Youth Apprenticeships

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


The Youth Apprenticeship program, in partnership with CareerWise Colorado, is a two to three years program that offers high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as an employee of a company. With support from their high school, apprentices will be taking classes while getting paid to work for one of our company partners. Students have potential to earn industry-recognized national credential(s) and prepare to be hired into a modern, in-demand career.

Earn while you learn! Apprenticeships are offered in 21st-century fields like Tech, Financial Services, Adv. Manufacturing, and more. The apprenticeship program is a two to three year program that offers access to meaningful work experience while developing a professional network. By participating in the Youth Apprenticeship program during high school, students will earn 1.5 units per semester.

The Apprenticeship program is designed to help students develop professional skills in a supportive workplace environment, which provides a smoother transition from high school to college or career and increases earning potential. Students are paid hourly for their work and earn an industry certification and/or debt free college credit by the time they finish the program. 

After completing the apprenticeship, students can choose to go to college, seek employment or do both!

If you are a student interested in participating in Youth Apprenticeships, please use the Interest Form to be connected with a Navigator. Contact the Apprenticeship Program Manager, for more information- Email:, Cell: 720-480-1299.

Apprenticeships are offered in seven high-growth career fields:

Advanced Manufacturing

Business Operations

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Financial Services



Information Technology 


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.