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Youth Apprenticeship FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about youth apprenticeships.

What are youth apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are flexible training programs that cultivate well-educated, highly-skilled workers able to meet the demands of a competitive global economy. Youth apprenticeships are open to high school juniors, seniors and graduating seniors, giving them the opportunity to earn while they learn through paid on-the-job training under the direction of an industry mentor. Youth apprentices also take college classes that directly relate to their apprenticeship.

What kinds of employment opportunities are available?

Youth apprenticeships are offered in a variety of career fields and industries, from manufacturing to pre-nursing to culinary arts, and new pathways and programs are constantly being developed. Check here for the list of available opportunities.

How will a youth apprenticeship benefit me?

Youth apprentices who successfully complete the two-year program will receive:

  • Paid employment and mentoring from an industry professional

  • A high school diploma

  • A year of college credit from TTC free of charge—all tuition, fees, textbooks and materials for youth apprentices are paid for by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

  • A certificate from TTC that may be applied toward an associate degree

  • National credentials from the U.S. Department of Labor

  • Two years of paid work experience

  • Marketable skills for life

Will my high school schedule change?

Your high school schedule will be adjusted to accommodate the college courses you will be taking. Our youth apprentices usually take high school classes in the mornings and their TTC classes in the afternoons. Your high school counselor will work with you to ensure you meet all of your academic goals and that you are on track to graduate with your high school diploma.

Can I be a youth apprentice and still participate in sports or other extracurricular activities?

Probably not. There simply won’t be room in your schedule. Becoming a youth apprentice requires a serious commitment of time, effort and energy. You will be working a minimum of five hours per week for your employer during the academic year and then full-time during the summer between the two years of the program. In addition to regular high school classes, youth apprentices take a specific sequence of college courses each semester over the course of two years. The program is designed for motivated students interested in gaining work experience, on-the-job training and in-the-classroom instruction, and developing professional connections while still in high school. The demands of the program are significant, but so are the rewards.

What are the requirements of the Youth Apprenticeship program?

  • You must be hired by one of the participating employers to become a youth apprentice.
  • You must be a rising junior, senior or graduating senior, at least 16 years of age by the start-of-work date.

  • You must have qualifying scores on the ACCUPLACER placement test, the admissions testing tool that TTC uses to assess academic readiness. (In some cases, qualifying SAT or ACT scores may be used.) Some employers also ask that students take the Mechanical Aptitude Test, but there is no minimum score required.

  • You must have reliable transportation to work and to on-campus TTC classes.

  • You must be legally able to work in the U.S.

  • You must reside in one of the three counties served by Trident Technical College: Charleston, Berkeley or Dorchester.

  • You must successfully complete the TTC classes connected with your apprenticeship.

  • You must be on track for graduation at your high school.

How do I apply?

Applications are accepted starting in February every year and will continue to be accepted through the spring and early summer until the employer partners have filled all available opportunities. All hires must be made by the start of the academic year in August. CNA/Pre-Nursing applicants are on an accelerated timeline and must be hired by May so they can begin their CNA training in June.

Talk to your high school counselor and ask for a Youth Apprenticeship application or  download it . Fill out all sections completely and return the fully completed packet to your school counselor or bring it in person to the Division of School and Community Initiatives at TTC, Main Campus, 7777 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. 

You may email it to Ellen Kaufman at Fax it to: 843.574.6489. Mail it to: Trident Technical College, Division of School and Community, P.O. Box 118067, Charleston, SC 29423-8067.

Completed applications, which must include a cover letter and resume, will be forwarded to the appropriate companies for review. Employers who are interested in you will contact you directly to set up a job interview.


Need more help?

We get it! The process may seem daunting until you talk to someone. If you have questions that haven’t been answered or just need some help getting started or completing the application, call Ellen Kaufman in the Division of School and Community at 843-574-6990, or email Ellen Kaufman.