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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Apprentice Jobs Offer Hope for Greater Things

My first apprentice job was an education in itself. I worked a summer at my Uncle Merv’s glass company. Our shop had some great guys with a wealth of experience. They taught me how to drive a stick shift in a 1-ton Ford glass truck. I believe I had the front wheels off the ground once or twice. They taught me how to run a caulking bead and smooth it with a spit finger. They taught me how to take pride in the work of your hands and a job successfully completed.




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Labor: How Will I Make a Living?

Apprentice Jobs Offer Hope for Greater Things

By Evan Nehring


Of the career paths--servant, apprentice, journeyman, and master--apprentice is the second.

The moment you step into an apprentice job, you step onto a career path that involves learning a craft and becoming skilled. Where you take that is up to you, but now you have a chance.

My first apprentice job was an education in itself. I worked a summer at my Uncle Merv’s glass company. Our shop had some great guys with a wealth of experience. They taught me how to drive a stick shift in a 1-ton Ford glass truck. I believe I had the front wheels off the ground once or twice. They taught me how to run a caulking bead and smooth it with a spit finger. They taught me how to take pride in the work of your hands and a job successfully completed.


Some of those guys had worked there for many years. Some made a career of it and could be considered journeymen. Probably you’d need to own the business to be on the master path in that industry.

I’m an apprentice right now. In my work as an electronic medical record trainer, I just earned my Epic ambulatory certification this summer. I’d say if I land the very next job on this career path, I will be a journeyman. Those are exciting steps. An apprentice often doesn't make a salary high enough to support a family on a single income. But there’s a pathway, and that brings hope.

Apprentices are assistant retail managers and small school coaches. They are pre-tenured teachers and faculty. They are apprentice electricians, masons, plumbers and carpenters. They’re the weekend band making a few hundred dollars at weddings and gigs. They are social workers and paralegals, campaign managers and real estate agents.

Some of these roles can be worked into well-paying journeyman careers or even master careers. That’s the key to the apprentice career path: making the choice to pursue the position for which your skills enable you. The apprentice path, like the others, offers greater things ahead as you grow professionally. The confidence gained from driving a manual transmission and laying a smooth caulking bead may take you farther than you think!

Question

Got any other examples of apprentice jobs? Do you see apprentice jobs as hopeful or depressing?

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