Apprenticeship Program FAQs

History of the program

What is the history of the Apprenticeship Program at UVA?

Our program began in 1982 and was the first apprenticeship program to be started by a state agency. Because of our success throughout the past 30 years, our program has been a model for other state agencies and institutions setting up apprentice programs of their own.

Advantages of becoming an apprentice

Why apply for the UVA Apprenticeship Program?

Apprenticeship offers an avenue for entry into the skilled trades and promotional opportunities for participants. Almost one-third of the program graduates have been promoted to supervisory positions.

What trades are offered through the Apprenticeship Program?

UVA’s program offers apprenticeships in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, masonry, plastering, and plumbing. While exact openings vary from year to year, multiple trades are recruited annually.

Prospective applicants

Application requirements

What are the application requirements?

By the beginning of employment, which is approximately August 1, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate. Successful candidates must also be able to meet the physical requirements for their prospective trade.

What formal education is required to be considered for the Apprenticeship Program?

Applicants must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate by the time new apprentices begin work, which is approximately August 1 each year. Even though education beyond high school is not required, we do consider all of those factors due to the competitive aspect of these positions. If an applicant has completed any technical trades classes, those should also be included on the online application.

What previous trades experience is required to be considered for the Apprenticeship Program?

While no formal trades experience is required, make sure to include information on your application about any kind of experience you have performing or assisting with trades work as we do consider this due to the competitive aspect of these positions.

Application process

When is recruitment for the Apprenticeship Program?

The recruitment for the Apprenticeship Program takes place once a year during the spring. This year, applications will be accepted online from Friday, March 31-Friday April 21, 2017 on the Jobs@UVA website.

How many apprenticeship positions do you have open and how many applications do you typically receive?

Each year, approximately six to nine new apprentices are hired into the program depending on business needs. The program is highly competitive as we typically receive 100-plus applications for each trade.

When will interviews be scheduled for prospective candidates?

Following review of the applications, finalists are selected for interviews which are typically scheduled to take place from mid-May to early June. Offer letters are sent to final selected candidates by early July. Letters are also sent to all other interviewed non-selected applicants at this time.

Is there an opportunity for prospective candidates to ask questions in a face-to-face setting?

All interested applicants can join us for our Informational Apprentice Job Fair set for Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 9-11 a.m. at Alumni Hall, 211 Emmet Street South in Charlottesville where prospective candidates can meet supervisors, current and graduated apprentices along with our HR team.

Salary and benefits

What is the average salary for an apprentice?

Apprentices begin with an approximate salary of $27,500 plus a full benefits package. We also pay for your education classes and required textbooks. Each year that you successfully complete classes, progress in learning more toward your trade, and complete other requirements, you are eligible to receive a salary increase acknowledging that you are advancing as expected. By the time that you graduate from the program at the end of four years, you should be earning a salary more in line with other journey level staff. This year’s graduates will be earning approximately $38,000-$40,000 depending on any merit increases that may have also been available.

Are those employed through the Apprenticeship Program eligible for the full time benefits package?

Yes. An apprentice is considered a full-time employee from day one and is eligible for the full-time benefits package, which includes multiple options for health insurance, a minimum of 22 days of paid leave per year (in addition to holidays), and a $2,000 annual education benefit (after one year of service).

Will the apprentice be required to pay for their own tuition and books?

No. Classes and books are paid for by UVA Facilities Management.

Additional information

Where can interested applicants find more information about the program?

More information about the program and application requirements is available on the Apprenticeship Program main webpage, by calling (434) 243-1720 or visiting the department’s new office in the lower level of the Facilities Management Shop Support & Office Building (Leake II) at 1490 Leake Drive off of Alderman Road.

What to expect if selected as an apprentice

When would I start my job if selected as an apprentice?

Apprentices start work around August 1. The exact date varies from year to year depending on our payroll schedule. You will also be expected to attend an Apprentice Induction Ceremony which will take place in late July. Technical training classes typically begin in late August.

What classroom instruction is required?

Over the course of the four year program, apprentices complete 400-plus hours of classroom instruction, providing them a well-rounded education and knowledge base as they learn their trade. Our current apprentices attend classes at Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Educational Center, Valley Career and Technical Center and Massanutten Technical Center. Generally, apprentices are scheduled for one to two classes per semester depending on the school’s program requirements for a total of approximately eight classes to be completed during the four-year apprenticeship. Apprentices are required to attend classes regularly, complete assignments and achieve passing grades. Progress is monitored closely. Apprentices are subject to the rules and policies of the institution (i.e. CATEC, Valley VoTech, etc.) offering the classroom instruction.

What on-the-job training is required?

Over the course of the four year program, apprentices are required to complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training with licensed journeymen, mentors, supervisors and others who help ensure the highest quality facilities management for the University and the Health System.

What are the typical hours of an apprentice?

Apprentices are required to work 40 hours per week. While hours may vary, the typical schedule is from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Overtime may be required but supervisors are mindful of apprentice classroom attendance.

How is an apprentice evaluated?

Apprentices are evaluated through assessment of work progress and classroom reports. The Apprenticeship Program standards apply to and govern all matters related to the Program and the apprentice’s participation in the program. A copy of the current standards is available from the Program Manager.

How long is the Apprenticeship Program?

Over the four year program, apprentices learn their selected trade through a combination of on-the-job training, technical education and classroom instruction.

Graduates of the UVA Apprenticeship Program

What title is an apprentice eligible for at the end of the four year program?

Those completing the academic work and job related training will be awarded certificates from the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry’s Apprenticeship Council. For those trades where a State licensure certification can be obtained, once the apprentice passes that exam they will be promoted to a journey-level job title. For those where no licensure is available, upon receipt of their certificate from the State, they will be promoted to a journey-level job title.

Will all apprentices be offered a full-time position at the end of their four year apprenticeship?

You are an employee from day one and assuming that you meet the requirements of your apprenticeship (taking and passing classes and learning through on-the-job training) your employment is continued with Facilities Management.

Are apprentices who complete the program then eligible to apply for future promotions?

Opportunities for advanced training are regularly available for employees to improve their skills and continuously grow in their area of expertise. Many of our Apprentice Program graduates have earned promotions and advanced in their careers in Facilities Management. Out of approximately 150 Apprenticeship Program graduates, about 100 are still employed at the University with almost one-third of these employees serving in supervisory positions.

Is it possible to shorten the length of time for the apprenticeship?

The duration of the Apprenticeship Program is four years based on the requirements of the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry to complete 400-plus hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. The program can be shortened to three years on a case-by-case basis if an apprentice has previously completed some of the required classroom instruction and had previous documentable work experience. Since the first year of employment is considered a probationary period for all employees, consideration for crediting an apprentice with previous on-the-job training is not approached until the probationary period is successfully completed.