In our industry, an Apprentice is in training and learning a trade skill. A Journeyman is a person who has completed their apprenticeship program and has met the required minimum qualifications and standards that pertain to their specific trade. An apprentice works with a journeyman on the job site and learns the tasks of the trade from him/her.
Is Apprenticeship the Right Choice?
Minnesota’s apprenticeship system offers an opportunity for a person with limited job skills to enter a high-wage industry, gaining experience and salary increases through on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
Apprentices start at 40% of the Journeyman wage rate. The total wage package includes fringe benefits such as medical, dental and optical insurance plans, retirement plans and more. The apprenticeship program is for a 5-year period and requires 9,000 on-the-job hours of work. Additionally, all apprentices attend 216 hours of related instruction for each year while in the program.
The earn-while-you-learn system enables individuals to move to the top of the wage scale in three to five years. Click here for more apprenticeship information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will I need to purchase tools for use on the job?
A. The only tools you will need to provide throughout your apprenticeship are a 25-foot tape measure and a pair of adjustable pliers. All other tools needed to perform your job will be provided to you by your contractor.
Q. Are there any clothing requirements?
A. Yes, steel-toed boots are required on all job sites and in shop courses while at school. Also, in some instances, fire retardant clothing is required for your protection. These types of clothes can be purchased at local vendors.
Q. Where would I attend the training classes?
A. The training for first and second year apprentices is held at the Training Facility located at 4402 Airpark Boulevard, Duluth, MN 55811. The third, fourth and fifth year apprentices who live in the Duluth/Superior area will attend evening school in Duluth, MN. Those apprentices who live on the Iron Range will attend evenings in Virginia, MN and those living in the western most parts of Minnesota will attend day school Fridays and Saturdays every other week from October through April.
Q. When are the related training classes?
A. First year classes are held for 8 hours during the daytime for 5 weeks – 40 hours per week. Presently, second year classes are also held during the daytime for 5 weeks. Third, fourth and fifth year classes are held in the evening starting in September and running through early spring each year. Apprentices typically have class two or three nights a week, they start at 5:00 pm and run 3 to 4 hours each night.
Q. What are the qualifications to join?
A. Any person can apply provided that:
- You be at least 18 years of age at the time of interview.
- You provide your high school grade transcripts or GED scores or some equivalent to graduation.
- You provide a copy of your birth certificate.
- You are physically able to perform the tasks of the trade.
- You have completed the application.
- For Veterans, a copy of your DD-214 is also required (for application of the G.I. Bill).
Q. What if I can’t find my High School transcripts?
A. You can usually obtain you a copy from the registrar of your high school transcripts from the high school that you graduated from.
Q. Can I get an application for the apprenticeship program at any time?
A. Yes, you can apply online at any time. Applicants must first set up an online account with the Northern Mechanical and Iron Range JATC before you can submit an application and upload associated documents.
The first step is to create your online account. Once you apply for an account, you must wait up to one business day for your application to be confirmed before you proceed.