Asked Questions

Are internships only for college students?

No, internships can be a great work-based learning experience for high school students or transitioning adults. The key components are that the individual is working in an organization (for an employer) in order to gain professional experience or to satisfy requirements for a qualification. They may or may not also receive secondary or postsecondary credit.

How do I connect with a high school or higher education institution to see if they have students who are interested in doing an internship in my industry?

Internships are an exciting way to get involved with the education system. Some school districts have forged ahead and built internal infrastructure to support internships, and some have not. The ease of your experience will depend on where your district lies on that spectrum. Because Idaho is a local control state, no two districts look the same when it comes to these programs. Some best practices: 1) A phone call might be more productive in the beginning than an email 2) Contact the career advisor for the school 3) Inquire about related Career Technical Education programs, and talk with that instructor directly 4) Try not to get frustrated. If your district has not set up infrastructure for internships, this is an amazing opportunity to get involved. Communicate with them clearly and kindly about what you need, and how you want to help.

How do I make a meaningful connection with the education system?

Meaningful connections take time and commitment. One important thing to remember is that many of the people you will work with in education went straight from high school, to college, then to work as an educator. They might not have much insight into the traditional “world of work.” Look at the work-based learning continuum and map out a few areas that you can commit to working with your district to grow. The next step is going to be finding a champion or 5 within the district. This works best when it is integrated throughout the hierarchy of the district from the school board to the instructor level, but it can start with any impassioned person. Once you find your champion(s), spend ample time brainstorming and learning about the district. Are there programs with other employers already in place? How can you weave programs into the existing day-to-day of your district?

How do I present to a class of 3rd graders? How do I stretch beyond my comfort zone?

The most important piece is that you connect with your own passion for the field, and use that energy to drive your presentation. Kids thrive on energy so make sure you take a moment before your presentation to get your energy up. Tell your own story, ask them about their dreams, and share your experience.

I'm an employer and I would like to speak to students about careers in my industry. How do I connect with school in my area to speak with students?

Find out if anyone else in your company or in your industry association already has a connection with the district. If possible use this existing relationship to make the right connection into the school. If you don’t have access to a contact, that’s okay! Just keep in mind that every district has very different levels of experience working with employers, and it might take a few calls to find the passionate champion that can get you in the door. A good first contact would be a career advisor or counselor that can let you know if there are career & technical educators within the school who might be interested. Ask them if they can connect you directly with an opportunity or an instructor who might be interested.

What is an externship?

An externship is an experience for a teacher, where he/she is immersed in the workplace for a period of time with the expectation that the experience will inform their teaching. Learn more about Idaho’s externship program hosted by STEM Action Center.

Can I hire a high school student to work as an apprentice?

Yes! The Federal Wage and Hour Division set the rules for employing youth under the age of 18 into Hazardous Occupations (for list of Hazardous Occupations see If the programs and the work performed by the student (16 to 17 years of age) meet the requirements of 29 C.F.R. § 570.50(b) for Apprentices or 29 C.F.R. § 570.50(c) for Student-Learners, and the work is covered by one of the seven Hazardous Occupations listed on the provided link, the youth employment does not violate the youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. There are Idaho employers in all sectors currently engaging high school students in youth apprenticeship programs. One obstacle employers usually face is educating their insurance provider on the program. Idaho Department of Labor can help educate you on the regulations. Learn more about the benefits of Youth Apprenticeship.

How does work-based learning help improve my employee retention?

An investment in work-based learning is an investment in those you employ. Employees can see a pathway for them to improve and move up in the company. This creates a culture of continuous improvement where your employees feel valued and empowered. Work-based learning programs like registered apprenticeships have built-in pay increases that reward employees for skill gains that occur through on-the-job training and instructional training. Check out this video that talks about why Idaho Power invests in Apprenticeships.

What are the expectations around hiring and paying an intern?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires “for-profit” employers to pay employees for their work. Interns and students, however, may not be “employees” under the FLSA—in which case the FLSA does not require compensation for their work. To learn more about this topic click on the provided link. Fair Labor Standards Act Fact Sheet

What if I can't commit to a full apprenticeship?

There are a number of work-based experiences that require less committment than a full-scale apprenticeship. You could host a teacher extern, bring on an intern, or even commit to speak to a classroom. Link to resources on internship, externship, other resources on the continuum.

What is the ROI for work-based learning?

On average, employers realize an average return on investment of $1.47 for every $1 invested. Additionally, every $1 invested in apprenticeships leads to a public return of approximately $28 in benefits.

To get started and learn about the ROI for your business in particular, contact your regional apprenticeship coordinator at the Idaho Department of Labor.

Where can I find a list of industry associations who are engaged in work-based learning activities?

Visit our asset map to and use the filters to learn more about who is engaging in work-based learning in your community or around the state.

Does a pre-apprenticeship need to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor?

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs can play a valuable role in providing work-based learning to help people prepare for an entry-level Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP). While Pre-Apprenticeship programs have varied designs and approaches, the U.S. Department of Labor has outlined the elements of a quality pre-apprenticeship program that can place an individual on the potential career pathway to employability though a RAP: US DOL Pre-Apprenticeship Information.

How is on the job training different from an intership or apprenticeship?

On-the-job training (OJT) or Structure on-the-job training (SOJT) occurs when an employee receives hands-on training from an instructor or mentor. The person receiving the OJT is typically an employee and is earning a wage during training. Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) take OJT a step further by incoporating OJT into the apprenticeship standard that makes up the outline for what an apprintice will learn during a RAP. This ensures what is taught during an OJT is a formal, repeatable, and follows a structured process. Internship may not include a formal, structured training and may not require that the employer pays the intern a wage during the internship.

How do I structure wage or salary for someone who is learning on the job?

Apprentices shall be paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages based on either a percentage or a dollar amount of the current hourly journeyworker wage rate.



Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Period 4


2000 Hours 2000 Hours 2000 Hours 2000 Hours
Percent/Dollar Amount $16.70 $17.10 $18.50



Current Journeyworker Wage Rate: $23.00 Per Hour

What are insurance / worker's comp requirements?

Employers with one or more full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional employees are required to maintain a workers’ compensation policy unless specifically exempt from the law. Workers’ Compensation is required to be in place when the first employee is hired.

What are the benefits of work-based learning for students with disabilities?

For students with disabilities, work-based learning offers additional benefits. Participating in a work experience can give them a chance to determine if they can perform the essential functions of a particular job with or without a reasonable accommodation. It also gives them a chance to practice disclosing their disability and requesting accommodations from potential employers while determining which accommodations work best for them. These experiences help students with disabilities develop the confidence and self-advocacy skills needed for success in higher education and challenging careers.