Apprenticeship Programs: Learn While You Earn
Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway
where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce,
and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction,
and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is for motivated people of all ages to earn wages while they learn a highly skilled profession, often leading to a career after completion.
Components of a Registered Apprenticeship
- Business Involvement
- The apprenticeship program is industry driven. Employers build a program that meets their needs
- Structured On-The-Job Training
- Apprentices receive on-the-job training from an experienced mentor.
- On-the-job training is a minimum of 1 year or 2,000 hours
- Related Instruction
- On-the-job training is combined with technical education at RLC.
- Rewards for Skill Gains
- Apprentices receive an increase in wages as they gain higher levels of skills
- National Occupational Credential
- Registered Apprenticeship programs result in a nationally-recognized credential
Flexible Learning Models to Ensure What Works Best
There are many benefits to participation in a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Students in an apprenticeship program gain skills
and knowledge in classroom and lab settings. The on-the-job training portion of the program enables students to apply those skills
learned in an actual work environment with an experienced mentor. Students earn a salary while they are learning a career
- Increased Skills: Apprentices can immediately apply knowledge learned in the classroom in an on-the-job setting which increases understanding and retention.
- Employment: Apprenticeship is a paid job. Once the apprenticeship is complete, workers are on their way to a successful long-term career.
- Zero to Little Debt at Graduation: Tuition funded by employers, workforce boards, or grants.
- Industry-Aligned Education: Apprentices receive hands-on training resulting in improved skills and competencies. Upon completion of a registered program, an apprentice earns a national DOL recognized credential as well as the potential to earn college credit towards a certificate or degree.
- Eligible starting age can not be less than 16 years; however, most programs require individuals to be at least 18 years of age.
- High school diploma or GED
- Eligible to work in the US
- Meet academic requirements for admission (link to RLC’s Admission Requirements). Acceptance into an apprenticeship program may vary based on the program requirements.
- Additional qualifications may vary based on the essential functions of the job
How to Apply
- Fill out an interest form (access HERE)
- Apply to Rend Lake College
- Take the placement exam (schedule an appointment HERE)
- Apply to the apprenticeship program; submit your resume and cover letter
Are you planning for the future of your business? Is your business growing and you need skilled employees? Is the experience and knowledge of your current
employees going to be lost after they retire? Replacing experienced talent is challenging. In hiring an apprentice, you are ensuring that the knowledge and experience
your employees hold are passed down to the next generation. Experienced mentors from your business train future talent in an apprenticeship program. It is a low-risk
hiring strategy that builds loyalty and is designed to meet your company’s needs.
Apprenticeships can help your company
- Hire a skilled workforce
- ‘Grow your own’ talent to teach your company’s ‘way’
- Increase employee loyalty and reduce turnover
- Reduce recruiting cost
- Ensure knowledge of seasoned experts is passed down before they retire
- Put entry-level employees on the career path
How to Get Started
- Contact RLC to help you design an apprenticeship program to fit your company needs
- Choose a mentor to help guide the apprentice during their OJT
Who can become an apprentice?
Students can be:
- Career Changers
- Recent high school or G.E.D. graduates
- Current employees to upskill
Want to get started?
Check out our summer manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program, new for Summer 2021!
Rend Lake Currently Offers 19 Programs:
Department of Labor Approved Occupation Programs:
Look through our photos of apprenticeships at Rend Lake
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of an apprenticeship?
There is no cost for students who are accepted into the apprenticeship program. Students will be able to complete the program tuition-free. In some programs, the fees and books are the responisiblity of the students. In other cases, fees and/or books are covered by an employer, grant funds, or finanical aid. Students will earn a wage while in the apprenticeship program.
Do I make money?
Yes, you will be paid a wage that will increase as you advance in the program and increase your skills and knowledge.
Are apprenticeship programs only for those currently graduating high school?
No, the apprenticeship programs are open to all ages and backgrounds. Students can be career changers, veterans, unemployed, under-employed, or recent high school or GED graduates. Companies are also welcome to bring their own employees into the program to advance a valuable employee’s career path.
Are there age requirements?
The program is open to anyone 17 years of age or older with a high school diploma or GED.
How do I sign up?
Contact Angelina Mabrey at 618-437-5321 ext. 1277 or at [email protected] to more information or to get started!
How can I get my company to sign up for a program?
If your company can benefit from an apprenticeship, Rend Lake College can work with you to create an educational curriculum catered to fit your specific needs. Rend Lake College can also work with you as a sponsor, which means we'll fill out all the necessary paperwork. Call our Apprenticeship Coordinator Angelina Mabrey at 618-437-5321 ext. 1277 or reach out at [email protected]
INA, Ill. (Oct. 5, 2020) — Rend Lake College’s trade programs rate among the best in the nation, according to a recent ranking from education website Learn.org. Learn.org recently published its list of the 50 Best Trade Schools Programs for the 2020-21 school year and RLC landed in the No. 18 spot. The website’s editorial team considered hundreds of universities across the country and selected...
INA, Ill. (Aug. 24, 2020) — Rend Lake College and partners, Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. and Illinois Eastern Community Colleges in Olney, Ill., have been chosen as a recipient of the 2019-2020 Apprenticeship Expansion Grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. As a recipient, RLC will serve as an Apprenticeship Intermediary and will receive $198,795 to expand...
INA, Ill. (Feb. 26, 2020) — Students and businesses from around the region got a firsthand look at how apprenticeships benefit the local workforce Wednesday at Rend Lake College. RLC hosted Apprenticeship Works! — a program that showcased how local businesses have worked with the college to give students on-the-job training that will benefit them during their future careers. Current students...