Why train as an apprentice?

  • Classroom training. Expert instructors teach you theory, safety and skilled trade fundamentals in a controlled environment.
  • On-the-job training. You’ll get your hands dirty (literally), apply your knowledge and skills and learn by doing.
  • No student loans. Currently, the average student debt in California is $20,340 and the proportion of students with debt is 55%.
  • Employment. You will earn while you learn.
  • Career potential. Apprenticeship can take you in many career directions.

Why train as an apprentice with ABC NorCal?

  • We are state and federally approved. ABC NorCal’s apprenticeship programs are approved by the State of California and the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • We offer multiple trades. We offer apprenticeship programs in five trades: carpentry, construction craft laborer, electrical, painting and plumbing.
    Compared to a college education, there’s virtually no cost to you personally. The program is funded by various private and public sources. You will need to purchase the tools required for your trade.
  • Paid on-the-job training.
  • Health benefits. Including medical, dental, vision and life insurance.
  • We honor Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Eligible veterans can receive a tax-free stipend during their apprenticeship program.
  • Build your professional network. Our members are some of the most talented construction professionals in Northern California.
  • Nationally Recognized Curriculum. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is a national foundation backed by ABC National which provides the “Contren Learning Series” modules used in the classroom training of apprentices and the certification of instructors.

Why train ABC NorCal apprentices?

  • The demand for skilled workers is high.
  • Our program eliminates the need for expensive recruitment programs; people are already training.
  • Our state and federally approved apprenticeship programs can dispatch apprentices to your job site and help you meet prevailing wage requirements.
  • Using apprentices actually reduces the cost of high labor turnover; employees show high morale and loyalty when training in a program that offers upward mobility through career development.
  • You get a diversified and flexible workforce and a larger pool of employees with specific skills.
  • You get increased productivity; employees in a structured program are more motivated.
  • We train our apprentices in cutting-edge training facilities.
  • Our apprentices reside throughout Northern California.

Watch video below to learn more:

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Apprenticeship Program FAQs

  • Apprenticeship is a unique learning experience that combines on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
  • On-the-job training allows individuals to earn wages while gaining real-world experience. Classroom instruction teaches theory and skill development in a controlled learning environment. Combined, the two instruction processes create a knowledgeable and experienced worker.
  • ABC NorCal is the sponsor of five state and federally approved apprenticeship programs in the carpentry, construction craft laborer, electrical, painting, and plumbing trades.

  • There are no tuition fees for apprentices.

  • Once accepted into the program, you will need to purchase the required tools for your trade.

  • No. Apprenticeship is a paid learning and training opportunity.

  • You will learn all necessary job skills through on-the-job and classroom training.

  • If you have at least one year of verifiable experience in the trade you are applying for, you may request to take the placement test.

  • If you take the placement test and pass with the minimum required score, you may be placed in the program at a higher level.

  • Should you pass the entire program’s placement test, once registered in the program, you must complete a minimum of six months of the program in order to receive credit and recognition as a graduate from the ABC NorCal Apprenticeship Program.

  • ABC NorCal contractor members who are approved to train apprentices may sponsor existing employees into ABC NorCal’s Apprenticeship Program.

  • Sponsoring is approved on a case-by-case basis by the Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee (UAC) and is not guaranteed. Sponsorship consideration requires a completed application with the sponsoring company’s information.

  • You must complete the entire application process.

  • Anytime. Applications are accepted year-round for every program.
  • Your submitted application will only be approved if it includes all of the required documentation. We cannot process incomplete applications; an incomplete application will delay your acceptance process.
  • Applicants must pass each step of the process as determined by the UAC to be accepted into the program. This timeline of each step is based primarily on the need for apprentices in the industry.
  • The application process may include the following:
  • Written exam
  • Orientation
  • Drug Screening
  • Class schedule will be determined once you have successfully started the apprenticeship program and have been dispatched to your first contractor.

  • Classes are held in one or two-week blocks throughout the year and are generally held Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Some classes are held virtually Monday through Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

  • You will attend a few mandatory training sessions on Saturdays.

  • Carpentry and Construction Craft Laborer classes are held at the ABC NorCal Livermore Training Facility. Some Carpentry and Construction Craft Laborer classes may be offered at the ABC NorCal Sacramento Training Facility as determined by the ABC NorCal UAC.

  • Electrical and Painting classes are held at the ABC NorCal Livermore Training Facility.

  • Plumbing classes are held at the ABC NorCal Sacramento Plumbing Training Facility.

  • Several of the mandatory certifications will be held offsite throughout Northern California.

  • You may be placed with various contractors in your area in order to gain varied on-the-job training experience. All construction jobs generally require travel to and from jobsites.

  • You can be dispatched anywhere in Northern California.

  • You will be dispatched to projects based on your physical address on file with the ABC NorCal office.

  • You will be dispatched by the ABC NorCal office to an approved-to-train contractor with a project located within your area of residence.

    Note: The ABC NorCal Apprenticeship Program is not a job placement service; it is an apprenticeship training program that allows you to earn while you learn.
  • The rate of pay for apprentices is determined by the State of California and the Department of Labor and varies by trade. Wages depend on various factors such as the county the project is located and the bid advertisement date for the project.

    Apprentice wage calculation is a topic covered during the apprentice’s first class: the Introduction to Apprenticeship class.

  • To learn more about our different trades, visit the Apprenticeship Application page HERE.
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