top of page
Carpentry Class


What is an Apprenticeship?

On The Job Training

Gain hands-on experience from experts & mentors in the field while learning on the job site.

Classroom Instruction

Take classes in your field taught by industry experts. Classes may count toward a college degree or certificate. 

Career Pathway

Launch your career with advanced skills and training in high demand industries with little to no debt. Earn a nationally recognized industry credential.

Earn a Paycheck

Earn a paycheck while you learn. Earn pay increases as you progress through the program. 

Apprenticeship Pathways
Examples - Skilled Trades

There are many different types of apprenticeship pathways in the trades. Below are just of a few examples of career paths that offer apprenticeships in Oregon. 



Cutting Sheet Metal

Sheet Metal/HVAC

Plumber at Work


Image by Anton Dmitriev

Line Repairer

Construction Worker


A woman working with steel


Using Electric Sander


Screenshot 2023-08-08 at 6.49.23 PM.png

Pile Driver

How To Become An Apprentice

Apprenticeship applications are competitive - Take time to prepare for success!

The registered apprenticeship application process can be very competitive. "When the economy is doing well, you can expect 13 applications for every 1 registered apprenticeship opening. When the economy slows, you can expect double the applications for every 1 registered apprenticeship opening. These factors contribute sometimes to a long application process, sometimes up to 3 years, before being accepted into a program."

"Applicants are encouraged to compile a portfolio of all related activities towards an occupation. Work experience is important, however be detailed about what was done: what tools were used, bring photos to document completed projects, relevant documents, measuring and planning skills is what a JATC would look for. In addition, student leadership, summer camps, volunteer experiences, informational interviews, and like activities should be included to highlight initiative and motivation. Here are other requirements to expect:

  • Must be 18 years or older to work on job site

  • Be drug and alcohol free

  • Access to reliable transportation is a MUST

  • HS diploma or GED (on track or currently received)

  • GPA, Math, Aptitude, & Interview Skills

  • Experience (pre-apprenticeship, trade-related courses, trade-related hobbies, career-related volunteer work, work experience)

  • Work attitude and ethic"

Source: ODE & BOLI Understanding & Accessing Oregon Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship Application Guide

Check out Oregon Apprenticeship for a comprehensive guide to assist students interested in applying for apprenticeships.

The online will help you take the appropriate steps to apply for apprenticeships:

  1. Research apprenticeship industries to find a pathway that will be a good fit for you.

  2. Research apprenticeship openings as well as application requirements.

  3. Prepare application documents.

  4. Gain experience and meet qualifications to support your application.

  5. Prepare a quality application.

  6. Prepare for your interview.

  7. Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Gain Experience & Become A Qualified Applicant

What Makes A Good Apprenticeship Candidate?

Source: Adapted from Central Electric Training Center

  • Strong work ethic: Shows up every day, on time, for work and school (no excuses). Works hard at a steady pace. Ability to get up early since many job sites require early hours.

  • Positive attitude: Listens and learns on the job and in school. Works well with others as a team. Ability to work with everyone in a crew, whether you like them or not. Follows directions of crew leaders regardless of the manner in which they are given.

  • Aptitude for the trade/occupation and some work history-paid or unpaid: Has experience doing construction, production, or other comparable work or transferable skills. Has proven potential to be a good worker.  Any continuous employment or training with a good attendance record can indicate this, even if not related to the trade/occupation.

  • Apprenticeships require physical strength and endurance: Must be able to work in a physically demanding environment for extended periods of time in all weather conditions. May need to be able to work at heights and in enclosed areas. Is very safety conscious in all work.

  • Drug free: You will be required to take pre-hire and random substance abuse tests. 

  • Valid state driver’s license: good driving record, reliable transportation, and willing to drive to where the work is, which may be some distance away.

  • Basic algebra/math  skills may be required

  • Hand tool knowledge: basic knowledge of hand tools and how to use them safely.

Opportunities to Gain Experience

Pre-Apprenticeship Course

Pre-Apprenticeship programs are a great way to gain experience, build credentials, and prepare you with the skills to succeed in your chosen trade.  They are typically 6-8 weeks, though programs will vary.

What you will learn:

  • Fundamental skills specific to your industry to help you feel ready for an apprenticeship. Examples include basic hand tool and equipment operation, math and measuring, workplace harassment and discrimination training, and onsite safety.

  • Educational and pre-vocational services. Sharpen your math skills. Master the art of blueprint reading. Gain access to support services like transportation support, clothing and work boot supply, tools, access to childcare, and more.

  • Hands-on training. As an apprentice, you’ll be on the ground getting experience from skilled mentors in your field. A Pre-Apprenticeship prepares you for the next step in your career with a variety of experiences including simulated labs, field trips, and guest speakers.

  • Career Exploration: Learn about careers in the trade and explore a career pathway that will be a good fit for you.

  • Application assistance. Receive assistance with the Registered Apprentice application process: resume building, interview and communication skills, and work experience planning.


COCC Pre-Apprenticeship Courses:

  • Current Offering: In partnership with East Cascades Works, three work course in October 2023 for students 18 years old and over.

  • COCC is currently developing a pre-apprenticeship program. More courses will be posted as they become available. 




Additional Pre-Apprenticeship Courses:

  • High School CTE classes: Some Central Oregon high schools offer pre-apprenticeship in their CTE programs.  Ask your high school counselor if this course is available at your high school.

  • Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industry (BOLI): Click on the link for a list of Oregon pre-apprenticeship programs and contact information.
  • Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute: Carpenter Trade Preparation (CTP) is a Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program

Gain Industry Experience

Community Volunteer, Internship or Youth Development Opportunities: Participating in community opportunities helps students gain workplace as well as employability skills. Local options include:

  • Heart of Oregon

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Connect Central Oregon

  • Industry Internships & Training

Entry Level Work

Entry level work is a great way for students to build a documented history of working with tools, construction materials, and manufacturing equipment/technology. Explore jobs opportunities that include experience with physical labor, working outdoors, working with teams, handling materials, and working on manufacturing or construction worksites.    Such jobs demonstrate work ethic, attitude, and physical and mechanical ability.  Pay attention to age requirements and GED or High School Diploma requirements for entry level jobs.

CTE Coursework:
High School or Community College

Industry-related classes will show your investment and motivation to learn more about the trades. Additionally, classes will help you develop the skills to gain employment in the industry as well as build a competitive apprenticeship application.


Many high schools offer industry skill classes in their CTE programs (such as manufacturing, engineering, construction, pre-apprenticeship, and more).  Talk to your high school counselor to find out what is available at your school.


Central Oregon Community College also offers a variety of industry skill classes, including welding, computer aided drafting, machining & manufacturing, and more.


Heart of Oregon: Empowers youth and young adults (16-24) through employment, job training, education, and service to Central Oregon communities. With the goal of career readiness, HOC programs provide training in conservation, construction, childcare, and customer service. Youth WORK on hands-on projects that improve the community like maintaining a trail, reducing wildfire fuels, or even building an entire house. Youth EARN a weekly stipend or minimum wage for full-time work and can also earn college scholarships. Finally, youth LEARN everything from math and writing skills to career planning and resume writing, all while gaining high school credits, preparing for the GED, or taking their first college class. Year-round and summer programs available.

Regional Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeships are available through many Oregon unions, training centers, and industries. Once you have identified the trade you want to pursue, you will need to research apprenticeship openings in your region in order to apply.  The links below provide tools for researching open apprenticeships in a variety of Oregon trades.


COCC Apprenticeship information

Screenshot 2023-06-13 at 11.31.07 AM.png

Central Oregon Electric Training Center

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.39.24 PM.png

Oregon State Building Trades Council

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 2.01.31 PM.png

Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industry

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.27.24 PM.png

Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.41.38 PM.png

Oregon Tradeswomen (Trades Directory)

Construction Worker

NW Apprenticeship Services

Construction Manager

Accessing Union Apprenticeships

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.46.47 PM.png

Oregon Apprenticeships

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.35.37 PM.png

Build Oregon

Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 1.48.15 PM.png
bottom of page