Apprenticeships are a great way to double the impact of your educational experience. Eastern Iowa Community Colleges sponsors registered apprenticeship standards in Culinary Arts, more than 10 manufacturing careers.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship?

A registered apprenticeship combines on-the-job learning with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships are a “learn and earn” model that provide an opportunity to receive training in a high demand career field, while earning a paycheck and experience.

How Can I Become an Apprentice?

Typically, in order to participate in an apprenticeship, you must be hired or sponsored by a company that participates in a registered apprenticeship. Apprentices can be new hires, or businesses can select current employees to join the apprenticeship program.

Apprentices in Eastern Iowa Community Colleges' culinary program will be assigned to employers after enrolling in the program.

What Are the Benefits of Being an Apprentice?

  • Learn high demand skills
  • Earn while you learn
  • Guaranteed wage increases as you build your skills
  • Training is recognized industry-wide
  • Most apprentice coursework can translate into a college credential/degree, or provide credits toward a degree

I’m Interested! What Do I Do Now?

Apprentices must have an employer sponsor. There are two ways you can get started:

  1. Complete some coursework at the college in order to apply to a company that offers apprenticeship training, or

  2. Put your current skills and education to work by applying to a company that offers apprenticeship training. To find out more about companies offering apprenticeship training through Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, contact Paula Arends at

Please note that individuals are selected by the employer to become apprentices. Typically, this happens after six months to a year on the job. In some rare cases, employers will make a new hire with the intent of putting them through apprenticeship training.

Apprenticeship opportunities are also available through local companies and labor unions. For additional apprenticeship opportunities, visit, and click on “Build Your Skills”, and then “Registered Apprenticeship”.

In order to participate in the apprenticeships listed through area companies, you will need to apply for employment with the companies you are interested in. If you do not have the basic skills the employers will require, consider taking a short term certificate at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. If you complete coursework that is later required for your apprenticeship, you can apply it toward your program.

Union locals typically have a process for testing and interviewing for acceptance. Each local offers opportunities at different times throughout the year, and apprentices are selected by a committee. For more information, visit

Quick tip: Many of the tests used for the union locals involve math. If you need to brush up, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges can provide classes to help!

What if I Already Completed Coursework or Have Skills that Align with the Apprenticeship?

You may have taken dual enrollment or academy coursework in high school or completed classes toward a college credential that apply to your apprenticeship. Maybe you have worked in the industry and have already gained skills. You may be able to apply previous training and experience to your apprenticeship.

What Are the Benefits of Apprenticeships to Employers?

An apprenticeship is a great way for employers to “grow their own” skilled workforce. They provide:

  • Easy start-up and coordination
  • Flexible training that can be adapted to the company’s needs
  • Application of previous coursework and experience, and
  • Highly trained employees.

Most importantly, investing in an apprenticeship often results in higher levels of employee loyalty and retention.

To learn more about getting involved in starting an apprenticeship as an employer sponsor or apprentice, contact: 

Paula Arends