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Apprenticeships Interns & Job Shadows

Apprenticeships, Interns & Job Shadows


An apprenticeship is a good way to prepare yourself for the future with on-the-job training in a highly skilled career.  Apprenticeship is formalized, industry-driven career training. It is designed to create high-skill, high-paying job opportunities, and is an alternative route to traditional college programs. Depending on the occupation, apprenticeships last one to six years.

For workers, apprenticeships provide:

  • On-the-job training
  • Wages (that increase with your experience and skills)
  • Classroom studies
  • Job security and increased marketability
  • Opportunity to earn college credit in many occupational areas

    Would you like to learn more about different fields that offer apprenticeships? Here are five career areas that offer many apprenticeship opportunities in Washington State:

  • Health CareAre you a people person? Would you like a career caring for other people? You can learn to be an optician, a physical therapy aide, or pursue many other opportunities in health-related careers.
  • ManufacturingDo you like to work with your hands? Would you like to learn how to use the latest computer technology to work with wood, metal, or electronics? There are apprenticeships available for machinists, shop electricians, and many other manufacturing careers.
  • Food Preparation and ServingDo you love good food? Would you like a career preparing or serving food? Apprenticeships in the culinary arts field give you many opportunities to learn to be a top-notch cook or server.
  • Public SafetyDo you want to protect others and keep our homeland safe? There are many apprenticeship opportunities in public safety, including firefighter, fire medic, and police officer.
  • Construction and Building TradesHave you always wanted to build things? Would you like a career in the construction industry? You can apprentice to learn to be a plumber, pipefitter, carpenter, electrician, or many other careers.
  •    To learn more about washington state apprenticeship programs designed for high school students, please visit Click here to learn about the Tacoma Water Apprenticeship Training Program through the City of Tacoma.    

Internship Programs

The idea of pursuing an internship probably does not cross most high school students’ minds, which is an excellent reason to pursue one. Work experience at a respected company or organization, especially if it is related to a field you might pursue in college, will only strengthen your college applications. It is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Secondly, an internship will allow you to explore potential careers and courses of study for college. You might confirm that newspaper journalism is the career of your dreams, or find out that software programming is not exactly how you had imagined it. You may also discover other fields and positions you had not considered before.

Finally, an internship can help you understand how a professional organization operates. Within that organization, you will gain access to valuable contacts who may lead you to other opportunities as you progress through school.

Some organizations like Microsoft, the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian have formal internship programs designed for high school students. Typically, these programs are limited to students in the region. Research companies in the industry that interests you and check their web sites for opportunities.

Internships are not just available with large corporations in urban areas either. Often local newspapers, museums and other businesses will offer internship opportunities. Start asking around at local business associations to see what is available in your community.

Do not give up if these companies do not formally list an internship program for high school students. Try to identify a human resources representative or department manager you can send an email or letter to. Ask your parents, your friends’ parents, your relatives and anyone else who might be willing to help you if they are aware of any opportunities. Contact professional organizations in your area of interest.

Companies with formal internship programs generally have specific procedures outlined on their web sites. If you are trying to create your own opportunity, create a one-page resume that outlines your skills, education and interests along with a cover letter that explains your interest in their organization.

Job Shadows
Job Shadow experiences can also be part of a student’s Culminating Project.  Students must complete approved paperwork prior to the Culminating Project Job Shadow assignment.  Click this link to access the BHS Job Shadow/Internship packet. 
Job shadow assignments are typically a one to two hour experience but in some cases can last a full 8-hour day. Students can apply to “job shadow” with someone who has a job that interests them.