Getting Started in an Apprenticeship Program
Here, you’ll find the information you’ll need to apply to an apprenticeship program/school and questions
you should ask to prepare yourself for a career in the construction building trades.
1. State of Illinois Employment Security Offices
2.Select the building trade apprenticeship program that you are interested
in and would like to apply for. If you already know which
program you are interested in, please proceed to Step 2. Building
trade schools are more commonly referred to as “building trade apprenticeship
2. Determine if the building trade program is accepting
applications at this time.
To find out if a program is accepting applications, please Click Here
After you determine if the program
is or is not accepting applications, please choose from one of the
Yes, the school is accepting applications
No, the school is not accepting applications
Requires employment with a union contractor before you can be accepted
into their program.
Yes, the program is accepting applications:
1. Call the program to confirm that they are still
2. Request any information and/or materials you might need to bring
with you when you obtain an application, such as birth certificate,
driver’s license, application fee, etc.
3. Fill out the application. Pay close attention to the instructions
on the application, as they vary greatly from trade to trade.
4. Return the application and ask if you will be required to take
an aptitude test. Once you have determined whether or not you will
need to take an aptitude test, choose from the following two options:
Yes, an aptitude test is required.
If an aptitude test is required, you should ask the following
1. When will the test be given?
2. Is there a placement list? For example, individuals who had
the highest test scores are accepted first.
3.. What material is recommended to study for the test? Or you
may be interested in ordering the CISCO Pre-Apprentice
Basic Skills Training Manual.
Once you know when the test will be held, ask the following questions:
1. When will I be notified if I passed?
2. Will I be told how I am ranked on the list of applicants who
3. How long will the list of applicants who passed be kept on
file? Can you reapply after the list is no longer being used?
Keep in close contact with the program after you’ve tested, passed
and are placed on a list. You will be responsible for keeping
them informed of any changes in your address and/or phone number.
No, an aptitude test is not required.
If an aptitude test is not required, you should
ask the following questions:
1. What requirements or criteria do they use to accept students?
2. How or when you will be notified once you are accepted into
You will be responsible for keeping the program informed of any
changes in your address and/or phone number.
No, the school is not accepting applications
1. Call the program to confirm that they are not
2. Ask when they will be accepting applications. If these dates
are already established, the program should be able to supply
them to you. However, certain programs may not yet have determined
when their next application period will be.
3. If the program of your choice is not certain when they will
be accepting applications, ask them if they have a list you could
be placed on to be notified when applications are available. Or
you may contact your local AIC (Apprenticeship
Information Center) to be put on their mailing list.
4. If the program does not have a notification list, ask how often
you should contact them as to when applications will be available.
In some cases, programs might not accept programs for a long period
of time (ex: two years) so you may need to consider choosing another
Requires employment with a union contractor
If the program you are interested in requires
that you must be employed with a union contractor before you can
be accepted into the program, ask the following question:
1. Will the program provide assistance in finding you employment?
If the program does not provide assistance, ask the following
1. Can the program provide you with a list of union contractors
and contact names for you to call?
Once you have this list, begin to call and visit the contractors
listed. Explain that you are trying to be accepted into the union
apprenticeship program and need to be employed by a contractor
first and ask if there any job openings available. Pursue a job
with the contractors listed in the same manner that you would
use for employment in any industry.