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Take advantage of AWC’s “earn while you learn” apprenticeship programs.

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:


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 your 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 local skilled workforce
  • Increased team loyalty and reduced turnover

Connect with our office:

Employer Interest Form

How 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
Student Interest Form

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an apprenticeship?

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.

What apprenticeships are available at AWC?

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

How long are the apprenticeship programs?

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.

Does my apprentice earn a degree or certification?

In the Electrical Technology program, apprentices are automatically awarded their journeyman license upon successful completion of the four-year program as well as a certificate from AWC. 

How much does it cost to hire an apprentice?

Apprentices are paid a progressive wage. Their 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.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

In order to participate, you first need to identify a mentor (called a “journeyperson”) who will be responsible for training your apprentice in a one-on-one relationship. This mentor/journeyperson will ensure that the apprentice completes each of 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, you will work with the apprenticeship office at AWC to become a registered employer. The apprentice must be free to attend class at the designated time, and you will need to work with AWC to determine a progressive wage scale. After approval, you may begin interviewing and hiring from AWC’s pool of applicants.

Does the apprentice receive the same benefits as a regular full-time employee?

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

I have an existing employee who would like to participate. Can they be an apprentice?

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

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?

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 and /or specific company for a short period of time, perhaps with the expectation of long-term employment once education is completed. Education and on-the-job training are not formally linked in an internship.

An apprenticeship is a formal training program where on-the-job training and classroom instruction are purposefully linked. An apprentice is a full-time employee, subject to the same requirements and expectations of all other company employees. The goal of an apprenticeship is to establish a long-term relationship where you directly train an apprentice, and in turn, develop a lasting relationship.

What are the minimum educational/experience requirements for Registered Apprenticeship?

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.

Interested in hiring an apprentice in your industry?

AWC can work with your business to create a customized program and recruit apprentices. Contact apprentice@azwestern.edu to learn how an AWC apprenticeship program could benefit your business.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information on apprenticeships, send an email to our apprenticeship director at apprentice@azwestern.edu