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The apprentice program provides students with academic training which results in a "Technician Career Studies Certificate". Participants take college level courses, currently these are taught by Tidewater Community College (TCC) at the Portsmouth Campus. Compressed sessions will consist of two, nine week sessions. Students will be required to provide their own transportation while taking classes at the TCC Portsmouth Campus. The apprentice earns a competitive wage while advancing to the journeymen level following a planned progressive training program. All academic tuition and book cost are paid by NNSY; provided the student receives a grade of "C" or better in the courses of work pursued. Apprentices are employed at the pay rate of WT-1 (this ranges from $15.44 to $17.02 per hour) and receive promotions upon successful completion of program requirements. Upon graduation, apprentices are converted to the journeymen level of their trade.

Other benefits include: sick leave, annual leave, federal holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and a retirement plan.

All perspective candidates must: 

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have graduated with a High School diploma or GED equivalent
  • Meet minimum requirements on TCC placement test 
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance
  • Pass medical requirements

For more information, you may contact us via phone 757-396-4777, 757-396-4355 or email us at FLTHRO_NNSY@NAVY.MIL

Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question to view its answer.


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Q: What trades are offered for the apprentice program?
A: Students are selected for various blue-collar trades listed below:                                                    
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Boilermaker: Fabricates, assembles, and installs repairs, and test boilers and boiler components. Work performed will be both in the shop and aboard ships from blueprints, sketches, specifications, layout templates and process instructions.

Electrician: Fabricates, installs, modifies, and repairs shipboard electrical systems, controls, instrumentation and rewind motors.                                                    

Electronics Mechanic: Installs, modifies, fabricates and repairs electrical/electronic systems, controls and instrumentation.  Uses blueprints, technical manuals and test procedures in accordance with specified guidelines.  Works on complex systems such navigation systems, fire control systems, radar and sonar equipment and satellite communications systems.

Fabric Worker: Fabricate, repair, and install fabric articles such as awnings, sails, boat canopies, weather and protective cloths, fenders, bumpers, various types of covers, and other ship and boat materials.

Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic: Determines cause of mechanical operation problem, trace and locate defects, and make repairs to diesel, gasoline, and other types of internal combustion engines; automatic and non-automatic transmissions; heavy duty drive line systems; and hydraulic utility systems and controls.

Insulator:  Work involves insulating surfaces of pipes, ducts, valves, fittings, flanges, boilers, tanks, turbines, evaporators, refrigerating units, and similar structures.

Machinist:  Manufacture and repair parts and items of equipment which require the use of various types of standard and special machine tools and their attachments to machine metals, metal alloys, and other materials.

Marine Machinery Mechanic: Dismantle, repair, relocate, modify, maintain, align, overhaul and install a wide variety of marine machinery, equipment and systems such as propulsion machinery, lifeboat davits, anchor handling gear, and missile tube equipment located aboard submarines, ships and other floating craft.

PipefitterMetals Inspector: Conducting nondestructive testing in the fields of visual, eddy current, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, radiography, and ultrasonic inspections, to ensure a quality products.

Painter: Performs various types of preparations and applications to ships' surfaces and equipment; apply paint and other protective coatings. This work is accomplished using solvents, acids, detergents, power and hand tools and electronic controlled automatic plate blasting equipment.

Pipefitter:  Installs, maintains, and fabricates various piping systems and equipment necessary to carry out the overhaul and repair of naval vessels and to support shipboard hotel services and engineering systems. The piping systems include water (salt and fresh), steam (high and low pressure), compressed air, fuel, and sanitation systems.

Rigger: Use chainfalls, blocks and tackles, winches, cranes, and other mechanical devices to safely move items, ranging from a few pounds to those weighing several hundred tons, usually from or to areas within ships or submarines.

Sheet Metal Mechanic: Constructs and installs metal products to include ventilation, furniture (desks, tables, bunks, lockers, cabinets, bins, etc.), bulkheads, ladders, handrails, and equipment foundations, Interprets blueprints, develops patters, and use computer programs designed to develop sketches.

Shipfitter:  Develops, lays out, bolts, assembles and erects ferrous, nonferrous metals and plastic plate.  Manufactures and installs interior and exterior items on vessels such as bulwarks, catapult structures, doors, foundations, hatches, railings and tanks.  Prepares surfaces for welding, burning or riveting.

Shipwright: Builds and lays out keel and bilge blocks as supporting cradles for dry-docking submarines and surface ships. Installs and repairs wood bulkheads, doors, sash, paneling, ladders, super-structure decks and gratings, wooden decks and panels of wood substitutes.

Welder: Involves welding metals and alloys. Uses Electric, gas, and other welding processes such as electron Beam welding, and the skill to apply these processes in manufacturing, repairing, modifying, rebuilding, and assembling various types of metal and alloy parts, equipment, systems and structures such as buildings, aircraft and ships.

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Q: How do I apply for Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Apprenticeship Program?

