person using tools

How do I get started?

MHCC works with union apprenticeship training centers. You apply to apprenticeships just as you do for a job. Once accepted, you receive a paycheck and benefits while earning college credits at MHCC.

Step 1: Research different programs and trades 

Learn as much as you can about the trade you want to pursue. Here are the programs that MHCC partners with:

  • Bricklayers 
  • Carpenters: Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute 
    • Carpenters, millwrights, pile drivers, interior/exterior specialists, scaffold erectors, drywall finishers, trade show exhibition workers 
  • Cement masons
  • Construction craft laborers
  • Electricians: 
    • Metro Portland Area: NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center 
    • Tangent, Oregon: Central Electrical Training Center 
    • Central Point, Oregon: Crater Lake Electrical 
    • North Bend, Oregon: Pacific Inside Electrical 
  • Floor coverers
  • Glass workers (glaziers) 
  • Heat and frost insulators
  • Ironworkers 
  • Roofers, waterproofers, and allied workers 
  • Painters/dry wall finishers/traffic control painters 
  • Plasterers 
  • Sheet metal workers 

Visit the A-Z apprenticeship directory to learn more about these

Learn about accessing union apprenticeships

Step 2: Gather documents and Information 

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a job. So you’ll need to prepare in a similar way. 

  • Gather dates and addresses for jobs you have worked. Complete a practice application or resume so all of your information is in one place. 
  • Ask current and past employers for a letter of recommendation. Even if the job is not a trade, this shows you are a good employee who arrives on time and works hard. 
  • Get a copy of your high school and/or college transcripts. 
  • Keep track of projects you have completed in hands-on classes, as a hobby, or with a friend or relative (think about including a picture to document your work.) 
  • Practice your interviewing skills. 

The MHCC career center can help you with resumes and interviewing skills.  

Request an appointment online 

Step 3: Gain experience in the construction industry 

Many apprenticeships are competitive. Gaining job-specific experience is a great way to supplement your unique strengths. For example, you can work entry-level jobs in the construction industry. There are positions as a material handler (electrician), flagger (carpentry and others), or classified worker (sheet metal). You can also consider volunteering with a non-profit organization, church, or community organization. 

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs 

Pre-apprenticeship programs can help you build skills and gain experience. They can prepare you to succeed in your chosen trade. Pre-apprenticeships typically last six to twelve weeks, although programs vary. You can find open opportunities on the Oregon Pre-Apprenticeship Tracking System (OPAT). 

Oregon Pre-Apprenticeship Tracking System (OPAT)

Step 4: Learn as much as you can about apprenticeship programs 

It’s important that you know a lot about the apprenticeships that you may want to apply for.

Learn how to start a career in the trades

Discover what a career in the trades can offer you. Learn about opportunities in the skilled trades, how apprenticeships work, and how to land a job in the trade of your choice.


Take the next step with Mt. Hood Community College

Ready to get started?

View apprenticeships A-Z