NCSG Apprenticeship Program

The NCSG Apprenticeship Program is a two-year, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-recognized program that combines on-the-job training (4,000 hours) with classroom instruction (288 hours). Apprentices gain hands-on experience working alongside journeymen chimney sweeps while acquiring the knowledge needed to excel in the field.

To learn more, reference our 2024 NCSG Employers Guide to Apprenticeship.

Program Benefits

Clear Career Path: This program establishes a defined path for new hires to progress from trainees to certified chimney sweeps. This clarity can attract and retain qualified employees.

The program creates a two-way accountability partnership between the employee and the employer - a set schedule for course completion and pay raises. The apprentice receives regularly scheduled pay raises as they progress through the program. These raises are within the employer's compensation plan and not determined based on other companies, locations of the country, or the NCSG.

Enhanced Skills and Knowledge: Apprentices receive comprehensive training, ensuring they develop the necessary skills to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

Financial Assistance: The program unlocks access to grant money for training, making it more affordable for companies to invest in their employees' development.

Increased Legitimacy: By completing a DOL-approved program, chimney sweeps gain a recognized credential, elevating the industry's professional standing.

Attracting Veterans: The program aligns with GI Bill and other veteran workforce transition programs, creating opportunities for veterans to enter the chimney sweep profession.

Attracting New Talent: The structured training program can appeal to individuals seeking a skilled trade career similar to plumbing or HVAC.

Marketing and Customer Confidence: Companies participating in the program gain visibility through government listings, potentially attracting new customers who value a professional service.

6 Steps to Setting Up Your Apprenticeship Program

  1. Determine if the apprenticeship program is a good option for your business.
    1. The 2024 NCSG Employers Guide to Apprenticeship offers a comprehensive overview of the program.

  2. Identify your journeyman (or journeymen).
    1. For this purpose, a journeyman is an individual who is recognized within an industry as having mastered the skills and competencies required for the occupation.
    2. In this context, a DOL-recognized "journeyman" is different from someone who holds the Certified Chimney Journeyman (CCJ) certification from the NCSG, though the CCJ is highly recommended as one of the qualification options.
    3. As the employer, you are responsible for identifying workers on your team who meet the journeyman qualifications. Since we have just developed the program and we have no DOL-recognized journeymen yet - this person is someone who is in a supervisory role. This person may have all or some of the following qualifications: NCSG CCP, CCR, and CCJ certifications, F.I.R.E. certificates, NFI Wood, Gas and Pellet certificates, various CSIA certificates, verifiable completion of other approved courses over a six-year period, and/or other competencies, experience, and credentials.

  3. Determine the journeyman wage rate.
    1. When an apprentice begins the program, they will earn a percentage of the journeyman wage rate. As the apprentice progresses through the program, their wage will increase. Upon successful completion of the program, their wage increases to 100% of the journeyman wage rate (in general, about double the starting wage).

  4. Choose an instruction provider.
    1. This apprenticeship program is 90% on-the-job training, which is completed with the employer. The remaining 10% consists of classroom instruction hours, which can be earned through NCSG courses or courses from other approved industry providers.

  5. Register your program.
    1. The NCSG’s standards are registered with the DOL Office of Apprenticeship, which makes it much easier to register your program in your state. Each state has a designated representative to help you every step of the way.
      1. Visit to find your state’s labor office contact information.
      2. Tell them you want to enroll an employee in a Registered Apprenticeship Program.
      3. Give them these codes: O*NET-SOC Code: 37-2011.00, RAPIDS Code: 2022HY
    2. If you are unable to reach your state labor office, you may need to contact the federal DOL by reaching out to Program Analyst Joseph P. Taylor at (202) 693-3960 or [email protected].

  6. Track your apprentice's progress.
    1. The employer, journeyman, and apprentice must work collaboratively to track the apprentice’s progress along
      the apprenticeship path. A Submission of Progress form must be completed and submitted every 90 days.

      Throughout the apprenticeship, the apprentice will earn their CCP, CCR, and CCJ certifications and will become a DOL-recognized journeyman upon completion of the program requirements.

      The forms and guidelines are available to you and explained more thoroughly in the 2024 NCSG Employers Guide to Apprenticeship.

Click here to register your apprentices with the NCSG. Registering your apprentices allows the NCSG to assist and support the apprentices, journeymen, and employers throughout the entire program.