Youth Apprenticeship

Students gain valuable work experience while they attend school in this immersive three-year experience.

"It's best to take every single opportunity you get and make something of it. This program will create an environment for you to grow in your career ... It really changed my whole perspective."

Northeast Early College


The Youth Apprenticeship program, offered in partnership with CareerWise Colorado, offers high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as an employee of a company. Grounded in the comfort and support of their high school, apprentices continue to take both high school and college classes during the week, while getting paid to work for one of our company partners. As they progress in each year of their three-year apprenticeship, they take on more hours at their job and more classes on their college campus. Through an apprenticeship, students earn:

  • Earn a training wage while working in a field that interests them
  • Have the chance to earn an industry certificate and debt-free college credit
  • Gain skills in the workplace that are completely transferable

Apprenticeships are offered in six high-growth career fields:

Advanced Manufacturing

Business Operations

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Financial Services


Information Technology 

Youth Apprenticeship is offered at these high schools in 2019-20

Even if your DPS school is not included here, you still may be able to participate. Please fill out our interest survey and we will contact you with more information. 


How do I apply for a Youth Apprenticeship? When are the deadlines?

First, you must attend a high school participating in Youth Apprenticeship (check the map). If not, email us or reach out to a CareerConnect staff member at a school with the program you’re interested in and we’ll see if the school can expand. If you do attend a participating high school, talk to your CareerConnect staff member — this may be a pathway director, apprenticeship coordinator, internship coordinator or school counselor (ask at the front office if you’re not sure). Eligible students apply through the CareerWise Colorado “hub,” an online portal where all apprenticeship openings are listed. Application and hiring typically occur during the spring semester, with hired students starting work the following summer.

How does the day-to-day schedule work with my high school schedule?

An apprenticeship schedule is different than the traditional high school schedule, as apprentices will leave their school campus on certain days or in the afternoon to work for one of our company partners. The rest of the week, apprentices will take either high school courses or college courses (or both) depending on their graduation needs and college readiness.

Most apprenticeships are three years, with the exception of our healthcare apprenticeship which is a four-year program. As a student progresses in each year of their apprenticeship, they take on more hours at their job and, when ready, more classes on their college campus.

How long does a Youth Apprenticeship last?

Our apprenticeship program is a multi-year program depending on the student’s chosen pathway. Most options are three years while others last two to four years. This gives students time to become work-ready in their given career field. This work experience lets future employers know that apprentices are ready to step into these careers as productive, full-time employees.

In most cases, the apprentice will graduate high school after their second year of their three-year apprenticeship. Leading up to that third year — the first post-high school year — apprentices are supported with strong academic and career advising and encouraged to continue their education in parallel with their apprenticeship to reach their goals. In some cases, employers provide tuition reimbursement for college coursework.

Are there any costs for students who participate in a Youth Apprenticeship?

CareerConnect and the student’s high school provide RTD bus passes, if needed, during the first year of the apprenticeship. In subsequent years, students pay for the RTD pass if needed. Students with their own vehicles are responsible for gas throughout the apprenticeship. Some other minor fees may fall on the student but most needs are met while the student attends DPS.

Will I get paid for the time I work in a Youth Apprenticeship?

Yes. While pay rates and hours vary depending on the apprenticeship, students are paid for the hours they work.

Are the debt-free college credits I earn in my apprenticeship transferable to any college?

In DPS, debt-free college credit is offered through our Concurrent Enrollment program. “Guaranteed Transfer” credits (also called “GT” credits) are transferable to any public two- or four-year college or university in the state of Colorado.

Where do I get more information if my workplace wants to offer apprenticeships?

We’re excited to hear from you! Please stop by our Partners page or send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.