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Apprenticeships Beyond Construction

The text "Earn and learn in a variety of fields as an apprentice" with illustrations of a truck driver, HVAC repairer and nursing assistant.

 

Apprenticeships in the construction trades are well known, but did you know there are many other occupations that also offer this type of paid, hands-on learning and training?

The 10 occupations below had the largest numbers of active apprentices outside of construction in 2022. As post-apprenticeship career options, these occupations also offer opportunity: Combined, they are projected to average nearly 900,000 openings each year from 2021 to 2031.

All but two – nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians – had a median annual wage higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in 2021, $45,760. (Note: Many program agreements stipulate that the starting wage for apprentices is 50 to 70% of the journey-level wage.)

 

Electrical power-line installers and repairers install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems.

2022 number of active apprentices: 15,249

2021 median annual wage: $78,310

2021 employment: 126,600

Occupational openings, projected 2021–31 annual average: 11,100

 

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another.

2022 number of active apprentices: 9,944

2021 median annual wage: $48,310

2021 employment: 2,094,700

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 259,900

 

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers work on the systems that heat and cool buildings, chill perishable items, and ventilate air.

2022 number of active apprentices: 8,535

2021 median annual wage: $48,630

2021 employment: 394,100

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 40,100

 

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers, install and fix telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.

2022 number of active apprentices: 4,810

2021 median annual wage: $60,370

2021 employment: 178,000

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 22,500

 

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living.

2022 number of active apprentices: 4,033

2021 median annual wage: $30,310

2021 employment: 1,343,700

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 212,700

 

Correctional officers and jailers oversee those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison.

2022 number of active apprentices: 3,124

2021 median annual wage: $47,920

2021 employment: 402,200

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 31,200

 

Industrial machinery mechanics install, adjust, repair, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.

2022 number of active apprentices: 3,095

2021 median annual wage: $59,840

2021 employment: 384,800

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 42,500

 

Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies involving life, property, or the environment.

2022 number of active apprentices: 2,306

2021 median annual wage: $50,700

2021 employment: 326,100

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 28,000

 

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care and educate patients and the public about various health conditions.

2022 number of active apprentices: 2,281

2021 median annual wage: $77,600

2021 employment: 3,130,600

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 203,200

 

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.

2022 number of active apprentices: 2,167

2021 median annual wage: $36,740

2021 employment: 447,300

Occupational openings, 2021–31 annual average: 43,500

 

Want to learn more about the occupations above? Explore them and hundreds more in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Many other occupations have apprentice opportunities, from restaurant managers and pharmacy technicians to early childhood educators and cybersecurity specialists. Search for opportunities near you using the Apprenticeship Finder tool.

 

Ryan Farrell and Bill Lawhorn are economists in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Follow BLS on Twitter at @BLS_gov.

Data sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (active apprentices data) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (employment, wages, education, projections).

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