No Degree Required: A-1 Offering Apprenticeships

Originally published by: WPTVMay 18, 2020

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Some workers without a degree are dealing with an uncertain job market -- and that's where apprenticeships are filling a need. There's a growing number of apprenticeships offering pay, job security and career satisfaction amid a time of uncertainty.

Within just three months, Peter Wicinski went from auto dealership salesman to truss designer technician for the No. 1 truss supplier in South Florida.

"It's really difficult right now to try to take some sort of training or schooling without having income," Wicinski said. "So the fact that I can learn a school while earning a paycheck is great."

A-1 Roof Trusses logo

Believe it or not, an in-demand job like Wicinski's isn't taught in a college or university.

"You cannot go to school for that. It's an on-the-job learning type of school," Jennifer Mitchell, human resources director for A-1 Roof Trusses, said.

The company, located in Fort Pierce, is one of many across Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties offering paid apprenticeships sponsored through CareerSource Research Coast in industrial manufacturing, logistics and distribution. Fifteen apprenticeships are available at A-1 Roof Trusses alone. Graduate apprentices are also encouraged to grow.

"It's a piece of engineering," Mitchell said. "We do have some of our graduate apprentices who have now transferred into into the engineering field. And here at A-1, we do also offer a tuition reimbursement program to allow them to continue to grow and develop into a career."

Mitchell said apprentice grads with five to six years of experience could earn anywhere from $80,000 to $85,000 a year without a college degree.