Registered apprenticeships

Program basics

  • Aim to increase employment and earnings through industry-specific on-the-job training, technical instruction, and industry-recognized certification for high-demand jobs
  • Combine on-the-job training with technical instruction
  • Participants receive incremental wage increases as they build skills and earn a nationally recognized certification upon completion
  • Employers cover the costs of training and wages paid to apprentices

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)


Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the Department of Labor's CLEAR database

Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults

Program cost


Implementation locations

Dates active


Outcomes and impact

  • Increased employment rate by 8.6 percentage points
  • Increased earnings by $6,595 in the 6th year, $5,839 more in the 9th year
  • Estimated career earnings average of $240,037 more than for similar nonparticipants
  • Over the career of an apprenticeship, the estimated social benefits exceed the social costs by more than $49,000

Keys to successful implementation

  • Start by engaging with local employers and industry groups to identify high-need skills and sectors that registered apprenticeships could fill.
  • Partner with existing workforce development programs, educational institutions (like high schools, community college, and vocational programs), and community-based organizations to recruit participants and build a diverse talent pipeline.
  • Create a marketing plan to recruit new employers, leveraging existing partner-employers as program champions. Be sure to address pre-existing concerns head on (such as time and cost) through methods including return-on-investment tools (like the calculator in the resources section below) and case studies.
  • Explore sectors with strong credentialing systems already in place, such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.
  • Develop a mutual investment plan with employers – when partners invest, they are more likely to show a greater commitment to the success of the program.
  • Build out support structures dedicated to participant retention, including mentorship programs and career counseling.

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