Apprenticeships are great ways to learn a skill or trade in order to make a rewarding career out of it. There are apprenticeship opportunities available all over the place; you simply have to look for them. You will most commonly see apprentice programs for construction, electrical and plumbing careers; however, there are also other non-traditional apprenticeship programs available. In Maine, you will be able to find these and more.
The state of Maine actually makes it easy for potential workers to achieve rewarding careers without having to choose the four-year college option. The state runs the Maine Apprenticeship Program (MAP) to help connect potential apprentices with potential employers. The program also offers apprentices the opportunity to be reimbursed for up to 50% of educational costs.
Most programs that you will find in Maine will range from one to five years of apprenticeship work. The length of the apprentice program is determined by the occupation and the skills required for the job. Apprentices usually get paid for while they receive their training and they work in real situations that will be encountered while on a job. They receive all of the knowledge and skills that are required to be successful in their career for the rest of their lives.
The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local Union 1253 offers two different apprenticeship programs. The first is for an Inside Wireman. This program requires 8000 hours of on the job training with an experienced journeyman as well as 900 hours of classroom instruction. In addition to requiring life skills for a long and successful career, apprentices start earning wages immediately. The starting wage is 50% of a journeyman’s pay but the pay increases at regular intervals throughout the program. The program comes with a benefit package too which offers health insurance and a retirement plan. After the program has been completed and the apprentice passes a test, he or she is awarded journeyman status along with full pay.
The IBEW Local Union 1253 also offers a Telecommunications Installer/Technician program. This apprenticeship requires 4800 hours of on the job training and three years of classroom work. Likewise, this program also comes with a benefit package and wages are earned immediately starting at 60% of a journeyman’s pay and increasing at regular intervals throughout the program. Both of these programs are offered in Fairfield, Maine and applications are accepted all year.
The New England Carpenters Training Fund offers apprenticeship programs to potential workers in Augusta, Maine. Upon being accepted into the program, apprentices work for a union contractor and learn all the skills needed to become a journeyman contractor. Because the program is through a union contractor, apprentices immediately receive health and other benefits as well as wages. Wages usually start at 50% of the full journeyman rate and increase regularly in six or twelve month increments. Apprentices are expected to perform all the work that a typical journeyman would upon being trained in specific duties. Apprentices are required to supply their own tools.
Other noteworthy program includes a masonry apprenticeship that is offered through Maine Masonry Company, which is located in Scarborough, Maine. The program comes with training, compensation and a benefit package. Apprentices learn all of the skills and knowledge required to be a professional mason worker.
A lot of apprentice opportunities can be obtained through local unions; however, are somewhat difficult to gain because of the high level of competition. However, if that is not a route you want to take, there are also plenty of opportunities from local businesses. Many electrical, construction, plumbing and HVAC servicing companies are willing to take on apprentices. Likewise, fishing companies offer opportunities for workers to gain the experience and knowledge needed to work a full time career in the fishing industry. In the state of Maine, you simply need a certified sponsor and must obtain an apprentice’s license in order to successfully be recognized as a journeyman at the completion of the program.
If none of these programs interest you, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. Simply search for apprenticeship opportunities in the field you are interested in. Chances are you will find something that will allow you to both learn the skills you need and get paid for doing work. Sometimes apprenticeship programs are offered without pay, but after completing the program, you are left with invaluable work experience and knowledge that will lead you to a successful life in the career or your choice.
One apprenticeship like this is a boat building programming during which students learn how to build boats and restore them. They also learn the art of furniture making. The program lasts nine months and while it does not offer any pay, it also does not cost anything and it sets apprentices on a life-long path of a rewarding woodworking career. The program is sustained by hard working volunteers and the sale of apprentice-made boats and furniture.