Program Questions Application Questions Interview Questions Athletics Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

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Program Questions

How is The Apprentice School different from a two- or four-year college?

The registered apprenticeship offered by the school is a full-time job. Apprentices are selected and hired to the program as vacancies occur. On-the-job training and trade theory courses in assigned shipbuilding disciplines begin immediately after hire. An apprentice's work week is devoted to rigorous academic and trade theory course work and on-the-job training in shipbuilding trades. Academic course work begins within the first six months of apprenticeship.

What shipbuilding trades are offered?

An apprentice is placed in a shipbuilding discipline selected during the application process and works in that trade for the duration of his or her apprenticeship. Advanced disciplines are for current apprentices selected for these programs and are not available upon hire.

Do apprentices work in all the shipbuilding disciplines during their apprenticeship?

An apprentice is placed in one of three disciplines selected during the application process and works in that trade for the duration of his or her apprenticeship.

Do apprentices graduate with a college degree?

All apprentices graduate with a certificate of apprenticeship. Apprentices who excel in the World Class Shipbuilder Curriculum, Trade Related Education Curriculum and their shipbuilding discipline may be considered for an advanced discipline, where they complete strategically timed on-the-job training and academic coursework toward an associate degree offered in partnership with local community colleges.

Does The Apprentice School accept transfer credit from an accredited two- or four-year college?

Transfer credit may be awarded for some World Class Shipbuilder Curriculum courses based on official transcript grades from accredited postsecondary education institutions and on math and english placement test results. Transfer credit is also considered based upon the course work requirements of individual advanced disciplines.

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

The average apprenticeship is completed in four to five years.

Are apprentice graduates required to work for Newport News Shipbuilding after graduation?

While many Apprentice School alumni go on to enjoy lucrative and fulfilling careers with Newport News Shipbuilding, continued employment with the company post apprenticeship is not required.

Application Questions

What are the minimum requirements to apply?

All applicants must fulfill the following minimum requirements for consideration of an interview:

  • Be at least 18 years of age. Current high school seniors may apply for early admission before reaching age 18.
  • Have a high school education with a passing grade in at least four of the following courses:
    1. Algebra I
    2. Geometry
    3. Algebra II
    4. Mechanical/Drawing
    5. Vocational/Technical Education or Computer Science
    6. Advanced Mathematics
    7. Chemistry
    8. Physics
    9. Principles of Technology
      (Please Note: Meeting the minimum requirements specified does not ensure selection.)
  • Be physically able to perform the essential duties of the shipbuilding discipline requested or assigned.
  • Be able to obtain the proper security clearance. Due to the nature of the work performed at Newport News Shipbuilding, U.S. citizenship is required. Applicants will be subject to a U.S. government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.
  • Current employees of Newport News Shipbuilding must have good attendance and job performance records.

(Note: Meeting the minimum requirements specified does not ensure selection.)

Does meeting the minimum requirements ensure selection for The Apprentice School?

Admission to The Apprentice School is competitive, and many applicants possess college degrees and have completed military service. Meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure selection.

What is the application fee?

The application fee is $45 and is non-refundable. Applicants are encouraged to ensure they meet the minimum requirements for consideration before applying. Current employees of Newport News Shipbuilding and veterans are exempt from the processing fee. Please contact the admissions office for fee exemption at 757-380-3809.

What methods of payment are accepted?

The application fee must be paid online by credit card or in person at the Admissions Office by check or money order.

Physical Address –

The Apprentice School
Admissions Office
3101 Washington Ave. 1st Floor
Newport News, VA 23607

For an application to be considered, are transcripts required from all high schools and colleges attended?

Yes, transcripts are required from all high schools and colleges attended regardless of degree completion.

Are incomplete applications or those of applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements considered?

Only complete applications of applicants who meet the minimum requirements are considered.

How can an applicant check the status of his or her application?

An applicant will receive information about application status via the email address used when applying. Check your spam email to ensure updates were not sent inadvertently by your email provider.

After interviewing, when can an applicant expect to learn whether he or she has been offered admission to The Apprentice School?

If the school chooses to extend an offer to an applicant, he or she can expect to receive an offer within 60 to 90 days after the interview.

Interview Process Questions

What items are required for the interview?

An original or certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate is required. Photocopies are not accepted.

What items are suggested for the interview?

Copies of certifications, qualifications, résumé, and letters of recommendation, while not required for the interview, are helpful.

How long does the interview last?

A typical employment interview lasts approximately three hours and includes an overview of The Apprentice School, a guided tour of the shipyard and an employment interview.

If selected for an apprentice position, when can I expect to start?

Based on the needs of the company, start dates vary throughout the year and is typically the first week of a month.

Athletics Questions

What sports does The Apprentice School offer?

Builders Athletics offers Division III-level competition in football, wrestling, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and golf.

Who does an applicant contact about playing a sport at the school?

Visit to learn more about Builder Athletics and complete a recruit questionnaire.

Are intramural sports offered by The Apprentice School?

While intramural sports are not currently offered, a variety of opportunities are available for apprentices to develop their leadership skills, network and show their school spirit.