Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Workforce Training & Education

Frequently Asked Questions about Registered Apprenticeship

What exactly is apprenticeship and how can I find out more about it?

How would I go about setting up an apprenticeship program?

Aren’t apprenticeship programs only for the construction business?

When I hear the word “apprenticeship” I automatically think “union.” Is it true that only businesses with unions can have apprenticeship programs?

Is it true that apprenticeship programs are only for men?

What exactly is apprenticeship and how can I find out more about it?

Apprenticeship is a voluntary structured, systematic method of training utilizing on-the-job learning under the supervision of a skilled trades/craft person/mentor and including technical studies in subjects related to the occupation. Consulting services from the Office of Apprenticeship are available free of charge to employers or trade organizations. What’s more, those services remain available and free of charge for the entire life of the apprenticeship program.

back to top

How would I go about setting up an apprenticeship program?

An Office of Apprenticeship Representative can meet and consult with you to provide assistance and guidance in structuring a Registered Apprenticeship program that will meet your organization’s particular needs and requirements.

back to top

Aren’t apprenticeship programs only for the construction business?

No. There are currently over 1,000 varied occupations that the U.S. Department of Labor recognizes as being apprenticeable, with more being added regularly. There are many apprenticeship programs that have nothing to do with the construction trades. Apprenticeable occupations exist in all industry clusters.

back to top

When I hear the word “apprenticeship” I automatically think “union.” Is it true that only businesses with unions can have apprenticeship programs?

No, it is not true. There are many non-union apprenticeship programs all over the country. However, if the word “apprenticeship” would present a barrier to your organizations developing a program, we are authorized to set up “internship” programs, and have done so for various businesses and organizations across the country.

back to top

Is it true that apprenticeship programs are only for men?

No. There is no restriction that would prevent women from applying to any apprenticeship program sponsor for any occupation in which they would like to train. Apprenticeship program sponsors are encouraged to hire and train women.

back to top

If you have questions of your own that have not been addressed here, please feel free to call or contact:

John R. Bolger, State Director
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
Office of Apprenticeship
221 S. Central Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
605.224.7983
605.224.7984 (fax)

back to top



Marcia Hultman, Secretary
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Tel. 605.773.3101
Fax. 605.773.6184