On-The-Job Training, What Does It Mean?

A supervisor giving instruction to a small group of new employees

Impatient about classroom learning? Ready to jump right into a profession? On-the-job training can provide an excellent way to fast-track your career.

The on-the-job strategy might be more popular than you think. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that there are around 585,000 active apprenticeships in the country. All told, these professions provide jobs for nearly 6 million people.

Some of these jobs fall into the entry-level category. You don’t need much experience to land the gig, so you can’t expect much money when you get hired.

However, that’s not universally true. The Labor Department data highlights this fact. Many careers with on-the-job training opportunities also come with relatively high long-term wage prospects. This includes professions like electricians and plumbers, jobs with median annual wages above $50,000.

Benefits of On-The-Job Training

Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the possible upsides you get from college or trade schools. Those paths fit perfectly with some career plans. However, the on-the-job route comes with some specific benefits you need to consider:

Get Started Right Away

Once you find an opportunity, you want to jump right in. You don’t want to endure days, or even weeks, of training. On-the-job training lets you take the plunge. You can start performing your tasks on Day One.

Less Classroom Activities

Let’s face it: lectures are boring. Sitting for hours in a classroom can become a soul-sucking experience.

On-the-job training lets you escape this potential purgatory. Instead, you can experience your craft in the real world. This often represents a more engaging way to learn.

Gather Practical Knowledge Quickly

On-the-job training isn’t just more interesting. It can prove more effective as well. Seeing the actual tasks performed (and getting to perform them yourself) accelerates the learning process.

Top On-The-Job Opportunities

Not every job lends itself to on-the-job experience. Attempting that approach with neurosurgery probably won’t end well. In that case, those years of medical school probably come in handy.

But, for other professions, it’s the perfect way to learn. Target the careers that lend themselves best to this format. With that in mind, here are some examples to consider:

  • Warehouse worker
  • HVAC tech
  • Carpenters
  • Masonry workers
  • Glazers
  • Sales
  • Maintenance

Making the Most of Your On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training represents an excellent way to acquire a skill. You get hands-on experience and access to expert guidance. However, it’s up to you to get the most out of the opportunity. Here are a few ways you can maximize the value of your on-the-job training:

Ask Questions and Accept Criticism

Engage in the process. Accept guidance from your supervisors and your veteran coworkers. Ask questions that allow you to understand the fine points of the process.

At the same time, don’t get defensive. You’re there to learn. Recognize that you don’t know everything and that any feedback is meant to help you become better.

Keep Improving Over Time

Eventually, your on-the-job training will end. At that point, you’ll be sent to complete tasks on your own. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve mastered the skill.

You’ve reached the “good enough” stage. Keep improving from there. Continue to ask questions and seek out constructive feedback. Look for small ways you can upgrade your technique. Over time, you’ll become even more skilled.

Seek Out Other Learning Opportunities

Don’t stop once you learn the task at hand. Once you master one role, look for other ways to keep learning. This way, you can continue to expand your set of skills.

An employer who values on-the-job training probably offers other chances to expand your skills. Ask to try other tasks. As you add capabilities, you’ll make yourself more valuable in the job market.

Find the Right On-The-Job Opportunities for You

You’ll learn better if you love your job. A top skilled-trades job agency, like LaborMAX Staffing, maximizes your talent by finding the perfect situation for you.

Contact LaborMAX today to learn more or browse our online job portal for the latest opportunities.