The Oregon Department of Transportation invites eastern Oregon high school students to learn about the construction and utilities trades.
15 Apr 2015
College vs. Apprenticeship
Minimum Entrance Requirements
College – Entrance requirements vary from college to college and from degree to degree.
Apprenticeship – Entrance requirements vary from program to program and from occupation to occupation. Most apprenticeships do require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, algebra skills, and writing skills. All apprenticeship programs require a willingness to learn and the motivation to advance.
College – Education obtained during a college program can be applied towards an advanced degree.
Apprenticeship – Education obtained during an apprenticeship program can be applied towards an advanced degree. Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, individuals can apply their education towards an Associate, Bachelors, or even a Masters degree.
College – On average, it takes between 2 and 6 years to complete a college degree, depending on the course of study.
Apprenticeship – On average, it takes between 2 and 6 years to complete an apprenticeship program, depending on the occupation.
Future Employment Opportunities
College – Future employment opportunities vary depending on the area of study and the current economic climate. Most college graduates enter their fields at an entry level and advance with experience.
Apprenticeship – Future employment opportunities vary depending on the occupation and the current economic climate. Apprenticeship graduates enter their fields at a journey worker level and can advance into management, design, and ownership.
College – On average, annual in-state tuition and fees are over $7,000.
Apprenticeship – Individuals earn a living wage during their apprenticeship. Annual classroom tuition is less than $1,000 and often paid for by the company training the apprentice.
How To Help Students Decide
- Help your students get involved with a Construction Career day.
- Contact your local training centers or community colleges for more information.
- Check our event calendar for public events near you.
- Get them involved in a Trade Skills Fundamentals class at your local community college.
- Contact a pre-apprenticeship program in your area. Check the Trade Locator page.
- Find an apprenticeship program in the student’s area of interest.
- Give them a call and ask a lot of questions.
- Your interest is always welcome.
In the age of the Technological revolution, it is now more critical than ever that workers be prepared to compete in the marketplace of the future.
“Trade apprenticeships offer an opportunity for young men and women to acquire the training and skills that will surely be required to earn a true living wage.
“I experienced firsthand a real world insight on how apprentice training changes lives. A few years ago, I met a young African American man named Terence. He was fresh out of high school; Jefferson High to be precise.
“Like many young minority high school graduates, college was not an option for Terence. Drifting from one dead end job to the next, he eventually found work at Walsh construction as a laborer. This was his first exposure to a professional work environment that demanded discipline, punctuality and dependency.
“Terence and I became fast friends. It was readily apparent that he was a very bright young man with a positive attitude towards life. However, he and I realized that as an unskilled laborer, he did not have the skills to advance beyond his then current position. His options were limited.
“He expressed his frustration. I said to him, ‘Terence, you need to get some skills. That’s the only way to reach your potential.’
“After researching various trades, Terence decided to join the plumbers apprentice program. In about four years, he graduated as a journeyman plumber.
“Today, as a skilled worker in a high-demand trade, Terence earns well over 3 times the yearly income of young African American males his age. He is now able to provide well for his family. I am convinced beyond a doubt that apprenticeship programs offer an achievable option for men and women in our community to fully enjoy a fulfilling career.”
Ken Bello, project manager
Walsh Construction Co.
Committed to providing opportunities for women and people of color to grow and excel in their craft of choice
“At Hoffman Construction, we want our projects to reflect the diversity of our community. That’s why we are committed to providing opportunities for women and people of color — not only to grow, but to excel in their craft of choice.
“This commitment includes providing safe, welcoming jobsites, formal and informal mentoring programs, and support for pre-apprenticeship programs that target minority and historically disadvantaged populations.
“Hoffman is always looking for talented, hard-working people who like to be outside, working with their hands. Whether we are building a world-class laboratory for healing and discovery, a brand new sports stadium, or a condo tower — we need a skilled and educated workforce.”