When it comes to preparing for a career in the skilled trades, there are a few different options. Two of the most popular choices are apprenticeships and train-to-hire programs. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the difference between them before deciding. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between apprenticeships and train-to-hire programs. For example, unions or trade associations sponsor apprenticeships, while employers offer train-to-hire programs. So, let’s take a closer look at each option:
ApprenticeshipsAn apprenticeship training program combines on-the-job learning with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships typically last two to four years, and employers, unions, or trade associations can sponsor them. The main benefits of an apprenticeship:
- It allows you to earn while you learn. You won’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills.
- Allow you to learn from experienced workers and get hands-on experience in your chosen field. Therefore, it can be beneficial if you’re unsure what you want to do or want to make sure that you’re interested in a particular trade before committing to it.
- Apprenticeship is that it can lead to a well-paying job. Apprentices who complete their training earn more than those who don’t, and they’re also more likely to find employment after completing their apprenticeship.
- Acceptance proves difficult. Employers usually sponsor apprenticeships, so you’ll need to find a company willing to take you on as an apprentice.
- You may also not be able to complete an apprenticeship if you have other commitments, such as school or a job. And, if you’re not happy with your chosen trade, it can be not easy to switch to another one mid-apprenticeship.
Differences Between Apprenticeships and Train-to-Hire Programs
- Apprenticeships usually last two to four years, while train-to-hire programs can last from a few weeks to a few months.
- Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with classroom instruction, while training-to-hire programs offer only on-the-job learning.
- Employers offer train-to-hire programs, while apprenticeships are typically sponsored by unions or trade associations.
- Apprenticeships typically require you to find an employer willing to sponsor you, while train-to-hire programs are usually open to anyone who meets the qualifications.
- Apprenticeships allow you to earn a paycheck while you learn, while training-to-hire programs typically only offer a salary after completing the training period.
- Lastly, apprenticeships allow you to learn from experienced workers and get hands-on experience in your chosen field, while train-to-hire programs typically only offer on-the-job learning.
Types of ApprenticeshipsHere are the main types of apprenticeships:
- Business, including office and administrative support occupations
- Construction trades, such as carpentry and masonry
- Healthcare, including registered nurses and medical assistants
- Information tech
- Retail sales
- Transportation, including truck driving and automotive service technicians
- Utilities, including electricians, plumbers, and pipefitters
Train-to-Hire ProgramsA train-to-hire program is an employment program that provides on-the-job training and job placement assistance. Government agencies or non-profit organizations usually sponsor train-to-hire programs. The main benefits of a train-to-hire program:
- It’s usually easier to get accepted into one than an apprenticeship. The programs help people who may have difficulty finding a job. Thus, making these programs more accessible than apprenticeships.
- You may be able to choose your schedule. These programs are typically part-time, so you’ll be able to continue working or going to school while completing your training.
- You’ll typically earn a salary while you’re completing your training. So, it helps to make ends meet while trying to start your career.
- You won’t be paid during your training. It can make it difficult to cover your living expenses, especially if you’re not working another job simultaneously.
- The job placement assistance offered by train-to-hire programs might not be as comprehensive as you’d like. If you’re not happy with the job you’re placed in, you may have to start your job search from scratch.
Choosing Between Apprenticeships and Train-to-HireWhen choosing between an apprenticeship and a train-to-hire program, there are many things to consider.
Your GoalsAre you looking for long-term career stability? Or are you more interested in earning a paycheck while you learn? If you’re unsure what you want to do, an apprenticeship may be a good way to try out a particular trade. If you’re interested in a specific career, a train-to-hire program may be a better choice.
ScheduleYou need to be able to commit to an apprenticeship for the duration of the program, which can be several years. If you’re not sure you can commit to that, a train-to-hire program may be better. In Train-to-hire programs are typically part-time, so you’ll be able to continue working or going to school while you’re completing your training.
FinancesEmployers usually sponsor apprenticeships, so you’ll need to find a company willing to take you on as an apprentice. Train-to-hire programs are typically free or low-cost, so they may be a better option if you’re on a tight budget.
LocationIf you’re not willing to relocate, an apprenticeship may be better. Employers typically sponsor apprenticeships, so you’ll need to find a company willing to take you on as an apprentice. Train-to-hire programs are typically located in urban areas, so they may be a better choice if you’re not willing to relocate.
Consider Your Job ProspectsIf you’re having trouble finding a job, a train-to-hire program may be good. If you’re interested in a specific trade and are willing to commit to a long-term training program, an apprenticeship may be a better choice.
So, Which Option Is Right for You?It depends on your circumstances. If you’re having trouble finding a job, a train-to-hire program may be good. If you’re interested in a specific trade and are willing to commit to a long-term training program, an apprenticeship may be a better choice. Apprentice Now is a company that offers accelerated training programs designed specifically for the sponsoring employer. We also offer both apprenticeships and train-to-hire. So, you’ve assured the skills you learn are what they need from you.