice that requires willpower, dedication, grit and physical fitness to succeed. For those women who succeed in completing registered apprenticeship, the rewards are excellent wages and benefits in a meaningful career anywhere in the United States.

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction under the supervision of qualified industry instructors and a recognized, registered program in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of the occupation. Because apprenticeship provides good pay throughout the training program, it is a great alternative to a college education. Skilled trades and construction registered apprenticeships require a 2 – 5 year commitment depending on the craft.

Who is eligible to be an apprentice?

Registered apprenticeship is open to anyone age 18 or older, but this job training is not just for college-aged women! Many women who are returning to work, considering a career change, or need to earn more income to support their families choose to become trades apprentice. A high school diploma or GED is required for most skilled trades registered apprenticeships.

What is pre-apprenticeship?

Pre-apprenticeship training is a good way to improve your skills if you haven’t had any previous experience working in the trades or other blue-collar jobs. In addition to providing basic skills training, many pre-apprenticeship training programs work directly with registered apprenticeship programs, making apprenticeship easier to access for. Although there is a lot of variation in pre-apprenticeship training programs, they generally require a time commitment of between one and three months.  Unlike apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship training programs do not typically provide pay to students, although depending on the program, some may offers small stipends during the training.