Apprenticeship Programs at Lake Area Technical College

What is an Apprenticeship Program?

Lake Area Technical College’s Apprenticeship Strategic Plan

In its efforts to help fill the workforce gap, Lake Area Technical College now offers Registered Apprenticeships in select programs for students who wish to secure a degree in a high-demand field while earning a salary. The Learn Where You Earn apprenticeship combines classroom theory and valuable on-the-job, hands-on training at a participating business/industry. While completing the apprenticeship, students will learn the necessary skill sets to successfully enter the workforce pipeline. Our Registered Apprenticeship Programs meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies.

Students enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs can expect to:

  • Gain practical skills and relevant training
  • Earn Lake Area Technical College credit or even a certificate or degree
  • Receive industry-aligned education under the supervision of a qualified mentor
  • Learn on-the-job using current technology and equipment
  • Receive incremental pay increases during the apprenticeship

Registered apprenticeships at Lake Area Technical College are comprised of five distinct elements that distinguish them from internships:

  • Employer Involvement/Mentor Supervision
  • Structured On-the-Job Learning
  • Related Technical Instruction
  • Monetary Rewards for Skills Gained
  • National Occupational Credentialing

Unlike internships, apprenticeships require a full-time commitment by the student up to three years, depending on the program. Following completion, the apprentice will earn a certificate demonstrating full proficiency of the skill sets required to meet job responsibilities. Also, the apprenticeship is directly tied to employment with the partnering business/industry upon successful completion.

 What Programs at Lake Area Technical College Offer Apprenticeships?

The following programs have been carefully reviewed and selected based on industry needs in this area. Students completing these programs with an apprenticeship can look forward to a successful career following graduation.  Lake Area Technical College has approved apprenticeships in the following programs:

  • Building Trades Technology
    Earn college credits and a paycheck while learning within the building trades industry.  With the right combination of related training instruction and on-site experience you will be well on your pathway to earning an A.A.S. degree with additional building trades classes and general education courses.  Many of which can be completed while you are still in high school. 

  • Diesel Technology
    Opportunity with Terex to become a Shop Technician or Mobile Field Service Technician in as little as 12 – 15 months.  Education and training is provided by Terex and begins with three months in Watertown, SD.  After that, apprentices are assigned to a branch for six to nine months of additional training.  Mobile Field Service Technicians then participate in a ride along with an experienced technician for an additional six months.

  • Manufacturing
    Unique partnership serving Brookings High School students with career exploration opportunities at Daktronics, Falcon Plastics, and Larson Manufacturing.  Students can earn Lake Area Technical College dual credits in the Robotics/Electronics program of study.
  • Welding Technology
    Credit bearing apprenticeship where you will earn your A.A.S. degree and a paycheck at the same time.  You must successfully complete Lake Area Technical College’s Welding nine month diploma option before being eligible for this program.

Our staff will continue to review additional apprenticeship opportunities as presented.  These opportunities include:

  • Financial Services
  • Computer Information Systems/Security
  • Custom Paint & Fabrication

Each program will have its own course outline that will signify the length of the program with the apprenticeship and will vary depending on the courses required for graduation and on-the-job training requirements. Some programs will be eligible for financial aid and/or GI benefits. Depending on the sponsoring business, tuition reimbursement may apply.

Lake Area Technical College Apprenticeship, Admissions, Financial Aid, and/or VA staff are available to answer any questions regarding program requirements and financial aid benefits.

Apprentice Employers  

Employers are the foundation of every apprenticeship program and the skills needed by their workforce are at the core.  Registered Apprenticeships are a proven strategy for developing a talent pipeline of qualified workers.  The following industry leaders are partnering with Lake Area Technical College to identify effective workforce solutions and collaborative approaches to fill workforce demands.

 Terex Logo

Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for participants to explore and learn about exciting careers in high-demand fields.  Some of the training we offer that teach basic technical and job-readiness skills are:

  • Bring Your ‘A’ Game To Work
  • OSHA/Safety Training
  • Hazardous Materials Safety Training
  • Forklift Training
  • Basic Welding
  • General Education Courses
Is an Apprenticeship Right for You?

Students participating in an Apprenticeship Program will achieve many benefits. During the apprenticeship, students will have access to classroom and lab experiences with qualified Lake Area Technical College faculty plus on-the-job training with a dedicated mentor in the company where they work.  This on the job training program enables students to Learn Where You Earn.  Benefits of an Apprenticeship Program include:

  • Gaining practical skills and relevant training
  • Earning national credentials and a Lake Area Technical College certificate or degree
  • Guaranteed employment
  • Industry-aligned education
  • Higher wages and career advancement
How to Apply for an Apprenticeship

Thank you for your interest in becoming an apprentice while earning a degree at Lake Area Technical College! We encourage students who are interested in applying for a Lake Area Technical College apprenticeship to apply early as there is limited availability in each program. Please follow these application steps:

  1. Visit with an Admissions Rep about the available registered apprenticeship programs and arrange for a campus tour.
  2. Apply to Lake Area Technical College by clicking here.
  3. Take the Lake Area Technical College Placement tests.
  4. Apply and Interview for an Apprenticeship Program through our Apprenticeship Office.

Successful applicants to Lake Area Technical College’s apprenticeship programs must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a minimum age of 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be a US citizen, have permanent residency status, or possess a work visa
  • Must meet admission requirements and must satisfy sponsor’s minimum requirements
  • Must have a valid driver’s license for programs that require it

Before beginning the application process, students are welcome to contact our Apprenticeship Program staff to answer any questions they may have about the process or the programs. Contact us at these addresses: or As with any potential applicant, we encourage students to tour our campus and meet with program instructors. Our admissions representatives will guide you through a personal campus tour at your convenience. Contact our admissions reps by calling our main office at 1-800-657-4344. You may also live chat with them on our website.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Pledge

Lake Area Technical College will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older. Lake Area Technical College will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.

Lake Area Technical College Apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity Plan
Required Anti-Harassment Training


How Do Business/Industries Become Involved?

Business and industries that become involved in the Apprenticeship Program at Lake Area Technical College may realize significant benefits by offering apprenticeship opportunities for Lake Area Technical College students. Hiring apprentices can help business and industries’ recruitment and retention efforts by:

  • Expanding education and training options
  • Increasing employee retention by “growing your own”
  • Having a trained and educated workforce
  • Addressing the workforce pipeline concerns
  • Transferring knowledge, skills, and expertise
  • Developing future leadership

Becoming involved is easy. The first step is simply to contact the Lake Area Technical College Apprenticeship staff to discuss apprenticeship possibilities in a specific program. Contact us at these addresses: or Our staff will assist in the registration process and in launching the apprenticeship program. Once the program begins, basic apprenticeship sponsor responsibilities include:

  • Employing the apprentice full-time
  • Training the apprentice in OJL job tasks
  • Training the apprentice in RTI courses
  • Developing a skilled workforce

We look forward to partnering with area/regional businesses in this exciting new opportunity that will help fill the workforce needs in South Dakota and beyond!

Training Modules for Mentors and Mentees

Module 1:  About the Mentorship Program

Module 2: Responsibilities of the Mentor

Module 3: Qualities of a Good Apprentice

Module 4: Generational Differences in the Workplace


Apprenticeship in South Dakota –

Department of Labor FAQ’s

Department of Labor Apprenticeship page –

ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit –

SD Department of Labor and Regulation –

Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium –