Apprenticeship, Trade and Industrial Education

A hands on experience in fields like plumbing, electrical and drywall repair.

Trade and Industrial

Trade and Industrial classes support career development throughout your entire career.

Entry level classes usually include hands on experiences. You can start with career exploration:

  • To find your career match.
  • Learn basic skills to be a productive helper.
  • Move into an apprenticeship to earn a journeyman’s license (plumbing, electrical, and HVAC-R trades).
  • Return for continuing education for these licensed trades.

Seasoned professionals can choose ACE classes to cross train for trades with related tasks or take courses to become a licensed contractor.


Apprenticeship is a two-part training program consisting of:

  • Classroom-related instruction.
  • On-the-Job training (OJT) provided by your employer.

Apprenticeship classes are designed to complement OJT provided by employers participating in the Virginia state registered apprenticeship program.

All classes except those delivered via Directed Study, are open to nonregistered apprentices. Each apprenticeship program has its own requirements (hours and project completions). The work processes, curriculum for each program, and our annual class bulletin is available by request by calling 703-506-2250.


A credit-by-exam (CBE) gives advanced placement to students with prior training. Most exams happen in August and take two hours to complete. CBEs are optional.

Directed Study

This is an individualized instruction and related theory course for trades with fewer apprentices. Trades in our directed study program include, but are not limited to, millwright, glazier, and heavy equipment operator. You must be working in the trade to be eligible.

Virginia Licensure Exam Prep Programs

The Virginia Board for Contractors:

  • Determines the minimum requirements needed to enter a profession.
  • Qualifys applicants based on a combination of education, experience and examination.

Continuing Education and Recertification

Professional Development

Career Exploration

Property Maintenance Technician Certificate Program

This program is ideal for:

  • Building supervisors.
  • Apartment complex maintenance staff.
  • Hotel, college, and other maintenance crews. 

If you are considering a career in the trades, you will find this series helpful for career exploration. 

There is a $75 certificate program registration fee. This is required to start recordkeeping for your transcript. Courses for this certificate program can be taken in any order. This ACE certificate program is endorsed by the Northern Virginia Career Works.  There are seven required courses for the Property Maintenance Technician (PMT) certificate program:

  • Appliance Repair Workshop
  • Door Locks Workshop: Installation Maintenance and Repair
  • Drywall, Painting, and Waterproofing Workshop
  • Electrical Workshop: Maintenance and Repair
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
  • Nuts and Bolts of PMT Careers
  • Plumbing Workshop: Maintenance and Repair

Optional Courses include:

  • Blueprint Reading
  • CFC Exam Prep
  • OSHA Construction 10 Hour Outreach Training Program

Employer Information

The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship is a win-win for employees and employers.

Employees get classroom instruction and then are able to apply their learning in their job. This produces highly-skilled workers.

There are more than 13,000 apprentices and 2,000 sponsors in Virginia.

Details and registration is on the Virginia Department of Labor web page.