Apprenticeship: The Other Four-Year Degree

Published: 4/5/2013 2:45 PM
Graduate heading into apprenticeship

​Kentucky is striving to increase the number of students who are college and career ready through a variety of avenues, including Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Registered Apprenticeship programs are increasingly popular as one of the ways and cover more occupations than most people think, said Mike Donta, deputy commissioner with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. In fact, there are more than 1,200 occupations that the federal government recognizes as being apprenticeable occupations.


​“Typically, the thought is construction trade apprenticeships, but really there are many more in the manufacturing side and service industry,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “A few of the traditional skilled occupations in which apprentices are being trained are: automotive technician, baker, bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, machinist, maintenance mechanic, operating engineer, painter, roofer, sheet metal worker, structural steel worker, and tool and die maker. However, there are many other occupations that have apprenticeship programs. Examples of these occupations are computer programmer, computer service mechanic, dairy technologist, dental assistant, electronics technician, environment analyst, fire fighter, horticulturist, insurance claims adjuster, laboratory technician, optical technician, wastewater treatment plant operator, chef” to name a few.

“It’s unbelievable when you look at the diversity of programs that are out there recognized and certified by the federal government,” Donta said.

A minimum of 144 classroom hours per year is required of all apprentices, he added. “Typically they are working a full time job through the process. Total training hours vary depending on the occupation they are training for and typical programs range from 1-5 years,” Donta said.


​Tim Thornberry
Office of Career and Technical Education
500 Mero Street, 20th Floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4286
Fax (502) 564-4800