Employer Spotlight: Newport News Shipbuilding
October 2nd, 2023


Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole designer, builder, and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. With approximately $4 billion in revenues and more than 25,000 employees, we are the largest industrial employer in Virginia and the largest shipbuilding company in the United States.

We build the most advanced ships in the world using our expertise in nuclear propulsion, naval design, and manufacturing. We are currently building the new Ford-class aircraft carriers and Virginia-class fast-attack submarines, and performing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. We provide fleet services for our ships worldwide.

The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding was founded in 1919 and is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation. The school offers four-, five—, and eight-year apprenticeships in nineteen shipbuilding disciplines and eight advanced programs of study.

The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education, and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. It offers apprentices the opportunity to earn an associate of applied science degree in their assigned trade, receive competitive pay and benefits, and learn a trade.

Apprentices complete 1,000 hours of coursework in the Trade Related Education Curriculum (TREC) and World Class Shipbuilder Curriculum (WCSC). The curricula complement on-the-job training with a strong foundation in shipbuilding discipline theory and prepare apprentices to further their education.

The school is run much like a college. It has six varsity sports, Baseball, Basketball (M&W), Football, Golf, and Wrestling (M&W) that compete on the Division III level. It has a student association that conducts a variety of events including community services projects, sports and entertainment outings, and dances.

An apprentice is placed in one of the nineteen disciplines selected during the application process and works in that trade for the duration of his or her apprenticeship. The apprentices rotate every six to nine months to the various shops and ships to cover all aspects associated with their trade.

Learn more about Newport News Shipbuilding’s program here.