Menu icon

Apprenticeship Programs at
Lake Area Technical College

What is an Apprenticeship Program?

Lake Area Tech’s Apprenticeship Strategic Plan

In its efforts to help fill the workforce gap, Lake Area Tech 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 Tech 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 Tech 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

Registered Apprenticeship Spotlight

Micayla Marmen

Micayla Wilson

Marmen Energy | Brandon, SD

My name is Micayla Wilson and I work at Marmen Energy in Brandon, South Dakota as a welder. At the end of my first year in Lake Area Tech’s Welding Technology program, I was approached by my welding instructors because they thought I’d be a perfect fit for an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship allowed me to have real world experiences in my field and gave me an opportunity to learn most of the different departments in the shop. In the future, my knowledge in the different departments will help me as a supervisor.

If you are good about managing your schoolwork and are driven to make it far in your field, the apprenticeship program is for you. Work hard in silence and let success make the noise! 

Micayla Marmen 2

 What Programs at Lake Area Tech 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 Tech 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
    After graduating from LATC’s Diesel Technology program, you can become a Shop Technician or Mobile Field Service Technician with Terex 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.
  • Welding Technology
    This is a 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 Tech’s Welding nine-month diploma option before being eligible for this program.

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

What Other Apprenticeships Does Lake Area Tech Offer?

Lake Area Tech is the program sponsor for short term apprenticeships (one year) leading to a license or certification.

  • Tractor Trailer Truck Driver – This program prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to drive trucks and buses, delivery vehicles, and other commercial vehicles.  It includes instruction in operating gas- or diesel-powered vehicles, loading and unloading cargo or passengers, verifying loads, and keeping records of receipts and fares.  After completing Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) and Behind the Wheel training participants can earn their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  They also earn a certificate of apprenticeship completion.  Participants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – Start your healthcare career pathway participating in the Certified Nursing Assistant apprenticeship program.  This program begins with a training program designed to prepare you for the South Dakota State Certification Examination.  You then continue on-the-job training providing basic care under the direction of licensed nursing staff.  Duties include feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility.  This apprenticeship leads to an industry-recognized certification as well as a certificate of apprenticeship completion.  Participants must be at least 16 years of age.

How to Apply for an Apprenticeship

Thank you for your interest in becoming an apprentice while earning a degree at Lake Area Tech! We encourage students who are interested in applying for a Lake Area Tech 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 Tech by clicking here.
  3. Take the Lake Area Tech Placement tests.
  4. Apply and Interview for an Apprenticeship Program through our Apprenticeship Office.

Successful applicants to Lake Area Tech’s credit bearing 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

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 Tech to identify effective workforce solutions and collaborative approaches to fill workforce demands.

Crenlo 2023
Esco 1
Falcon Plastics
Infinite Welding 1
Jack Links Logo 1
Larson 1
Valley Queen Final

How Do Business/Industries Become Involved?

Business and industries that become involved in the Apprenticeship Program at Lake Area Tech may realize significant benefits by offering apprenticeship opportunities for Lake Area Tech 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 Tech Apprenticeship staff to discuss apprenticeship possibilities in a specific program. Contact us at these addresses: terri.cordrey@lakeareatech.edu or shane.swenson@lakeareatech.edu. 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 under the supervision of an experienced mentor
  • 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!

Apprentice Education Partners

High School students as young as 16 years of age can participate in a Registered Apprenticeship.  Our education partners recognize the value of work-based learning as an opportunity to immerse youth in a high demand occupation and interact with professionals who have worked in it for years.  This type of experience can help students make decisions about their long-term career goals. 

Unique partnership serving Brookings High School students with career exploration opportunities at Daktronics, Falcon Plastics, and Larson Manufacturing.  Students can earn Lake Area Tech dual credits in the Robotics/Electronics program of study.

Plant Maintenance
Learn routine and preventative maintenance, troubleshoot machine issues, and monitor packaging specifications while participating in LATC classes that will have you designing and developing mechanical parts and building your very own 3D printer.

Welding Technology Core Apprenticeship
Start your welding career while attending high school.  This work-based learning program allows students the opportunity to earn dual credits that are transferrable to LATC’s Welding Technology program.

Pre-Apprenticeship Training

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:

Apprenticeship Program 1 | Lake Area Technical College
  • 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 Tech 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 Tech certificate or degree
  • Guaranteed employment
  • Industry-aligned education
  • Higher wages and career advancement

Lake Area Tech CDL Bridge Program

Lake Area Tech’s bridge program provides one of the first steps in a career pathway for low-skill adults by connecting adult education programs to postsecondary technical education.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Pledge

Lake Area Tech 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 Tech 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.

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

Start Today SD has created four mentorship modules to help you develop and foster successful mentorships. You’ll find interactive lessons for mentors, mentees, businesses looking to establish a mentoring program and in-person facilitators who will lead this training for groups.

Mentoring Modules for Mentees, Mentors and Businesses