5 Apprenticeships You Didn’t Know Existed in Westchester

You know the standard trade apprenticeships, but have you heard about these under-the-radar offerings around the 914?

When people think of apprenticeships, their minds might go to trades such as carpentry, plumbing, or roofing. But in New York State and Westchester County, there are also apprenticeship opportunities in other job sectors.

Some lesser-known registered apprenticeships in New York State include jewelers, substance abuse counselor aides, cloud engineers, marketing coordinators, and teachers. There are also several apprenticeships pending approval such as school administrators and underwater instructors.

To find specific and current openings, people can visit the New York State Department of Labor’s website. There, users can search for recruitment opportunities according to region and type of job.

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Registered apprenticeship programs are open to individuals as young as 16 years old while they’re still in high school. Some may require people to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent of one.

Some employers may also require specific courses related to the occupation or prior experience before the apprenticeship. At the end of the training period, apprentices will be rewarded with a “Certificate of Completion,” a nationally recognized credential.

One advantage of apprenticeships is that workers get paid to learn as they go, says Daniel Paris, a workforce programs specialist in the Apprentice Training Division at the New York State Department of Labor.

Along with getting paid, apprenticeships can offer people skills that would be hard to find in an academic setting or entry-level position. For example, in recent years, several jewelry companies such as Tiffany & Co. and Starta Inc. started offering jeweler apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships really give you that hands-on experience and the required instruction at the same time,” says Roberta Reardon, the New York State Department of Labor Commissioner about the Tiffany & Co. Registered Apprenticeship.

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At Starta Inc., individuals can pursue a six- to 12-month apprenticeship program. The exact duration of the program depends on the individual’s learning pace and mastery of skills. During the apprenticeships, workers will get paid and gain skills in metal manipulation, assembly expertise, and detailed craftsmanship.

According to Yelena Startsev, the financial controller at Starta Inc., the apprenticeship offers a unique advantage compared to traditional education. Apprentices get to work under highly skilled master jewelers and be directly involved in the jewelry-making process. Startsev says that they welcome people from creative fields and, although jewelry experience isn’t required, it’s a plus.

“We’re looking for dedicated individuals with a strong work ethic who are committed to this career,” Startsev says. “Mechanical aptitude, fine motor skills, and a meticulous eye for detail are crucial for success. The program is a great fit for recent jewelry training program graduates seeking practical experience.”

Each job sector has different requirements to fulfill when it comes to apprenticeships. The approximate number of hours depends on how much experience the organizations want potential hires to have and the length of the program. For example, the alcoholism/substance abuse counselor aide apprenticeship requires 600 hours of counseling and 250 hours of case management.

Meanwhile, teacher apprentices must work between 1,200 and 2,800 hours of on-the-job training until they have demonstrated competency for each skill in the work processes. A few of the skills they will work on include lesson plans, instruction, collaboration, and student learning.

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“These two years just give me so much time to see different scenarios and how my attending teacher would handle situations,” says Abby Higgins, a registered teacher apprentice with the Classroom Academy. “In a traditional student-teaching setting, you’re there for a shorter period of time, which means you’re getting less experience and you’re also not getting paid.”

Other apprenticeships such as cloud engineers and marketing coordinators learn and work with a variety of systems to fulfill their hours and skill requirements. A cloud engineer is an IT professional who monitors systems and works on cloud development. As an apprentice, they will spend up to 300 hours on system architecture, 800 on cloud development, and 700 on cloud solutions architecture.

Marketing coordinator apprentices will be exposed to workplace orientation, research and analytics, marketing technology, and external partner research and management. People looking to enter this field should be interested in brand awareness, market research, campaign strategies, and analysis. The total approximate time for this apprenticeship is 3,000 hours.

“It is a unique opportunity to get enrolled into an apprenticeship program because you are being paid with benefits,” Paris says. “Whether you have prior college credit or you have no college credit — it is definitely something I would encourage anyone to look at.”

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