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The Apprenticeship Pathway involves getting paid as you learn practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled profession.

Students who choose the Apprenticeship Pathway must submit an acceptance letter as evidence of their plan to meet the Learn.Plan.Succeed. graduation requirement.

Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional. Different industries offer apprenticeship programs, but according the the US Department of Labor, they all tend to have these characteristics:

  • Employers are in charge of the program
  • On-the-job training
  • Job-related instruction
  • Wages and raises as skills increase
  • National industry-recognized credentials

Types of Apprenticeship Opportunities

Industries that typically offer apprenticeship programs include:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Health care
  • Information technology
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Other

How to Pursue This Pathway

Every apprenticeship program has a “sponsor.” Sponsors are responsible for the overall administration and operation of the apprenticeship program. Apprentice program sponsors can be a person, association, committee, or organization. Examples include:

  • Employers—a single business or a consortium of businesses
  • Union and non-union workplaces
  • Workforce intermediaries (i.e., labor organizations)
  • Community colleges
  • Community-based organizations


Application requirements differ by program. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, but most apprenticeship programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old. For more information, please review the Apprenticeship Toolkit.


The length of an apprenticeship varies by occupation and program, typically ranging from one to six years. For more information, please review the Apprenticeship Toolkit.


Upon completion of the program, the U.S. Department of Labor awards apprentices with national, industry-recognized credentials. For more information, please review the Apprenticeship Toolkit

Next Steps

If an apprenticeship is a postsecondary option that interests you, consider taking the next steps:

  • Explore apprenticeships
    Meet with your counselor, teachers, family members and other advisors to decide if an apprenticeship is right for you.
  • Find an apprenticeship
    Search for opportunities using Apprenticeship Finder or the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) website. Contact the employer or the program sponsor for more information.
  • Submit an application
    Apply for an apprenticeship directly with the employer or program sponsor. Ask your school counselor and use other CPS career planning resources for help filling out applications, writing a resume and cover letter, and preparing for interviews.

Office of College and Career Success

School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising


773-553-3543 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602