Apprentice Program

NAVFAC Southwest Apprentice

Skilled Trades Apprentice Program

Earn While You Learn.

NAVFAC Southwest is looking to build our future through a robust Apprentice Program that will take participants from entry level through Journeyman certification with no cost to the participant. 

Discover a civilian career with the Department of the Navy. Become a part of an organization that makes a difference every day.


All Candidates MUST:

  • Be at least 18 years old and a U.S. Citizen 
  • Score 70% or higher on the Federal Entrance Exam (written test)
  • Be eligible for a Security Clearance 
  • Possess a valid Driver's License
  • Complete a Physical Capacity Exam
  • Complete a Medical Exam

Once accepted into the program Participants MUST:

  • Work a standard 40-hour week at the assigned location
  • Maintain academic course load prescribed in the four-year in-school program AND respective trade. Apprentices are typically required to attend school two to three nights a week, year round. It is the Apprentice's responsibility to attend ALL courses.
  • Receive 180-220 hours of classroom hours of related training AND 2000 hours yearly of on-the-job training (OJT) under the supervision of a trade Journeyman.
  • Stay in good academic standing with the training institution.
  • Maintain OJT proficiencies.
  • Commit to work within the Department of Defense for TWO years upon program completion. 

*Classroom hours will be completed at local community colleges and training facilities during non-paid, off-duty hours, two to three nights a week for the duration of the 4-year program.    

Trades Apprenticeship Starting Salaries: 

$15.54 - $26.77 Hourly (Location Dependent)


For a list of benefits at NAVFAC Southwest, click here

Training Program Outline:

1) Spend TWO years as an entry-level tradesman.
2) Progress to intermediate level after successfully completing all required classroom training and hands-on experience.
3) Complete TWO additional years at the intermediate level (gaining more training and hands-on experience)
4) Promote to the Journeyman level (with Department of Labor certification) 

Advancement to the intermediate and Journeyman level (and continued employment) requires satisfactory completion of classroom training at an approved training institution and hands-on work/training experience at the assigned job site.

College level classroom training may include, but will not be limited to:
Trade Skills and Trade-related Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry), Introductory Sciences (Metallurgy, Electrical Theory), and Trade Drawings/Blueprints. 




Coronado Apprentice


The 2018-2019 window for resume submission is NOW CLOSED. Please check back in October of 2019 for our open submission period.

Hints and Tips for the application and exam process are below.

    2018-2019 Cadre Positions and Locations
  • Plumber Apprentice - Lemoore, CA (4)
  • Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice - Monterey, CA (1)
  • Electronics Mechanic Apprentice - Lemoore (2)
  • Electrician Apprentice - San Diego  Metro Area (4); Monterey (1); Seal Beach (1); China Lake (1); Lemoore (4); Ventura (1)
  • High Voltage Electrician Apprentice - San Diego (2); China Lake (1); Lemoore (2); Ventura (1)
  • Mason ApprenticeSan Diego (Point Loma) (1); China Lake (1)
  • Welder Apprentice - San Diego (Coronado) (1); China Lake (1)
  • Pipefitter Apprentice - San Diego (Naval Station Complex/32nd St) (1); China Lake (2); Lemoore (1)
  • Construction Mechanic Apprentice - San Diego Metro Area (3); Lemoore (1)
  • Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice - San Diego (Point Loma) (1); Seal Beach (1); Lemoore (2)
  • Rigger Apprentice - San Diego (Naval Station Complex/32nd St) (4); Lemoore (1)
  • Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic Apprentice - San Diego Metro Area (3); Lemoore (3); Ventura (1)
  • Heating & Boiler Plant Equipment Mechanic Apprentice - Monterey (1); Lemoore (2)
  • Industrial Equipment Mechanic ApprenticeChina Lake (2)
  • Utility Systems Operator Apprentice - China Lake (2); Lemoore (2)
  • Water Treatment Plant Operator ApprenticeVentura (1)
  • Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic Apprentice - Lemoore (1)

*NOTE: San Diego Metro Area includes Naval Base San Diego (32nd St.), Point Loma, and Coronado.


Plumber Apprentice Program



The Apprentice program accepts resumes once per year via USAJobs. When the application period is open, you will need to:

1) Read through the announcement CAREFULLY and tailor your resume to the position to which you are applying.

Resumes should include:

  • Your Contact Information
  • Certifications and Licenses you have (date and location earned)
  • The name of the company/organization where you received experience
  • The date ranges you were with each company/organization
  • Specifics on tasks you completed, tools you worked with, systems you installed/troubleshot/repaird, techniques you used, documents you used, regulations you followed -USE LANGUAGE SPECIFIC TO YOUR INDUSTRY
  • Specific accomplishments from the work completed (Examples: Time you saved, money you saved, things you did to increase safety, awards you earned, etc...)

For example, it is not enough to say "Expertly inspected workspaces." 
A hiring manager has no frame of refernece for your past work. It is better to say, "Inspected 10 workspaces with 75 employees; identified 5 safety violations and put corrective measures in place within 10 days with zero accidents recorded." 

2) Create your profile on USAJobs and uplaod your resume, or use the built in Resume Builder on the site. 

  • When applying online, you can address the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) or Job Elements in the 'Other Information' section within your Resume under section 5 - Other Work Related History. We encourage you to address the KSAs or Job Elements to help us give you the best rating possible.
  • Read the announcement for information regarding the grade level(s) and salary range(s) of this position. You will only be able to be considered for the Grade Level(s) and Salary Range(s) announced. So if you state a Grade Level and Salary higher than announced, you will not be rated.


3) If selected for consideration, you will be required to take and pass a written test (score of 70% or higher).

  • You will be notified in writing of the day and time you are scheduled to take the test. You must confirm your attendance as scheduled in order to be registered as a competitor. If no response is received by the date specified, you will be considered “Ineligible” and your name will be removed from consideration. The written notification of your scheduled testing will also serve as your admission into the testing site.
  • Sample tests that contain questions similar to those on the placement exam can be viewed by accessing the following web links: and select any of the self assessment modules at the bottom of the web pages for practice questions. and select the sample problems link in the second paragraph on the web page for math problems.


4) After successful completion of the entry-level testing, you will be called in to a panel with Trades Journeyman for an interview.


5) If selected, you will be notified by mail to start the hiring process and schedule your physical.

NOTE: Military Spouse and Veteran's Preferences are available for the Apprentice program.  More info can be found at







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