An Opportunity to Earn While You Learn

Arizona Western College’s apprenticeship programs take a modern approach to education. As apprentices, students learn the ropes of their industry with paid, on-the-job training. They complete their program with a certificate and the skills they need to advance in their career.

AWC is proud to partner with local businesses to offer apprenticeships in Yuma County. We currently offer paid apprenticeships and work-based learning in the following fields: 

For more information on apprenticeships, please send an email to our apprenticeship director at

Apprenticeship Program Logo

How Apprenticeship Works for Employers

Registered apprenticeships have been utilized to meet workforce needs nationwide for decades. These programs offer employers the opportunity to build and enrich a company’s high-quality talent pipeline while bolstering its bottom line. 

The goal of our apprenticeship programs here in Yuma County is to provide employees with advanced skill sets to meet their specific needs. You can sponsor an existing employee or hire a candidate based on your hiring criteria.

Apprenticeships can benefit an employer. There are many reasons to hire an apprentice, including but not limited to:

  • Immediate access to new, skilled, and motivated employees
  • Unique opportunity to shape and mold a model employee
  • Contribution to the local skilled workforce
  • Increased team loyalty and reduced turnover


Apprenticeship Works for Students

As an apprentice, you must be highly committed and able to work full-time under the direction of a seasoned professional while completing rigorous study in the pursuit of certification in your chosen field. 

Arizona Western College is proud to offer unique apprenticeship programs as part of its curriculum. 

 The benefits of apprenticeships include:

  • On-the-job training and career advancement
  • Lower or no educational debt
  • Expanded skill sets
  • The pursuit of a college degree


Take advantage of our “Earn While You Learn” apprenticeship programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

An apprenticeship is an “earn while you learn” model, which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. In a traditional apprenticeship program, apprentices complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction per year, and they earn a progressive wage.

Arizona Western College is a registered apprenticeship sponsor with the state of Arizona and currently offers apprenticeships for Electrical Technology.

The length of each apprenticeship program varies. The electrical apprenticeship is a four-year program. Apprentices will take classes at an AWC campus two nights a week.

In the electrical technology program, apprentices are automatically awarded their journeyman license upon successful completion of the four-year program and a certificate from Arizona Western College.

Apprentices receive a progressive wage, and the typical starting wage is 50 percent of their final salary at the end of the apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive period wage increases as they complete training requirements.

In order to participate, first, identify a mentor (called a “journeyperson”) who will be responsible for training the apprentice in a one-on-one relationship. This mentor/journeyperson will ensure that the apprentice completes their on-the-job training requirements as part of the program. This mentor/journeyperson will receive initial mentor training and will be responsible for signing off on the hourly log kept by the apprentice.

Once a mentor/journeyperson is identified, they will work with the apprenticeship office to become a registered employer. The apprentice must be free to attend class at the designated time, and they will need to work with AWC to determine a progressive wage scale. After approval, they may begin interviewing and hiring from the pool of applicants.

In a traditional apprenticeship, the apprentice works 2,000 hours per year, is generally considered a regular, full-time employee (hourly or salary, depending on the employer), and is generally entitled to the same benefits as other company employees. Similarly, they are also subject to the same rules and requirements as regular employees.

Yes! Please contact the apprenticeship director if they have a current employee who would like to participate in the program. We will work with you to become a registered employer and with each employee to enroll in the apprenticeship program.

An internship is typically a short-term work experience. Internships can be either paid or unpaid. They are designed to introduce students to a field or specific company for a short period, perhaps with the expectation of long-term employment once education is completed. 

Education and on-the-job training are not formally linked to an internship.
An apprenticeship is a formal training program with purposefully linked on-the-job training and classroom instruction. 
The goal of an apprenticeship is to establish a long-term relationship where employers directly train an apprentice and, in turn, develop a lasting relationship.

No experience is required of a new apprentice. Most registered apprenticeship programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some occupations require completion of specific subjects such as algebra, blueprint reading, or related shop work.

We can work with employers to create a customized program and recruit apprentices. Contact to learn how the program could benefit your business.