Apprenticeship information for students

Earn while you learn

Registered apprenticeship programs combine postsecondary education with a full-time job and specialized, hands-on training. Apprentices finish college with valuable skills, little to no student debt, and career opportunities with leading Hampton Roads employers.

Apprenticeships by the numbers

Apprenticeships provide a smart path to higher education and well-paying, stable careers.

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Number of apprentices nationwide

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Average starting salary for apprentices in Virginia

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New jobs in Virginia by 2022 that will require post-secondary education or training

How apprenticeship programs work

Apprenticeships are a smart way to enter well-paying jobs in growing fields, such as maritime; advanced manufacturing; heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration; automotive; and mechatronics.

Apprenticeship opportunities are expanding into other in-demand fields, including information technology, cybersecurity, and business services.

How do apprenticeship programs work?
Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by employers, employer groups, and trade associations. The employers provide the on-the-job training while often partnering with local colleges to deliver the classroom instruction. TCC partners with more than 20 apprenticeship-sponsoring companies in Hampton Roads!

Classroom instruction is completed at the same time apprentices are actually working in the field. This allows them to immediately apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to a real-world setting.

Programs range from one to six years. Upon completion of the program, students receive a nationally recognized industry credential validating their proficiency.

As employees of the companies that sponsor their apprenticeship, apprentices receive incremental raises and in many cases, company benefits.

5 reasons to become an apprentice

  1. Experience. You get relevant work experience while you are in school.
  2. Free tuition. Many sponsoring companies cover the cost of tuition and fees for apprenticeship-related instruction.
  3. In-demand credentials. Upon completing an apprenticeship program, you'll earn a nationally-recognized credential that is portable if you change jobs.
  4. Higher income. Apprentices earn more over their lifetime than their peers.
  5. Value. Apprenticeship is an investment in you by an employer. Your future success then becomes their return on investment!

How to get started

TCC partners with employers offering apprenticeship opportunities in maritime and manufacturing; heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration; automotive; and mechatronics.

Currently, nearly 1,300 apprentices attend TCC for all, or part, of their apprenticeship-related instruction. However, participation in a registered apprenticeship program begins with the sponsoring employer.

Here are the steps to start a registered apprenticeship:

  1. Review the apprenticeship programs available in the region
  2. Identify individual employer hiring requirements and program openings
  3. Develop and strengthen your resume by completing relevant courses at TCC
  4. Apply for desired programs with individual employer sponsors
  5. Contact the Apprenticeship Institute for general information or with questions 

View a list of local companies offering apprenticeships

Have questions or interested in learning more?
Contact the Apprenticeship Institute at 757-822-1504 or

TCC's apprenticeship partners

TCC works with leading employers across Hampton Roads in maritime and manufacturing; heating, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration; automotive; and mechatronics.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard logo
Stihl logo
Priority Toyota logo

News & resources

Learn how Registered Apprenticeship is providing career opportunities throughout Hampton Roads.

AJ Scherman accepting the German American Chamber of Commerce Award for Trainee of the Year

Mechatronics student A.J. Scherman, a STIHL Inc. apprentice, was awarded the German American Chamber of Commerce award for Trainee of the Year.

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An apprentice at Newport News Shipbuilding, Jessica Dunlap is working toward a TCC degree (TCC Career Focus magazine).

TCC student is using what he is learning in class to help company be more efficient

Sterling Mobley is part of STIHL, Inc.'s apprentice program in partnership with TCC.