Building the Next Generation of Teachers Through Apprenticeship

A teacher stands in the doorway of a classroom, giving high fives to young children as they enter.Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-10, is our nation’s opportunity to celebrate and recognize the important role teachers play in developing our nation’s future workforce. For too long, the U.S. has struggled to recruit and retain qualified teachers that also reflect the demographics of their classrooms. To help address these challenges, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education are collaborating to expand access to education careers through Registered Apprenticeship. 

Registered Apprenticeship is an effective "earn and learn" model with a long history of establishing career pathways in growing industries by providing structured, paid, on-the-job learning experiences with a mentor combined with job-related technical instruction that leads to a nationally recognized credential. To learn more about Registered Apprenticeships, visit

Building on the Biden administration’s Good Jobs Initiative, we’re expanding Registered Apprenticeships for educators and investing in quality teacher preparation programs. These efforts started with a joint effort, leadership, and call to action from our departments through a Dear Colleague Letter for education and workforce leaders to address educator shortages, and investments to support developing, expanding and scaling high-quality and affordable pathways into teaching. This call to action aims to ensure teachers have access to increased pay and better working conditions across the early childhood, K-12 and higher education workforce. 

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has continued to partner with the Department of Education to make significant investments to develop and scale teacher apprenticeship programs, including: 

  • Funding a Registered Apprenticeship Industry Intermediary to provide no-cost technical assistance and support to state education agencies, districts, education preparation programs, teacher unions or associations and other partners to help develop and implement high-quality educator Registered Apprenticeship programs.

  • Awarding over $66 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula grants to 46 states and territories to develop and scale Registered Apprenticeship programs in education and other critical sectors, over $60 million of which went to states that identified education as a targeted sector. 

  • Awarding funding to Kansas, Utah, North Dakota, Washington and New Hampshire to support the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs for K-12 teachers.

  • Awarding more than $171 million in Apprenticeship Building America grants to strengthen and modernize Registered Apprenticeship programs and enable workers to find a reliable pathway to the middle class, more than $45 million of which went to grantees that identified education as a target sector. 

We also recently announced the availability of nearly $200 million to support Registered Apprenticeship expansion, prioritizing projects that support the Investing in America agenda by increasing access to Registered Apprenticeships in high-demand sectors and occupations, including K-12 teacher occupations. Strategies to use Registered Apprenticeship to train a next generation of teachers continue to expand, with 37 states and territories now providing K-12 teacher apprenticeship programs, up from just two states in 2022. Today, over 100 K-12 teacher Registered Apprenticeship programs have been registered and over 3,000 K-12 teacher apprentices have been trained. That’s a lot of progress made in just two years! And this administration is committed to ensuring that progress continues. 

To support raising awareness around K-12 teacher Registered Apprenticeships, ETA industry intermediary partner RTI International published a Profile in Educator Registered Apprenticeship Programs report, which explores different program design models, varying target populations, modernized onramps to successful teacher pathways, innovative funding models, and opportunities for degree attainment. 

The report is the first in a series, which ETA will release in partnership with RTI to explore various strategies to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeship to train America’s educators. K-12 teacher Registered Apprenticeship programs will continue to play a key role in increasing pathways to rewarding careers in the education sector, filling vacant positions with high-quality, well-trained teachers, and a focus on diversifying the workforce.  For additional information on any of these programs, please visit

Manny Lamarre is a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.