Registered Apprenticeships A Winning Alternative to College

November 14, 2006

Barbara Miller
Tel: 202 207 1113

High school seniors who are a little short on the cash or grades for a four-year college, but still want to earn college credits and land a high-paying career, should check out the opportunities of a registered apprenticeship.

Many registered apprenticeships are tantamount to paid career scholarships, offering participants a competitive salary with regular increases while they undertake classroom studies and extensive on-thejob training. Graduates of the more rigorous apprenticeships can enter the job market earning more than $50,000 a year.

One of the most impressive apprenticeships is the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) program sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

NJATC apprenticeships are multi-year programs for men and women seeking to become
commercial-industrial electricians, linemen, IT systems installers, or residential electricians. Apprentices typically earn between $50,000 and $150,000 in total wages and benefits over the course of a three-to five-year apprenticeship period. Depending on local pay rates and the career specialty chosen, they can enter the job market as union journeymen making as much as $45,000 to $70,000 a year.

The program also offers participants the opportunity to earn college credits for completed
apprenticeship course work, and to link their apprenticeship studies to accredited college degree programs.

"Our registered apprenticeships provide a proven and financially feasible way for students to combine college learning with the advanced technical proficiencies necessary to secure a rewarding, highpaying career," says NJATC Executive Director A.J. Pearson. "An apprenticeship program isn’t for everyone," says Pearson, "nor is a four-year college program. But in the future I think you’ll see more individuals, particularly those in highly technical careers, look carefully at the exceptional advantages of today’s apprenticeships."

There are 284 NJATC centers throughout the United States. For more information, visit