In today’s economy, we regularly hear buzz words like “skilled trade shortages” and “low unemployment rate.” This means employers are hiring, right? Yes, they are! And they are looking for employees with specific skills to fill their job openings.

How can you get those skills so you can get hired? One way is through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships typically combine classroom learning with on-the-job training—while earning a paycheck!

If you’re ready to explore apprenticeship opportunities, here are some tips for finding one.

Identify companies with apprenticeship programs. You can find employers in your area that offer apprenticeships using Career One Stop’s apprenticeship finder at

Find out what companies are hiring. Search online job postings at the companies you have identified as having apprenticeship programs on websites like Indeed. You can also search specifically for apprenticeship openings using the Pure Michigan Talent Connect job search tool at Be sure to enter “apprentice” in the keywords field before you search.

Take a general labor position. Most employers enter existing workers into their apprenticeship programs instead of directly hiring an outside candidate into the program. Taking an entry-level position at a company with a known apprenticeship program is a great first step toward entering the program down the road.

Go to a union hall. Many skilled trades have a local union hall. You can find job boards and information on what it takes to get started in your trade-of-choice. You can also meet others in the trade and build your network. Let the people you meet know you are interested in entering the field. They may have valuable advice or connections to offer.

If you’re ready to find an apprenticeship but not sure which trade is right for you, visit a local West Michigan Works! service center. We can help you assess your skills and interests to identify a career path that is a good fit for you. Check out current apprenticeship opportunities through West Michigan Works!.