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Medical Lab assistant with test tubes in a lab.


Dennica Tafoya

Harleigh Burch

Centura Health

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an employer-driven teaching/learning model that allows individuals to become employees of a company and ‘earn while they learn’ through paid on-the-job training (OJT) and related technical instruction (RTI). The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has three classifications for apprenticeships: time-based, competency-based, and a hybrid of both.

Our apprenticeship programs require a minimum of 2000 hours of OJT conducted by an employer partner, and a minimum of 144 hours of RTI provided by Arapahoe Community College. We develop our curriculum with our employer partners so that you can work towards your degree and learn the immediate skills for your specialty. RTI instruction can be included in credit hours, non-credit hours, or a mixture of both.

What Should I Expect from an Apprenticeship at ACC

If you are interested in participating in an apprenticeship with Arapahoe Community College, you should expect to attend an informational session to learn more about the program. These informational sessions are hosted approximately 2 months prior to the program start date and will have information on the application and selection process.

You do not need to have prior experience in a field to begin an apprenticeship! Most apprentices have little to no background or job history in the field.

Our programs are supported by multiple partners that ensure the success of the apprentice: employer partners, ACC instructors and staff, and local Workforce Center staff. You'll be provided wrap-around services and support from Arapahoe Community College and local Workforce Center staff. 

Because apprentices become ACC students, there are a wide variety of educational and other resources available to them. Depending on qualification, Workforce Center support may include funding for the program, transportation, or childcare assistance. In addition to this partner support, this program was designed to make sure apprentices can learn from and support one another.

The apprenticeship program is intensive, rigorous, and competency-based. It requires apprentices to be committed to both an education program and work.

What are the Standards for Apprenticeships?

There are 5 basic components of an apprenticeship:

Businesses are Involved in Apprenticeships

Employers are the foundation of every apprenticeship program. They play an active role in building the program and remain involved every step of the way to maintain strong standards and adapt to changing needs.

Structured On-the-Job Training

Apprenticeships always include an on-the-job training component so that you gain real-world experience and receive hands-on training directly from an experienced mentor at the job site. This training is focused on the skills and knowledge an apprentice must learn to be fully proficient on the job and is based on national industry standards.

ACC's Related Technical Instruction

Apprenticeships provide not only on-the-job training but related education on the technical and academic competencies that apply to the job. Arapahoe Community College provides the RTI (related technical instruction) for all apprenticeships provided by the college. This instruction can be credit-bearing, non-credit training, or a mixture of both. We collaborate with businesses to ensure that your education is customized to the field and meets established national-level skill standards.

Financial Rewards for Skill Gains

Apprentices receive wages as soon as they begin work. Paid employment helps break down the traditional barriers to starting a new career and lets you Move Mountains. Pay increases as you meet benchmarks for skills attainment, tying rewards directly to your achievements.

Nationally-Recognized Credentials and Certifications

Every graduate of a USDOL apprenticeship program receives a nationally-recognized credential. This credential signifies to employers that apprenticeships are fully qualified for the job, so you'll be able to launch your new career anywhere. In addition, apprentices through our program often earn industry certifications that open other doors and further attest to their skills.


A portion of this workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.

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