About Pre-Apprenticeships

Check back in Fall 2024 for more information!

Students learning in a pre-apprenticeship program.

Pre-apprenticeship programs connect people who are interested in the building trades with industry experts, hands-on activities, and real-world knowledge designed to increase their chances of being accepted into a state-approved apprenticeship program. To read more about apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship programs offered at Palomar College, follow this link.

Palomar College’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program has partnered with state-approved apprenticeship programs in carpentry, electrical, and sheet metal.  This should help successful pre-apprenticeship students to become excellent candidates for any of the three state-approved apprenticeship programs in San Diego.

The number of Jobs Openings in San Diego County each year to fill new jobs and to backfill jobs to attrition, such as retirement or turnover.

All three of the above careers in construction, earn more than the self-sufficient wage in San Diego County, and all offer full benefits, including retirement and health insurance. Furthermore, first-line construction supervisors earn $34.36 an hour, almost three times more than the self-sufficient, or “living wage”.

Who benefits from pre-apprenticeships?

Pre-apprenticeships benefit all students who are interested in pursuing a career in construction, as it prepares them for what it takes to become an apprentice.  Pre-apprenticeship programs provide a huge impact on women, and other under-represented groups, who traditionally do not enter the construction industry for a variety of reasons.

For example, based on an evaluation study of pre-apprenticeship programs and retention services in the construction trades in Oregon, conducted by Portland State University, the following conclusions were made:

  • Pre-apprenticeships play a significant role in recruiting women into apprenticeship programs. Of those who were active apprentices and had completed a pre-apprenticeship program during 2014-2015, 21.7 percent were white women and 31.5 included women of color.
  • Women who go through a pre-apprenticeship program are more likely to have plans for working in the trades. Women who completed their pre-apprenticeship had more optimistic plans for working in the trades relative to those who did not complete their pre-apprenticeship.
  • Women have more confidence in their skills after completing their pre-apprenticeship program. Women reported higher perceptions of their skill level on items related to tools and skills needed for the construction trades, knowledge about working on construction job sites, and knowledge about careers in construction.

Additionally, women identified tools and skills needed for the construction trades, “soft skills”, knowledge about working on construction job sites, and knowledge about trades careers as the most important things they learned in their pre-apprenticeship program.

Read more about the evaluation study here.

Recent High School Graduates

Pre-apprenticeship programs also help recent high school graduates start a career in the construction industry right after graduating.  Imagine being able to make a living wage and learn a trade, all without accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

Those Looking For A Career Change

Pre-apprenticeship programs are also great for those who are looking to switch careers but are not sure if a career in construction is for them. A pre-apprenticeship allows them to explore the requirements and types of jobs in this career track without fully committing to a apprenticeship program.