Although the following apprenticeship programs are affiliated with Renton Technical College, each program has its own coordinator, joint labor-management committee, and selection procedures. Generally, applicants must be at least 17 or 18 years old (depending on the program), have a valid Washington State driver's license, and go through a selection process which might include a written test, physical test, drug test, and interview.
Apprenticeships Provide Opportunities for Students to Earn While They Learn
Renton Technical College serves over 1500 apprentices each year, or nearly 20% of the total number of apprentices in Washington State. There are currently 16 apprenticeship programs affiliated with RTC offering classroom and on-the-job training in the building and construction trades, manufacturing, and public utilities. Apprentices work full time in their field and attend related schooling part-time, a few weeks/year or evenings/week. In several programs, apprentices have the option of earning an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in addition to their journey-level certificate.
Each program has an apprenticeship coordinator and a joint apprenticeship and training committee (JATC), made up of equal members of labor and management. Because the JATC is from industry, it makes sure that the training meets industry standards. It also determines how many people to let into the program, based on how many job openings are expected.
The JATC also determines the length of training, the process used to select candidates, and wage progression. Although apprentices are students, they are also workers, and they get paid for their time on the job. Apprentice wages begin at a percentage of the journey-level rate and increase based on an apprentice's satisfactory progress in class and on the job. Trades people typically start at $15/hour plus benefits, and by the end of the apprenticeship (two to five years, depending on the program) earn $25-30/hour or more.
You may be a good candidate for an apprenticeship program if you:
- Like to work with your hands as well as your mind
- Can show up every day, ready and eager to work and go to school
- Have an aptitude for math and spatial relations
- Are at least 17 or 18 years old, depending on the program
- Have at least a high school diploma or GED
- Have a valid Washington State driver's license
- Can pass a drug test
- Meet other minimum qualifications for your chosen trade
Pluses about Apprenticeship:
- Good for people who like to learn by doing
- Real pride in your work
- Excellent wages and benefits
- Varied work
- Eligible to work anywhere in the U.S.
Minuses about Apprenticeship:
- Often physically demanding
- May have to work outside in bad weather
- Work may not be year round (seasonal work)
- Work sites may vary quite regularly
- Apprentices must provide their own transportation and tools
If you would like more information about vocational opportunities at Renton Technical College, give Student Services a call at (425) 235-5840 to schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Associate of Applied Science Degree: Multi-Occupational Trades
This degree is for people who are graduating or have graduated from apprenticeship programs of at least 432 classroom hours and at least 6000 on-the-job hours. The requirements of the degree are:
- Completion of a registered apprenticeship program affiliated with RTC, including documentation such as an apprenticeship completion certificate from the Department of Labor & Industries.
- Psychology (PSYC& 100)
- Speech Communications (CMST& 101)
- Applied Algebra for Business and Industry (AMATH 185)
- English Composition (ENGL& 101) or Applied Composition (ENGL 100)
In addition, all English and math classes require acceptable scores on the COMPASS test before entering. Apprentices who have already taken college classes elsewhere should make an appointment with a counselor to see if these classes will transfer. For more information or to make an appointment, call the RTC Student Services Department at 425-235-5840.
Renton Technical College is committed to non-discrimination in all of its educational and employment activities, and to provide equal access to each of its educational programs and activities, and employment opportunities. This policy shall apply to all students and applicants for admission, as well as all employees and applicants for employment, without regard to race; color; creed; religion; national origin; sex; sexual orientation; marital status; age; the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability; or whether a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Questions regarding the college affirmative action policies, harassment or discrimination should be directed to the Director of Human Resources Development at (425) 235-7873.