Frequently Asked Questions

Apprenticeship is a form of structured on-the-job training that makes it very clear for workers, supervisors, and prospective employees how they will grow on the job and gain wage increases and promotions. TIRAP is a registered apprenticeship, which means we have formalized standards in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. This ensures a national credential and level of quality and can be a significant selling point for recruitment and retention.  

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) is organized to improve workplace safety, address industry workforce needs, and provide employment and advancement opportunities. TIRAP is a program of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) which is responsible for managing and staffing it. It is recognized by the US Department of Labor (DOL) as the official Industry Intermediary for federally-approved and supported apprenticeship programs. DOL has supplemented WIA’s investment in TIRAP with financial support through awarded grants and contracts. With an Advisory Committee, TIRAP develops program input from business and industry. With this input, TIRAP helps to develop career paths with standards for on-the-job training as well as learning that can be done in a variety of ways- with a company’s in-house trainer, in a class (at a college or university or at an OEM course for example), or online.  Each Employer Sponsor company selects which apprenticeship occupations to support and directly engages apprentices. Almost 80 companies are now official TIRAP Employer sponsors. 

The TIRAP apprenticeship program is a key, multi-faceted tool. to foster safety while building a skilled telecommunications workforce.  It builds on the collective experience and generally-accepted best practices of the wireless industry to create. the occupational standards which are used to formalize training programs. 
Apprentices who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion that stays with them from employer to employer, job to job. As such, each employer that participates in the DOL apprenticeship program will have documentation from current and potential employees that attests to their training and knowledge. 
The Occupation Standards (Appendix A’s) are constantly and consistently updated so that the cuttingedge technology and state-of-the-art techniques are incorporated into the program. As new safety concerns and solutions arise, they are integrated into the occupation work process so that apprentices are not only knowledgeable about the newest trends and technology in the telecommunications industry, they will also know how to perform quality work safely within these new circumstances. 

TIRAP establishes the structure for consistency in safety, quality and subject matter expertise by outlining training that focuses on the scope of work and is in accord with the industry-wide standards. Through ongoing development of career paths, which features expertise and leadership development and proceeding through various key subject matters, apprentices, employers and the workforce at large can set attainable and measurable career development goals. Providing opportunities for the telecommunications workforce to improve their skills, seek advanced education opportunities, and become leaders in the industry is central to TIRAP’s mission. 

The Registered Apprenticeship program is comprised of several core documents. The National Sponsor will provide review and guidance to employers as you work through each of the following key elements of your program: 

– National Standards 

– Employer Acceptance Agreement (Signed by the Employer) 

– Work Process Schedule & Related Training Instruction (Occupational Standards, aka Appendix A) 

– Apprenticeship Agreement, Employment & Training Agency (ETA) Form-671 (Signed by the Apprentice)

Journeyworker” is a term that the U.S. Department of Labor uses to describe workers who have met the skill and knowledge requirements for their position. For the purposes of TIRAP, a journeyworker is someone who has completed an apprenticeship program or who has sufficient experience and training to serve as a mentor for other apprentices. Many employers in our industry don’t use this term, so feel free to call them anything you like. 

We are excited to work with you toward success. WIA will follow up to schedule a one-on-one meeting to review your position descriptions, walk through the apprenticeship standards, and help you to get started. The WIA team will provide continuous support as you get started, communicate the program to your trainers and supervisors, and begin to register apprentices. 

We are always happy to clarify any questions or concerns.

For the best experience please open the site using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge