Apprenticeship Programs in New Mexico

In New Mexico, the Department of Workforce Solutions and the New Mexico State Apprenticeship Council make it easy for unskilled workers to connect with potential apprenticeship sponsoring employers.  The Apprenticeship Council can connect those looking for apprenticeships to employers in a variety of trades such as asbestos workers, bricklayers, carpenters, diesel technicians, cement masons, air & hydraulic balancing technicians, heavy duty mechanics, drywall applicators, electricians, ironworkers, linemen, laborers, plasterers, plumbers, footing, pump servicer, sheet metal workers, film workers, sprinkler fitters, and much more.

Apprenticeships usually require one to five years of on the job training along with a certain amount of classroom instruction related to the trade.  While the on the job training gives apprentices the skills and experience needed for a long career in the trade, the classroom instruction focuses on learning safety and first aid skills as well as different techniques and the theories behind them.

Workers typically begin earning wages immediately starting at 50% of a full journeyworker’s wage.  Apprentices receive pay increases at a regular interval provided that they are reaching specific hourly goals and progressing through the program at the proper rate.  Apprentices usually gain a large amount of benefits in addition to learning a lifelong trade while also getting paid.  Many sponsoring companies pay for the related educational expenses for their apprentices and also provide certain fringe benefits to them such as health insurance and pension plans.

Apprenticeships are powerful programs that turn unskilled workers into highly skilled workers who are then able to work in their desired trade for their lifetime.  Instead of being stuck in low income jobs, those who complete apprentice programs obtain rewarding and prosperous years for the rest of their lives.

Four year universities are not for everyone, so that is why there are apprenticeships – ‘the other four year degree’.  They offer excellent opportunities to new high school graduates and also to workers who wish to change careers.  There is nothing more powerful than learning a new skill and get paid to do so.

After the completion of registered apprenticeships, individuals are given a certificate of completion from the New Mexico Apprenticeship Council, are elevated to journeyworker status and reach full journeyworker pay.  While there are many others, here are just some of the opportunities that you can find in the state of New Mexico.

Electrical

The New Mexico JATC offers an apprenticeship for individuals to learn the trade of electrical work.  Apprentices earn money while they learn to become Inside Wireman Electricians.  The program requires five years of on the job training, which equates to 8000 hours.  Plus, apprentices must complete fifty college credits that relate to the nature of the work.  Those interested in the program can apply at the office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The application requires a $20 fee and applicants must also qualify for the program by passing the Electrical Trade’s Aptitude Test.  Those who are chosen are connected with a union electrician from whom they learn the knowledge and skills they need to become a journeyman electrician.

Construction

ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) New Mexico Chapter offers a construction apprenticeship to individuals who wish to enter the trade.  The program consists of on the job training as well as classroom instruction.  Classes meet two evenings per week and apprentices are expected to work full time during the day.  The classroom instruction is focused on the theory behind what apprentices do during their on site training.  All instructors and field trainers are experienced workers that are certified by the Center for Construction Education and Research.

Apprentices receive wages immediately and may receive pay increases at regular intervals throughout their training.  Training costs nothing for apprentices; however, they will be responsible for purchasing any work related clothing, shoes and hand tools that may be needed.  Those who wish to be considered for the program must fill out an application and provide references.  Additionally, all applicants must appear for an interview during which you will be given points for your skills and attitude toward training.

Applicants are all placed on a list and when apprentice positions are available those who rank highest are chosen first.  The beginning pay rates can vary depending on the specific construction trade program you enter (ie. Carpentry, electrical, plumbing or sheet metal).  After the completion of the apprenticeship program, individuals become full journeyworkers and receive full benefits and pay.  Additionally, they will be qualified to work anywhere in the country they wish to in their field of choice.

This type of program is greatly preferred for those who wish to immediately enter the workforce and do not wish to pay thousands of dollars per year for their education such as four year university students do.  After the completion of this apprenticeship program, individuals are prepared for a prosperous lifelong career in their field.

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