Why Apprenticeship – Students

Create Your Own Future with An Apprenticeship

What’s your best fit for career prep?

As you approach your junior and senior year of high school, friends, family, and teachers are frequently asking you about your plans after graduation. 

  • Will you go to college? 
  • Should you consider the military? 
  • Maybe you’re a talented athlete wondering if you could go pro. 

Whatever path you pick, it needs to be a good fit for your interests, goals, and individual style. More and more students are discovering apprenticeships. In fact, thousands of high school students across the country are enrolling in apprenticeship programs to create a bright future, and you can too.  Nearly a dozen companies right here in the Rockingham County area are offering apprenticeships to high school juniors and seniors through the Rockingham Apprenticeship and Technical Opportunities Program (RockATOP).


Become a Leader 

Successful local companies are training motivated students like you to take on key roles. As an apprentice, you will:

  • Learn advanced skills that will help companies compete, grow, and thrive.
  • Take bright ideas and turn them into valuable products and services using state-of-the-art tools and technology.
  • Be prepared to grow and advance in an exciting career.
  • Pursue a field that aligns with individual interests — from electronics and robotics to advanced manufacturing. Learn about apprenticeship career pathways.

Fast-Track Your Career 

You don’t have to wait until graduation to start or apply for an apprenticeship. 

  • Apply for the apprenticeship program in the fall or early winter of your junior or senior year and begin the program that summer.  
  • Start earning a paycheck and learning advanced skills.
  • Get paid for up to 8,000 hours of work and class time by the time you finish the four-year program*.

*length of program is dependent on track

Is apprenticeship a good fit for you?

Earn a Free College Degree                                      

All of your classes, books, and fees are paid for as an apprentice. You’ll actually get paid for the time you are in college class in addition to your time on the job. Graduates earn an Associate Degree from Rockingham Community College and may* have the option to transfer those credits to most state four-year universities in order to earn a bachelor’s degree once they have completed the apprenticeship program. 

*dependent on program of study/transfer program

Grow Life Success Skills

Adulting requires more than just classroom knowledge. Apprentices also learn the skills you need for life. You will:

  • Learn teamwork, collaboration, and responsibility
  • Develop skills needed for effective communication
  • Gain a better understanding of budgeting a paycheck and how benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans work 

Get Support From Start to Finish

  • Your school career development coordinator can help you learn more about apprenticeship in your area. 
  • Apprenticeship coordinators in each county help students connect with other apprentices through regular events.
  • Apprentices have a mentor who offers coaching and support and genuinely wants to help you succeed. 

Is Apprenticeship a Good Fit for You?

Grab your free digital brochure to find out.

iPad graphic - RockATOP Apprenticeship Brochure