At an early age, Kyle Horn wanted to be a senior electrician like his dad and uncle. Now, he's embarking on a viable path into the trade that his father's generation took: the coveted five-year apprenticeship.
I've always wanted to do this," says Horn, 29, of McHenry, Illinois. I think an apprenticeship is the way to learn to do almost everything." Horn now earns well above the average U.S. wage.
President Trump (President Trump) believes apprenticeship training is a sure way to meet the demand for skilled workers in a variety of industries. He wants to double the 500,000 apprenticeship opportunities currently registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Apprenticeships date back to medieval times and are still prevalent today in some countries such as Germany and Switzerland. It is a steady path to a high-earning, high-demand career. Being an apprentice is a way to learn from work, earn an income and take courses.
However, according to the National Academy of Sciences, apprenticeships make up only 0.2 percent of the U.S. workforce. This compares to nearly 2 percent in the United Kingdom and 3.7 percent in Germany.
Horn, who holds the rank of staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, has been deployed twice to Iraq. Today, he has completed nearly 8,000 hours of apprenticeship training and 1,200 hours of classroom study. Classes are held once a week, in the evenings after work.
His apprenticeship program is sponsored by a contract agency in conjunction with the electricians' union in Crystal Lake, Ill. There are hundreds of similar trade apprenticeship programs across the United States.
Nearly one-half of these apprenticeship programs are in the construction industry - electricians, carpenters, welders, etc. In addition, a quarter of those in the sailor trades are apprentices, and one in fourteen seamen participate in apprenticeship training. Health care, advanced manufacturing, and information technology are also industries that use more apprentices.
The average starting salary for an apprentice is $60,000 a year. In terms of lifetime earnings, those who start as apprentices will earn $300,000 more than those who do similar work in the same industry.
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