Education & Training

Apprenticeships & Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning opportunities help you train for a job from a practical standpoint, rather than the more theoretical approach you might find in a traditional college classroom. Some options even provide the chance to pursue formal education while working. You can build your resume, work toward certifications and credentials, and earn a wage at the same time.

An instructor and student in scrubs in a hospital looking at a computer screen together.

Practical Experience

Learn Through Work

Clinical: Like an internship, clinical opportunities are most often part of health career prep programs, where students observe and treat patients with oversight from a professional.

Co-Op: A cooperative education experience, often referred to as a “co-op”, provides academic credit for a structured job experience (including some classroom-based education). Students are generally paid by their employer for work time and graduate with significant work experience.

Pre-Apprenticeship: A program where students learn basic technical and job-readiness skills for designated apprenticeable occupations or industry sectors, to prepare them for a Registered Apprenticeship. Pre-apprenticeships combine time in a classroom or lab setting with worksite visits, job shadowing, or other activities that help students learn about the work environment. Credit for the “classroom” instruction may apply to the student’s registered apprenticeship program.

Internship: A paid or unpaid position where a person can work in an organization to gain professional experience. Students may earn high school or college credit for internships.

Two women bridle and brush a horse.

Earn While You Learn

Learn at Work

Apprenticeship: A combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and formal instruction under the supervision of a skilled mentor. Apprentices receive training in the practical and theoretical aspects of a skilled occupation. During their training period, apprentices earn a wage/salary and may be eligible for raises based on time completed or competency. Completing an apprenticeship leads to an industry-recognized credential.

Registered Apprenticeship: While programmatically the same as non-registered apprenticeships, Registered Apprenticeships are monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the credential is nationally recognized.

On-the-Job Training (OJT): Training that occurs for employees at a job site or office and is led by a company supervisor or mentor. The employer determines the skills they want employees to acquire and how their competency will be measured.

School to Registered Apprenticeship: An extension of a Registered Apprenticeship for high school students, 16 years old and above. As described above, all requirements for a Registered Apprenticeship program must be met and students have to get approval from both their high school and parents to participate.

A group of workers in a warehouse having a standing meeting.
Rows of books at a university library.

Information Center

Self-Assessment & Planning Tools

Considering an apprenticeship, clinical practicum, or cooperative work experience (co-op) but not sure in what field or industry? Use these interactive quizzes and planning tools to explore how your interests can translate into a career you can pursue through work-based learning.

Browse Our Career Database


Browse All Careers Now
A couple of students sitting at a table looking at their smartphones.

Life Costs Money. But How Much Do You Need?

New pick-up truck? Your own apartment? Explore the lifestyle you want, find the careers and jobs that can support that lifestyle, and get the training you might need for those careers.
A man in a mechanical workshop reviewing content on a tablet.

Careers That Fit You

Take this quick quiz that's all about you, your interests, and your strengths. The results will reveal careers you may want to consider based on who you are and what you want to be next.

New Opportunities

Youth Apprenticeships in Idaho

In this American Graduate video, Idaho Public Television (IPTV) explores the Idaho Workforce Development Council's Youth Apprenticeship Initiative allowing businesses to strengthen their workforce while giving youth an opportunity to learn as they earn.