Apprenticeships Go Beyond the Traditional Focus

Apprenticeships are no longer just for traditional trade and craft occupations like brick masons or bakers. Today’s apprenticeships have expanded to include careers in many fields such as information technology and health care.

With this change in apprenticeship opportunities comes additional flexibility for the employer as well. When an employer registers an apprenticeship in Idaho, the employer has the flexibility to customize the training and curriculum offered to help meet the company’s specific needs.

As the popularity of apprenticeships in Idaho grows, so too does the list of unusual opportunities. Here are a few of the apprenticeships the Idaho Department of Labor has recently registered.

Certified financial planner
Figure 8 Investment Strategies

Certified financial planner apprentices (pictured from left) Richard Naing, Taylor Reed and Serpil Rawson (on far right) enjoy learning from Figure 8 Investment Strategies President & Founder Lisa Cooper (pictured left of Serpil). Figure 8 Investment Strategies is located in Boise.

Figure 8 Investments in Boise hired three people to apprentice as certified financial planners in May. This is the first time a certified financial planner apprenticeship has been registered in Idaho. The employer has estimated it will take about four years to complete the 4,000 – 6,000 hours of training and instruction needed before the apprentices are prepared to take the CFP exam. This apprenticeship has been set up as a hybrid which involves both on-the-job training and curriculum provided by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.

Cider maker
Meriwether Cider Co.

Kate Leadbetter, a co-owner and operator of Meriwether Cider Co. in Garden City, right, is training apprentice cider maker Karlie Pein.

The Leadbetters who own Meriwether Cider in Garden City were interested in finding a veteran to sponsor as an apprentice cider maker so they contacted Robert Feliciano, a local veterans employment representative for the Idaho Department of Labor. Karlie Pein, who is a veteran and an airman in the Air National Guard, had also contacted Feliciano just as her deployment was about to end. Pein needed help in her job search in order to find an employer who would be flexible and work around her commitment to the Guard. Feliciano was able to connect her with the Leadbetters who hired her as an apprentice cider maker in May.

This apprenticeship will entail 2,000 hours of hands-on training and education and should be finished by the end of May 2018. This program was customized by the employer to meet their specific needs and includes hands-on training in every aspect of the business from applied craft cider microbiology to beverage sales and marketing.

Computer support specialist – student support technician

Stevens-Henager College hired two people to apprentice as computer support specialists. One is in Nampa and the other is in Boise. This apprenticeship is scheduled to take one year and requires 2,128 hours of on-the-job training and instruction. This apprenticeship has been set up as a hybrid which involves 271 – 346 hours of classroom training. The apprentices will be required to pass exams in order to become Microsoft Certified Solutions Associates (MCSA) by the end of the apprenticeship.

Information systems security professional (CISSP)

The Idaho Technology Council has prepared the documentation necessary to register a cybersecurity apprenticeship. This apprenticeship opportunity is available for any company in Idaho that would like to hire and train a cybersecurity apprentice. Training can be delivered by the University of Idaho at the employer site or at any of the U of I campuses in Post Falls, Boise, Moscow, Idaho Falls or online. The curriculum can be adjusted to meet the needs of the employer. The apprentice will be required to pass the CISSP exam by the end of this apprenticeship. Funding is available to help offset the cost of a mentor. Employers interested in this opportunity, can contact Matt Thomsen, Idaho Department of Labor regional business specialist who can be reached at 208-364-7785 ext. 3698 or Alisa Bondurant with the Idaho Technology Council at (208) 917-5184 .

More information about apprenticeships can be found on the Apprenticeships in Idaho page of the Idaho Department of Labor website as well as on the Apprenticeship Programs page on the Idaho Career Information System website.

Idaho employers who would like to begin a registered apprenticeship program at their company can contact John Russ, area manager for the Idaho Department of Labor, or one of our regional business specialists.


— Kristie Winslow, technical writer,
Idaho Department of Labor