National Apprenticeship Week logoApprenticeships offer you the opportunity to work and earn income while you learn about your industry and receive training. Find out more about apprenticeships, including where you can find an apprenticeship opportunity, and discover how a Ticket to Work service provider can help you reach your goals.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Learn While You Earn with an Apprenticeship

Nov 14, 2018

National Apprenticeship Week logoAs you think about your career goals and begin looking for work in a specific industry, you may want to consider seeking an apprenticeship. Through an apprenticeship and with help from Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program, you may find your path to success in the workforce.

Because this week is National Apprenticeship Week, we're taking a look at what apprenticeships are, where to find them and how the Ticket program can help you make progress toward your goals.

Apprenticeship

Let's start with the basics. Apprenticeships are work opportunities specifically designed to offer you hands-on, "learn-while-you-earn" experience in a job or industry that interests you. They combine on-the-job training as well as job-related education, sometimes in a traditional classroom or sometimes in an online setting, to give you an understanding of a job's duties and responsibilities. Apprenticeships typically last 1 to 6 years, during which you learn specific skills and, sometimes, acquire certifications. And while you start receiving a paycheck as soon as you start an apprenticeship, you're also eligible for wage increases as you learn and master new skills.

The U.S. Department of Labor has a Registered Apprenticeship program, through which a business or an employer invests the time and money to hire apprentices and then offer them in-depth training and education. At the end of an apprenticeship program, many businesses offer full-time employment to their apprentices. In return, these employers get a highly skilled and trained workforce.

Finding an apprenticeship

You may have heard of apprenticeships in industries like manufacturing and construction, but apprenticeship opportunities are available in more than 1,000 occupations, including industries like:

  • Finance and Business
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Information Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

Ready to get started? The U.S. Department of Labor offers a search tool to help you discover apprenticeship opportunities in your area in an industry that interests you. To find the apprenticeship that's right for you:

  • Visit apprenticeship.gov/become-an-apprentice
  • Enter keywords to search for careers that interest you, like Automotive Technician, Nurse Aide, Claims Adjuster, or others.
  • Enter your location
  • Select Search

This will bring up a list of apprenticeships in your area. You can browse the listings to learn more about the skills and responsibilities you'll learn during an apprenticeship. Some listings may also include specific information about training and certifications that apprentices will complete.

Apprenticeships and Ticket to Work

If you're an adult age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI), the Ticket program may be able to help you as you pursue an apprenticeship and employment.

Through the Ticket program, you can work with a Ticket program service provider, like an Employment Network (EN) or State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency, to receive supports and services to help you succeed in the workforce.

Your EN or State VR agency may help you search for an apprenticeship that matches your career goals, review your resume and application for a specific position, and offer interview-preparation assistance to help you increase your chances of being accepted into an apprenticeship. Once you start working, an EN may offer continuous supports to help you succeed in the workplace, including assistance with requesting a reasonable accommodation if you need one due to your disability.

Many ENs also have Benefits Counselors on staff who are trained to review your benefits and help you make an informed decision about finding work. Because apprenticeships are paid work opportunities, this may include explaining your responsibilities to report your work and wages to Social Security, explaining Social Security Work Incentives, and sharing resources that may help you as you move toward financial independence through earned income.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.