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Small Mountain on Apprenticeship


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What   Is   Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a mixture of on the job training and classroom instruction. The length of the apprenticeship and the mix of training will vary from trade to trade, state to state and even in some cases state to national programs. I am a "Journey Level" Carpenter, Apprenticeship trained in Southern California back in the seventies. I will speak about the Wisconsin Carpentry Apprenticeship Program as I have been working with that system for a few years. To become an apprentice you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and a drivers license.Next you must pass an entrance exam to make sure your math is up to snuff. Math is a must in most trades. It also is a big part of the classroom instruction and most people fresh out of High School will pass the test. Most of us that have been out for a while will have to refresh their skills. Calculating the area of different shapes is a good place to start and the volumes (look up those formulas and rember what pi is) . Then it,s those darn fractions and conversions (fractions to decimal and decimal to fraction). Learn to add up yards, feet, inches and fractions of an inch and subtract them. We hope to soon have some classes on the net that will help you with all of this. Now that the test is done you would get a letter of introduction and a list of prospective employers. This is where a trade organization starts to earn their money as they will help get that first job and you must have a job to become any kind of apprentice. Once you have a job you can sign up for your paid instruction (yes, you get paid to go to school). Did I hear you say "how much"? The apprentice starts at 60% 0f journey level carpenter and will get a 5% raise every six months if they keep their school and work hours up. The journeyperson comercial rate will be$19.96 an hour as of June 1, 1998 with residential being 75% of that.

Apprenticeship Related Instruction

The Carpentry Apprenticeship is considered a four year program but it can be done in more or less time.  The paid instruction is four hundred hours and covers from form work to finish carpentry.   There are several hours of math that covers stair, rafter layout, the amount of concrete it takes to fill a form and a lot of other things you will someday use on a job. In addition to the paid instruction there are night classes, some are required, like Construction Safety and First Aid/CPR to keep you and your co-workers alive, others are electives so you can tailor your skills toward your specialty. The total night school hours are 120 . The largest part of the appreticeship training is the on the job training. It amounts to 780 hours per 6 month period of apprenticeship. It too has requirements so you have to get a broad scope of training, under a journey level carpenter.


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