Apprenticeship Opportunities: High School and Post-High School

Apprenticeship Opportunities: High School and Post-High School

(as referenced on page 216 of Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education, by Susan Wise Bauer)

            The United States lags far behind Europe and our neighbors to the north in providing apprenticeship opportunities. Organized apprenticeship programs are primarily local; national programs are mostly sponsored by the military, and serve the same students who excel at traditional academics.

The links below are merely a starting point. Your best strategy for finding an meaningful apprenticeship is twofold:

  1. Visit your state’s Department of Labor website and check for any documents governing the conditions of apprentices within your locality.
  2. Contact the CEO or managing director of a local company directly, and ask to arrange for an unpaid apprenticeship. Specify the time frame (six months? one year?) and conditions (that’s where the DoL documents might come in handy. Many companies don’t have apprenticeships simply because no one’s asked. But your student could get free job training plus a fantastic reference opportunity—if you inquire.

The U. S. Department of Labor guidelines to “registered apprenticeship” positions, just for your reference, are found here.



The After-School Apprenticeship Program: “The After School Apprenticeship Program (ASAP) is a promising after-school strategy that engages teens in experiences that excite them, connects them with career experts, and builds real world skills that prepare them for college and careers.” Check the website for local programs.

HSAP, sponsored by the U. S. Army: “The High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) provides current high school juniors and seniors with an authentic science and engineering research experience alongside university researchers sponsored by the Army Research Office. Though this commuter program students will develop skills in Army critical science and engineering research areas in a university lab setting to prepare them for the next steps of their educational and professional career.”

SEAP, sponsored by the U. S. Navy: “The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) provides an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer.”

STEM programs sponsored by the Department of Defense “allow high school and college students the opportunity to engage in hands-on research, solving real-world problems at DoD laboratories and facilities.” []


State and Local:

Arkansas: “The National Apprenticeship Training Foundation (NATF) is a training corporation that specializes in customizing training programs for employers and individuals throughout the United States.” Adult and youth apprenticeships available.

Boston: The Tech Apprentice program

Chicago: After School Matters

Colorado: “CareerWise created a statewide youth apprenticeship model that coordinates the existing systems of industry and education that creates real, tangible benefit for both the employer and the apprentice. The net result is a workforce with the skills Colorado’s industry needs, and students have illuminated pathways to higher education and career.”

Connecticut: Office of Apprenticeship Training

Florida: Department of Education apprenticeship links

Georgia: Youth Apprenticeship Program: “The program enables a student to receive a high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate or degree, and certification of industry-recognized competencies applicable to employment in a high-skilled occupation.”

Iowa: ABC of Iowa Apprenticeships

Kentucky: The KY Apprenticeship program

Maryland: The Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP): List to program websites

Missouri: Registered Youth Apprenticeships

New Bedford, Massachusetts: The New Bedford Whaling Museum High School Apprenticeship Program

New York: Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program

North Carolina: The NC Works Apprenticeship program

Ohio: The School-To-Work Apprenticeship Program

San Antonio: The Alamo Academies program

South Carolina: Apprenticeship Carolina (administered through the South Carolina Technical College system)

Wisconsin: Department of Workforce Development Apprenticeship Program



Susan Wise Bauer

Susan Wise Bauer is an educator, writer, and historian. She is the co-author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (now in its fourth edition), and the author of (among others) The Well- Educated Mind, The Story of Western Science, the Story of the World series, the History of the World series, the elementary series Writing With Ease, and the pre-rhetoric series Writing With Skill. Susan was home educated through high school and has taught all four of her children at home. She has a B.A. and M.A. in English language and literature, an M.Div., and a Ph.D. in the history of American religion from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she taught writing and literature for over fifteen years.


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