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Shipbuilding & Skilled Trades Vocational Training at the Newport News Apprentice School at Newport News, VA 

the apprentice school

Founded in 1919, The Apprentice School of Newport News Shipbuilding is an educational and career opportunity unlike any other. It provides high quality, comprehensive 4 and 5 year apprentice programs for students interested in shipbuilding careers. The programs have produced over 9,000 graduates in support of the operational needs of Newport News Shipbuilding. The apprentice program allows a person to receive thorough instruction and experience - both theoretical and practical - in the various aspects of a skilled trade. The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council.

You will benefit by obtaining an academic degree. During your 4 or 5 year apprenticeship (depending on the option you choose), you will earn while you learn. You will take an academic load of college tuition free classes while on-the-clock that will be of value to you wherever your future aspirations might take you. The school offers associate degree tracks in either Business or Engineering. Also, as the school is fully accredited, your classes are fully transferable to other institutions if you plan to continue your education.

There two apprentice programs by Huntington Ingalls Industries two divisions at the Apprentice School. The first division, Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) is the nation's sole-industrial designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of the only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. The second division, Ingalls Shipbuilding (IS) has pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships for the surface Navy fleet, US Coast Guard, US Marine Corps, and foreign and commercial customers.

the apprentice school campus

Apprentice Training Programs

Shipbuilding Disciplines

  • Coatings Specialist: Coatings specialist apprentices prepare and sandblast surfaces and select the methods of coating application.
  • Electrician: Electrician apprentices install, test, operate and maintain the most cutting-edge shipboard electrical systems.
  • Heating and Air Conditioning: Maintenance heating and air conditioning apprentices install, repair and maintain a wide variety of heating and cooling systems in facilities throughout the shipyard.
  • Heavy Metal Fabricator: Heavy metal fabricator apprentices learn the processes and procedures of the shipyard's Steel Fabrication Shop and use tools and machines to cut, burn, bend, move and press steel into shapes needed for ship construction.
  • Insulator: Insulator apprentices cut and form insulation materials, make molded plastic forms, laminate fiberglass cloth and mix bonding materials.
  • Machinist: Machinist apprentices learn to operate all major types of manual and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools in the shipyard's vast machine shop complex.
  • Maintenance Electrician: Maintenance electrician apprentices install, maintain, modify and troubleshoot virtually every electrical and electronic component in the shipyard.
  • Maintenance Pipefitter: Maintenance Pipefitter apprentices learn to repair and maintain the various piping systems and facilities throughout the shipyard’s 550 acre facility.
  • Millwright: Millwright apprentices maintain, repair and overhaul shipyard machinery and learn to operate a number of machine tools, including lathes, milling machines and drill presses, to manufacture parts used to repair production equipment.
  • Molder: Molder apprentices work in the shipyard's foundry, one of the few foundries in the United States capable of pouring a large variety of ferrous and nonferrous metals.
  • Non-Destructive Tester: Non-destructive tester apprentices operate a variety of equipment used to perform several weld quality inspection methods and gain experience in radiographic, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, ultrasonic and eddy current inspection methods
  • Outside Machinist: Outside machinist apprentices install and test a ship's major machinery and other mechanical components.
  • Patternmaker: Patternmaker apprentices learn the fundamentals of wood and tool selection and shaping, forming and joining techniques.
  • Pipefitter: Pipefitter apprentices install, inspect and test shipboard piping systems. They learn the characteristics of steel, copper, copper-nickel and stainless steel pipe.
  • Rigger: Rigger apprentices assemble a variety of steel, pipe and wood staging for other trades, provide all the blocking and shoring the ship sits on during initial construction and move large sections as the ship is being assembled.
  • Sheet Metal Worker: Sheet metal apprentices are responsible for the majority of the interior finish work on naval vessels.
  • Shipfitter: Shipfitter apprentices contribute to all structural phases of the ship's hull construction, including fabrication, assembly and alignment of the ship structures.
  • Welder: Welding apprentices learn the full range of manual, semiautomatic and automatic welding processes in the shipyard's welding school.
  • Welding Equipment Repair: Welding equipment repair apprentices test, troubleshoot, repair and maintain welding and burning equipment.

Advanced Disciplines

  • Advanced Shipyard Operations: This is a four-year program provides select apprentices with an opportunity for continuing education and development in waterfront operations.
  • Cost Estimators: Cost Estimators perform an important role within the Contracts and Pricing section of the Business Management organization.
  • Dimensional Control Technician: Apprentices selected for this program will perform comprehensive industrial measurement surveys of the ship and in-process manufactured structures and components.
  • Marine Designer: Apprentices selected for this program will prepare a variety of engineering documents including drawings, liaison and discrepancy reports.
  • Modeling & Simulation Program Analyst: Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is an advanced process that allows analysis of data to assess designs, improve processes, and make critical business decisions.
  • Nuclear Test Technician: Nuclear Test Technicians (NTTs) perform an important role in the new construction and overhaul of naval nuclear ships.
  • Production Planner: Apprentices selected for this program will become proficient in the use of various computer systems that are used for planning and controlling work on various product lines.

Professional Development Program

  • Marine Engineer Apprenticeship: The marine engineer apprenticeship, offered through The Apprentice School's Professional Development Program, allows apprentices to gain on-the-job engineering experience in the manufacturing, construction, maintenance and overhaul of some of the most complex ships in the world while earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University. Marine engineer apprentices are full-time employees of Newport News Shipbuilding.

Ingalls Apprentice School Mississippi Programs

LAST UPDATED ON July 18, 2018