Apprenticeships are taking the tech world by storm, and are a great way for entry-level engineers with unconventional backgrounds to get a foot in the industry. Today, apprenticeships are being offered in a wide variety of disciplines within tech and beyond such as data science, cybersecurity, and user experience design.
Apprenticeships are an excellent alternative for people who aren't sure about exactly how to start their careers and are ideal if you want to gain hands-on industry experience without incurring the debt that comes with going to university. Furthermore, numerous apprenticeships pay for whole degree programs while you learn skills in a real-world context. Does it get any better than that?
List of The Best Apprenticeships in Graphic Design
While apprenticeships in user experience design are far more common, graphic design apprenticeships do also exist! Here's a list of our top picks for 2022.
1. Graphic Design Apprenticeship at Sidebench
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Sidebench is a Los Angeles-based strategy, design, and development firm that has also won several awards over the years. They have and continue to work with Fortune 500 corporations as well as cutting-edge start-ups in search of product strategy.
The Sidebench apprenticeship program is a 6-month full-time paid developmental internship designed to provide the apprentice with practical and relevant first-hand experience in a certain subject. Currently, they have an open Graphic Design Apprenticeship position for budding designers who have an interest in UI & UX. This is a paid program and compensation starts at $12/hour.
2. Design Apprenticeship at Buck
Location: NYC, Los Angeles, Sydney & Amsterdam
BUCK is a worldwide creative agency led by talent, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, and Amsterdam that has been in operation since 2004. They are actively looking for design apprentices to join their teams across various departments.
As a BUCK apprentice, you get access to mentorship opportunities from the world's top creatives. This is a 6-month, full-time program and welcomes applicants from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences such as fresh graduates, and even self-taught artists.
3. Apprentice Designer Who Codes at Thoughtbot
Location: Remote, Americas (UTC-3 through UTC-10)
Thoughtbot assists firms at every stage of the product development and maintenance process in identifying and resolving issues. They lead and participate in product design sprints, then create and launch high-quality apps.
As a Thoughtbot apprentice, you'll be partnered with a Thoughtbot mentor to create goals and develop your abilities. Working with your mentor, you'll expand on your previous expertise as a designer and hone your consulting abilities. This program is rotational, which means that you will be mentored by a different person each month and will be exposed to a range of customer projects.
This is a full-time, paid position and apprentices can expect to make $70,000- $85,000, with an increase to $90,000 - $105,000 (if they're based in the U.S), once they're promoted to full-time positions.
Thoughtbot has worked with over 50 apprentices so far, most of whom are promoted to full-time positions as either designers or developers.
4. Apprenticeships at Firebelly Design
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
The team at Firebelly describes themselves as a socially-conscious creative studio specializing in strategic design.
Every few years, they invite talented early-career individuals to apply for their apprenticeship program. This is a 6-month apprenticeship program that offers mentorship, competitive compensation, and a chance to progress into a full-time position.
5. Graphic Arts Print Production Apprenticeship at Harper College
Harper College offers a two-year Graphic Arts Print Production Apprenticeship where students get access to work experience, and compensation from an employer while receiving on-the-job training and employer-funded education.
Each year, students attend college for three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Courses are largely scheduled during the day. Throughout their study, employers appoint a devoted mentor to their apprentice. The emphasis is on digital print production and basic graphic design principles, as well as the most up-to-date graphic software and production procedures in line with the graphic industry's requirements.
After completion, apprentices earn an A.A.S. Degree in Graphic Arts. Additionally, a certification from the Department of Labor is awarded stating that holders are fully qualified for their occupation.