A: In the order listed you must:  

  • Complete an admissions application for Tidewater Community College (TCC), either online or at college.
  • Take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT)
  • Set up an account and complete an application on www.indeed.com

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Q: How do I complete an admissions application for Tidewater Community College?
A: Contact a campus Admissions Office by calling 822-2193 or apply online at 
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Q:  I have previously applied or submitted an application to Tidewater Community College several years ago, but did not attend. Do I have to reapply?
A: If you applied, but did not attend within three semesters (1 year), yes, you will need to reapply. Contact a campus Admissions Office by calling 82202193 or apply online at
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I have previously been enrolled in Tidewater Community College, but it was several years ago. Do I have to reapply?
A: If you have not been enrolled in classes at TCC for more than three years, yes you will need to reapply. Contact a campus Admissions Office by calling 82202193 or apply online at https://www.apply.vccs.edu/applications/vccs/apply.html?applications_id=3352. 
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Q:  How do I find information about taking the Virginia Placement Test (VPT)?
A: Testing services are currently available by appointment only. Appointments may be made 48 hours in advance by emailing testing@tcc.edu or calling 757-822-2194. The VPT is available at all 4 Campuses. For current Testing Center hours and locations please visit https://www.tcc.edu/service-support/testing-services/

The TCC website also provides practice questions, and links to resources for studying Math / English, et cetera. Since the VPT can only be retaken once within a 12 month period, we recommend completing the practice tests prior to taking the actual VPT. You may choose to take the tests on separate days. As of December 20, 2014 there is no testing fee required.
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Q:  Who needs to take the placement test?
A: The test results determine eligibility for the program. EVERYONE who wants to apply to NNSY's Apprenticeship Program MUST participate in the VPT within one year of the announcement opening date.
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Q:  How do I know if my scores meet the requirements for eligibility?
For you to be eligible for an interview, the "Placement based upon results" must say you have placed out of MTH 3 (or MTH 1), or MTE1, 2, & 3, or qualifying placement and are recommended for ENF3 or higher (includes being eligible for ENG111). Note: You must PRINT A COPY of your VPT placement results right AFTER COMPLETION AND BEFORE EXITING YOUR EXAM. You will need to scan and attach your test results as a PDF with your application on www.indeed.com. When scanning, ensure that the document in its entirety is visible, including identifiable information (name and student ID number). If you have any questions about the test results meeting the eligibility requirements, ask the TCC staff at the testing center.
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Q:  Do my scores impact my eligibility for any particular trade?
No. However, applicants may influence the trade they are selected for if they take advantage of their opportunities to describe applicable aptitude and experience on their resume and during the interview. Candidates will have the opportunity to list three prioritized trade choices, which will be considered by the interview selection panel. The selection panel makes the final selections and applicants have the right to refuse any offer. If the applicant refuses a job offer, no other offer will be made during this hiring cycle.
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I attended another college before coming to TCC. Will my credits transfer? If so, can I be exempt from courses I’ve already completed?
A: Have an official copy of your previous college/university transcript sent to the Office of the College Registrar, P.O. Box 9000, Norfolk, Virginia 23509-9000. You will also need to complete TCC’s Request Transfer Evaluation Form and submit it electronically to the Office of the College Registrar (Phone: 757-822-1900 / Fax: 757-822-7103 / Email: registrar@tcc.edu). This WILL NOT EXEMPT YOU from taking the placement test or the courses required by the apprentice program.

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How do I set up an account and complete an application on the Indeed website?
A: On the Indeed website www.indeed.com

  • Create a password
  • Upload or create your resume
  • In the Keyword block type "Apprentice", and in the Location block, type “Portsmouth VA”
  • Open announcement by clicking on Apprentice vacancy and Click "apply online" button
  • On this page select your resume then click "apply for this position now"
  • Upload and submit your printed copy of your VPT placement results and all other applicable supporting documents (DD-214, etc.). Each submitted page must            include identifiable information (first and last name). All applicable documents must be submitted at the same time as the application!
  • After submitting your application, VPT placement results, all supporting documents, you will receive a confirmation message with your Vacancy ID number. After approximately 24 hours, log back into your account to confirm that each document was received.

If you send documents via fax, print a fax confirmation sheet immediately after the fax is successfully sent. If a problem/question arises concerning the faxed document, you will be required to provide the fax confirmation sheet as proof.

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Q:  What if I forgot my Indeed username and/or password?
A: On the login screen there is a link “forgot user name or password”. Click on the link and it will prompt you to submit your email address. Follow the directions and you should be able to obtain your username and/or password. NOTE: The Human Resources Office (HRO) does not have access to your account; therefore, it is imperative that you keep this information for future use.
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Q:  What happens after the announcement’s closing date?
A: If you are eligible for an interview, you will be notified, via the email address provided on your Indeed account, of your interview date and time. Please monitor your email inbox carefully, as well as the spam/junk folders.

Interviews are expected to be held between the summer and fall of the same year that the applicant applied for the program. After the interviews are completed, selections will be made and if you are selected for a job offer, you will be notified via the email address provided on your Indeed account. Each individual accepting a job with NNSY will be required to pass a pre-employment physical and security review at the Shipyard. You will be scheduled for both of these by shipyard personnel.

New employees are tentatively expected to arrive on-board at the Shipyard either February or August the following year of applying for the program.
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