Trades & Apprenticeships

Registered apprenticeship training includes both supervised on-the-job training through real work experience and related technical instruction in the classroom. Apprentices are paid during their training, a unique “earn while you learn” model.

These Apprenticeship programs are designed to develop high-quality, skilled and employable workers — keep reading to learn more about some of the benefits of doing a trade apprenticeship, and to download the MADTA “Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Trades” pamphlet, which goes into detail about the programs available in Montana, their requirements, what classes they recommend a high schooler take to prepare themselves for the program, and more!

Click the cover above to download the MATDA Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Trades handbook!

The MATDA Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Trades handbook:

The Montana Apprenticeship and Training Directors Association puts out an “Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Trades” pamphlet that outlines everything you need to know about apprenticeship programs in Montana, from how the various programs are set up, to the benefits afforded to apprentices, the pay structure, what classes you may want to take in high school to prepare yourself for a specific program, and more.

The handbook covers how an apprenticeship program operates, including:

      • where funding for these programs comes from,
      • the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC),
      • terms of apprenticeships,
      • related classroom instruction,
      • fees or charges,
      • indenture agreements,
      • the roles of training coordinators.

It also explains the benefits provided to apprentices, including:

      • Veteran’s benefits,
      • Earnings and fringe benefits,
      • Unemployment benefits,
      • Discrimination policies,
      • Probationary periods,
      • Union membership,
      • Tutoring and refresher courses.

Each program will have different application processes and requirements, so it’s important to track the specific requirements of the program you are interested in. If you have more questions about a program or a career in a particular trade, you can find contact information in the handbook as well!

Apprenticeships in skilled trades are advanced education and offer young people many advantages, including:

      • Good wages while learning the skills of the trade – you will not be used as cheap labor throughout your training period.
      • The rate of pay increases with knowledge and ability.
      • Apprenticeship offers opportunity for continued wages and job security upon completion of training.
      • The apprentice becomes self reliant at a comparatively early age — they impose no financial burden to their parents.
      • Apprenticeship programs provide classes to learn the theory of their trade, and those techniques which cannot be taught at the job site.
      • Instructors are capable, practical journeymen selected for the industry by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.
      • The apprentice learns to produce with modern tools and machines, and will gain experience under the most current methods.
      • The apprentice learns to properly use tools or install modern industrial materials worth thousands of dollars during his or her apprenticeships.
      • The apprentice works under the direction of a competent journeyman at all times to receive close personal attention.
      • An apprentice is monitored during his or her indenture by the Joint Apprenticeship Committee to insure that he or she has an opportunity to develop all the skills of the craft and become a fully qualified journeyman.
      • Graduates of an apprenticeship program will be engaged in an honorable and respected occupation with opportunities for advancement.
      • Statistics show that nearly 75% of apprenticeship graduates stay in Montana and in the career for which they have trained.
      • With experience and study, the apprentice can become a foreman, estimator, or superintendent. Many of the owners and employers in the construction industry started their careers as apprentices.

How an Apprentice Program Operates:

The term on an apprenticeship will vary, ranging from three to five years depending on the specific trade. Wages paid the apprentice are usually a percentage of the journeyman rate, customarily starting at 50% or higher, and increasing progressively every 1000 or so hours through completion of the apprenticeship, at which time the journeyman rate will be received.

Apprentices must attend classes of related technical instruction, supplementing their training on the job, to give them a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical aspects of their work. This related technical instruction is a fundamental feature of apprenticeship. Classes may be conducted on weekends, during the off-season months, or in the evenings. In class, apprentices learn the basic theories of their trade; on the job, under the direction and supervision of a skilled journeyman, they learn its practice.

             Apprenticeship programs by craft

The MATDA Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Trades handbook has information on the following apprenticeship programs offered in the state of Montana:

Automotive Technician
Boilermaker
Bricklayer
Carpenter
Construction Craft Laborer
Electrician – Inside Wireman
Ironworker
Lineman
Machinist – Automotive Machinist
Millwright
Operating Engineer
Piledriver
Plumber-Pipefitter
Sheet Metal Worker