FCPS ACE Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship Related Instruction classes complement on-the-job training provided by employers participating in the Virginia State Apprenticeship Program. We offer classes in Carpentry, Electricity, HVAC, Plumbing, and Surveying.

Apprenticeship programs train students in a skilled trade profession, like electrical, HVAC, or plumbing. Apprentices also work as paid employees of a registered training sponsor company.

National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)

FCPS ACE is proud to be an NCCER educational sponsor. Apprenticeship classes offer instruction based on NCCER curriculum. Students are trained through a combination of written tests and hands-on activities. This training is standardized and students completing this training receive industry-recognized credentials.

The NCCER system allows Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing students and professionals to create and keep their records. Employers looking to hire someone can log into the system and verify credentials held for a potential employee. Employers can also see the credentials of their current employees. Students who pass the four-level trade curriculum, as well as the Core Construction Skills class, will earn an NCCER credential.


  • Students in this program work as a full-time employee of the sponsoring employer.
  • Those who are a Registered Apprentice complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and 144 hours of related technical instruction during each year of the apprenticeship.
  • ACE apprenticeship programs offer a four-level comprehensive curriculum aligned to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) standards and meet the related instruction requirement.
  • Students who earn an apprenticeship certificate are eligible to sit for the corresponding journeyman licensure exam.
  • Classes meet twice weekly, once online and once in person.
  • The tuition fee includes an online textbook. A hard copy textbook is available for purchase from NCCER.

Skilled Trades


Students develop skills in the installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems. These systems are used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. They also study electrical theory. Students will also navigate the National Electrical Code Book. Specifically, students will select and install conductors, and work with panelboards, switchboards, and generators.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are vital parts of buildings. This is true for commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. These systems have become increasingly complex. Students learn techniques and skills needed to install, diagnose, repair, and support these systems. NCCER HVAC curriculum prepares students for success in this in-demand industry.


Plumbers do much more than unclog drains and run pipes. Plumbers design, install and support water systems. These water systems move through municipal treatment plants. These treatment plans serve residential, commercial and public buildings. Students are introduced to the plumbing profession as they learn to install heating, water and drainage systems. Students will also learn to safely assemble, install and repair pipes and fittings according to specifications and plumbing codes. Learn about the NCCER Plumbing curriculum.

National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core Construction Skills

NCCER Core Construction Skills is designed as a rigorous, competency-based, industry-recognized introduction to construction skills. Modules cover topics such as

  • Basic Safety
  • Communication Skills
  • Introduction to Construction Drawings
  • Construction Careers

Core Construction Skills is required to complete the NCCER training program and earn the credential. The Core Constructions Skills Bootcamp offers an accelerated course through a two-week full-time opportunity scheduled every June.

Carpentry and Heavy Equipment Operator (Directed Study Programs)

Sometimes there are not enough apprentices for a traditional class to be held. In these cases, Directed Study programs are available.

Directed Study is self-paced classes for motivated students working in trades when a traditional class cannot be held. Students have weekly check-ins with an instructor for guidance and to make sure students stay on pace.

This is a textbook-based program with no hands-on practice, apprentices complete hands-on training with their employer.

When Can I Start Classes?

Classes start at pre-determined times throughout the year. Additional sections may be added due to high demand.

Typical Schedule


September 1 – January 31

  • Core Construction Skills 
  • Plumbing 1
  • Plumbing 3
  • Electrical 1
  • Electrical 3
  • Directed Study

Extended Term

September 1 - April 30

  • HVACR/1
  • HVACR/2
  • HVACR/3
  • HVACR/4


March 1 - July 3

  • Core Construction Skills 
  • Plumbing 2
  • Plumbing 4
  • Electrical 2
  • Electrical 4


Last 2 Weeks in June

Core Construction Skills Bootcamp