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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why do some trades have paid apprenticeships and some professions not?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24660points) January 7th, 2023
9 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Like welders vs. a medical doctor.

Just wondering.

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kritiper's avatar

Some trades, like electricians, have on-the-job training. Doctors go to school and can’t assist with anything until they complete medical school.

RayaHope's avatar

I suppose if I was trying to learn a job while I was being trained, I would need to get paid. But I guess it wouldn’t be very much. My mom was a paralegal at one time and she said she didn’t get paid anything for a long time. That sucks.

Entropy's avatar

Supply and demand.

I know three different women who graduated with bachelors degrees in biology (different specialties). None ended up in biology as a career. One became an elementary school teacher (not bio), one became a nurse, the other went into IT. Why? They all discovered that their discipline is oversupplied with college grads, and so the expectation is that you will serve SEVERAL YEARS of unpaid internships to get enough work experience to separate yourself from the pack before you are employable….and get paid peanuts (depending on specific career path…some bio folks can get paid well…but many do not).

I work in IT. With the exception of those jobs where clearance is a problem, everywhere I’ve worked LOVES to hire interns, pay them handsomely and train them up. Why? Because IT people, even at the internet level, are RARE relative to demand. So training them up increases the chance that they’ll stick around our of a feeling of gratitude and comfort. Even if it only works 1 time out of 3, it’s worth it.

Now, each profession is going to be a bit different in detail, but I’ll bet if you really drill down, the main differentiator is supply and demand within that specific market/situation.

zenvelo's avatar

Building trades require little formal education, not even a high school diploma. One just needs to know enough arithmetic and geometry to measure something. Therefore an apprenticeship works well to train someone to eventually become a journeyman.

Professions require a formal education. It is a different construct.

Smashley's avatar

An employer with shareholders will always pay you what they can get away with.

Think of unpaid internships as a barrier to, and opportunity for class advancement. Yes, working for free sucks, and it purposefully advantages the already well-off, and jerks free labor out of the poor, but it’s also a straight forward way to get into those cushy rich people travel around the world and tax deduct it gigs. If you can manage the free work a while, the fancy people will eventually let you in, provided they don’t fire you for no reason first.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Medical Doctors do have a form of apprenticeship, it’s called a residency. Still requires a degree though. Many skilled trades now mostly require specific associate degrees but union halls will often hire people as paid apprentices while they’re working through school. It’s somewhat of a myth that you don’t need schooling for trades now. Technically true, but not practically. This was true in the past, but technology has moved on and they generally require people with some formal education or enough intelligence to go through formal training. Most Union halls have their own exams and training that supplement what they learned in school. In all honesty, it’s very common to find that tradesmen have high level degrees that just don’t pay well or offer much employment opportunity. Biology, philosophy, psychology etc…

JLeslie's avatar

Tradition, laws, safety, CYA.

Doctors do “apprentice” during internship and residency.

SnipSnip's avatar

Internships are generally required when practicing the trade ineptly would/could cause danger….think physicians, nurses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, attorneys (in some states), dentists. Many of these professions have never had educational requirements, only apprenticeships. Others did not have them but now do. I’ve a friend in another country whose son just graduated with a business degree and he has to do an internship with a corporation. The same friend’s daughter is in last year of architecture school and she too will have to do an internship. I’m not sure if that’s required here for architects…most likely a state thing.

SnipSnip's avatar

To clarify what I’ve read above…..for doctors, residency is post graduate training to qualify for a specific specialty. It isn’t just post medical school practice. Medical school grads who want to practice general medicine can do so after graduating med school, completing an internship, and passing required examinations. Med school grads may work in research without anything past medical school graduation.

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