In my latest article we took a look into Blue-Collar occupations and broke down how someone like you could find your next career in this industry. Attending college may not be required to gain employment in a blue-collar job, but another route you may want to consider would be an apprenticeship. Not only can you find many apprenticeship opportunities, this approach can be the gateway to your next career.
So what is an Apprenticeship?
As an Apprentice, you will be taken on by a company and learn how to perform the job through on-the-job training (OJT). While on the job training under supervision, you will not only learn everything there is to know about your career, but you will also earn a paycheck. Though apprenticeships differ in the length of time, you can expect to gradually move up in the pay scale, and gain great benefits.
Another great benefit of apprenticeships is the eligibility of GI Bill monies while in training. Even though you may not be on a college campus, on-the-job training is still education. On-The-Job training gives you the ability to learn a skill or a trade, get paid from the company and also receive GI Bill monies from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Many do not know about this benefit, so be sure to check out http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/onthejob_apprenticeship.asp for further information and contact your local VA with any questions.
Although there are many apprenticeships opportunities throughout the country, it is always beneficial to connect with those who work directly with veterans. Three such organizations that help to connect veterans with apprenticeships is Helmets to Hardhats http://www.helmetstohardhats.org/, United Association’s Veterans in Piping http://www.uavip.org/ and the Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Program http://pat-vp.org/ .
Three organizations with apprenticeship opportunities ready to train and put transitioning veterans into blue-collar jobs. Although all three organizations are different in what trade you will be trained in and the length of time to complete the training. Helmets to Hardhats prepares veterans through training and career opportunities for the construction industry. Veterans in Piping trains and prepares veterans in the piping industry by learning HVACR services and/or welding. The painters and trades program will prepare veterans to work in the finishing trades industry. If interested, be sure to get in touch one of these organizations to inquire further.
When applying for an apprenticeship, it might not be as simple as calling up an employer and getting placed into a program. Requirements will differ among employers and agencies, but if you do not contact the appropriate personnel you may be missing out on a great opportunity and an opportunity that may not come around so often. It is known that many eligible people have waited for a very long time to get into an apprenticeship program with unions around the country, so don’t wait. Connecting with the right people in the industry could give you a better chance of getting placed in an apprenticeship program.
Other great websites to check out to get more information on apprenticeships are:
Great information on career fields with registered Apprenticeships
U.S. Dept. of Labor Veteran specific information on apprenticeships