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Columbia MD, 21044
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Learn how your business can benefit from hiring an apprentice

Howard Community College's registered apprenticeship program connects employers with qualified job-seeking students. Students complete training in their field and employers gain a dedicated employee. HCC develops programs with industry-leading businesses. Our apprenticeship programs are registered with the State of Maryland. We currently support apprenticeships in the following industries:

  • Biomedical Technology Engineering (BMET)
  • Construction Management (CM)
  • Electrician/Electrical
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR)
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Software Development

What to see an apprenticeship in action? See our construction management apprenticeship case study.

When you hire an apprentice with HCC, you invest in your company culture and business. Our work-based training model leads to success for the apprentice and employers. Our apprentices complete many hours of training and instruction before earning their certificate. Read the FAQs for employers about the HCC apprenticeship program.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is an apprenticeship?

    An apprenticeship is an “earn while you learn” model, which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. In a traditional apprenticeship program, apprentices complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction per year, and they earn a progressive wage.

    What apprenticeships are available at HCC?

    Howard Community College is a registered apprenticeship sponsor with the state of Maryland and currently offers apprenticeships for:

    • Biomedical Technology Engineering (BMET)
    • Construction Management (CM)
    • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR)
    • Information Technology (IT)
    • Software Development

    How long are the apprenticeship programs?

    The length of each apprenticeship program varies.

    The electrical apprenticeship is a four-year program. Apprentices will take classes at HCC and IEC Chesapeake two nights a week.

    Does my apprentice earn a degree or certification?

    In the Construction Management program, apprentices will earn a Certificate in Construction Management upon completion of their two-year program. This certificate consists of 34 academic credits. They will be eligible to sit for their Construction Manager in Training (CMIT) certification.

    In the HVACR program, apprentices are automatically awarded their journeyman license upon successful completion of the four-year program.

    In the IT program, apprentices earn 18 – 24 academic credits.

    How much does it cost to hire an apprentice?

    Employers typically pay for the related instruction portion of the apprenticeship. This includes tuition, books, fees, and all administrative services. For the Construction Management apprenticeship program, fees are billed to employers in four $3,500 increments spanning over two years. For the HVACR program, please see the HACC website for current tuition information:

    To offset some of the cost of related instruction, apprentices are paid a progressive wage. Their typical starting wage is 50 percent of their final salary at the end of the apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive period wage increases as they complete training requirements.

    Are there financial incentives available for hiring apprentice?

    Yes! Employers can claim a one-time, $1,000 tax credit for each apprentice after they have been employed for seven months. Additionally, if your company has fewer than 500 employees in the state of Maryland, you may apply for funding from the Maryland Business Works Fund. This fund reimburses up to 50 percent of training dollars for employers who qualify. More information on financial incentives can be found here:

    What are my responsibilities as an employer?

    In order to participate, you first need to identify a mentor (called a “journeyperson”) who will be responsible for training your apprentice in a one-on-one relationship. This mentor/journeyperson will ensure that the apprentice completes each of their on-the-job training requirements as part of the program. This mentor/journeyperson will receive initial mentor training, and will be responsible for signing off on the hourly log kept by the apprentice.

    Once a mentor/journeyperson is identified, you will work with the apprenticeship coordinators at HCC to become a registered employer. The apprentice must be free to attend class at the designated time, and you will need to work with HCC to determine a progressive wage scale. Once these tasks have been completed, you will work with HCC’s apprenticeship coordinators to submit paperwork to the Maryland Department of Labor to become a registered employer. After approval, you may begin interviewing and hiring from HCC’s pool of applicants.

    Does the apprentice receive the same benefits as a regular full-time employee?

    In a traditional apprenticeship, the apprentice works 2,000 hours per year, which is considered full-time. Apprentices are generally considered to be regular, full-time employees (hourly or salary, depending on the employer), and are generally entitled to the same benefits as other employees of the company. Similarly, they are also subject to the same rules and requirements of regular employees.

    I have an existing employee who would like to participate. Can they be an apprentice?

    Yes! Please contact the apprenticeship coordinators if you have a current employee who would like to participate in the program. We will work with you to become a registered employer, and we will work with your employee to enroll in the apprenticeship program.

    What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?

    An internship is typically a short-term work experience. Internships can be either paid or unpaid. They are designed to introduce students to a field and /or specific company for a short period of time, perhaps with the expectation of long-term employment once education is completed. Education and on-the-job training are not formally linked in an internship.

    An apprenticeship is a formal training program where on-the-job training and classroom instruction are purposefully linked. An apprentice is a full-time employee, subject to the same requirements and expectations of all other company employees. The goal of an apprenticeship is to establish a long-term relationship where you directly train an apprentice, and in turn, develop a lasting relationship.

    Does my business need to be located in Howard County in order to participate?

    Your company does not need to have an office in the state of Maryland and does not need to be located in Howard County. Regardless of location, employers must abide by Maryland apprenticeship rules and regulations.

    Who do I contact for more information?

    For more information on apprenticeships, send an email to our apprenticeship coordinators at


Apprenticeships can benefit an employer. There are many reasons to hire an apprentice, including but not limited to:

  • Immediate access to new, skilled and motivated employees
  • Unique opportunity to shape and mold a model employee from the word “go”
  • Increased team loyalty and reduced turnover
  • You may qualify for tax incentives of up to $3,000 as well as additional state or local funding

Want to hire an apprentice in a new industry? We can work with your business to create a customized program and recruit apprentices. Contact to learn how an HCC apprenticeship program could benefit your business.

Interested in hiring an apprentice in your industry?

HCC can work with your business to create a customized program and recruit apprentices. Contact to learn how an HCC apprenticeship program could benefit your business.

How to get involved:

Explore tax incentives for your business:

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