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Apprenticeship programs are a valuable career path for students who are not interested in going to college, or who are intimidated by the financial struggles that college may raise. Many apprenticeship programs can also offer college credit and provide a living wage as well as benefits while learning the trade.

An apprenticeship is occupational training using supervised on-the-job training experience, and can include classroom instruction as well. Apprentices usually begin at half the salary of journey workers – those who have completed their training and have industry certification. Apprentices receive pay increases as they learn to perform more complex tasks. When they become journey workers, they increase their chances of finding a well-paying job in industry and may become supervisors or go into business for themselves. Apprenticeship committees, made up of employee and employer representatives from the specific industries, operate apprenticeship programs. Both state and federal government have a role in regulating apprenticeship programs.