Apply Now! Take A Tour
  • engineers
  • engineers
  • manufacturing equipment


Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Apprenticeship Program

The apprentice program involves four (4) years of intensive training in one of skilled trades below:

  • Machinists
  • Sheet Metal Mechanics
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Aircraft Electricians
  • Pneudraulic System Mechanics
  • Electronics Mechanics
  • Painters

Program Details

Upon being selected for the Program, apprentices are hired into permanent, full-time Federal Civil Service (Civilian) positions associated with the maintenance and repair of military aircrafts. School is paid (on-the-clock) and tuition and fees are paid by the employer.

Apprenticeship Program
It is a comprehensive training program developed in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor standards, which consists of practical experience supplemented by related training and/or education in the theories and principles employed in the work of a skilled trade.  Successful completion of the program is dependent on the demonstration of proficiency in the duties and tasks of the target journey level position and acquisition of related theoretical knowledge.

Standards of Apprenticeship

  • 7200 hours of Training
  • Continued Service Agreement (CSA) – 2 years
  • Subject to 2-year Probationary Period
  • Full-time work schedule, 80 hours biweekly
  • All position starts at WT-00, step 1 with wage progressions every 26 weeks (all requirements must met) concluding with promotion to journey level grade of apprentice trade
  • Academic Requirements – Must maintain GPA
  • Safety and Health Training

Students will be required to provide their own transportation while employed with FRCSE.

Applicants will work a standard 40-hour workweek.

Apprentices are employed at the pay rate of WT-00, Step 1 starting from $14.94 per hour and receive promotions upon successful completion of program requirements.

Apprentices EARN an average of about $41,000 per year over the four years they are in the program, in addition to benefits and having all tuition and fees paid for by the program.

Upon completion, candidates will be promoted to the journey level grade of the trade earning about $50,000* per year (before overtime). *Subject to increase with annual cost of living adjustments. 

Comprehensive Benefits
As Federal employees, apprentices are eligible for all of the benefits of Federal employment including but not limited to:

  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • 13 paid vacation days per year (up to 20 days after 3 years and 26 days after 15 years)
  • 13 paid sick days per year
  • 13 paid days for VA appointments during first 12 months (30% or more Disabled Veterans)
  • 15 paid days for Military Leave (Active Reservists)
  • Federal Employee Health Benefits
  • Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
  • Access to Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Federal Employee Retirement Benefits (Pension)
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to 401K) and Government Matching up to 5%
  • Paid Training and Academic Coursework on the clock
  • Full coverage of tuition and fees for program-related academic courses
  • Access to NAS Jacksonville Recreation Activities and Programs – fitness centers, marina, golf course, dining facilities, discounted entertainment tickets, vacation packages, etc.
  • Work/Life Balance Programs

Application Process and Selection Process

Each year an announcement is posted on the USAJOBS website and individuals are selected from those who apply.


The selection and hiring process is somewhat long (starting with the announcement and ending in final job offer with a start date). It is also very competitive. Please do not apply unless you are serious about wanting to become an apprentice and starting a career in a skilled trade.

This application announcement will only be open for a limited time, so apply as early as you can. Details about the eligibility and qualifications requirements will be provided to applicants when available.

Detailed Instructions

Minimum Requirements at the time of application:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must be 18 years old by start of employment
  • Must be determined suitable for Federal employment
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalency, e.g. GED
  • Must meet the admissions requirements of St. Johns River State College
  • Must obtain and maintain eligibility for the required security clearance level


If you need a PERT test it must be scheduled and completed prior to December 16, 2019.

The Post-Secondary Educational Readiness Test (PERT) is required for all Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Apprenticeship candidates with college placement scores older than two years. The test covers Reading Comprehension, Writing and Math.

(Study Guide PDF)

The initial fee for all candidates for the Fleet Readiness Southeast Apprenticeship Program is $10. Candidates should identify themselves as part of this program so they are charged the correct fee. This may be paid in person at any campus business office or by phone by contacting:

Palatka Area Campus - Main Business office, Building A: 386-312-4121
Orange Park Campus, Building A: 904-276-6800
St. Augustine Campus, Building A: 904-808-7400

Once payment has been made, ask to be transferred to the Testing Center location of choice to schedule your test.

All retakes of any section require a $20 fee, to be paid in advance.
The test may be retaken after 48 hours, but not more than three times in a 12-month period.

PERT testing may be scheduled from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. daily in Palatka and Orange Park.  

For more information visit the Testing Center webpage.

Other Information

  • Without exception, apprentices will not be given advanced standing, academic exemptions, higher starting pay, or accelerated pay due to previous experience.
  • There is NO relocation expense payment. If you currently reside out of the local area and are selected, you will have to relocate at your own expense and make your own living arrangements within the Jacksonville commuting area before your start date.
  • You must be willing to commit in writing to working for your employing activity for approximately 24 months following completion of your on-the-clock academic training, which is typically at the end of the apprenticeship. Failure to meet the obligated time may require you to re-pay the government’s educational expenses paid on your behalf.
  • Apprentices will earn an Engineering Support Specialist College Credit Certificate from St. Johns River State College. All classes are on the clock and all tuition and course materials are covered by the program. Apprentices are responsible for their own school supplies.
  • To enroll in the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Apprenticeship Program apprentices must have completed all of the following college requirements prior to announced deadlines:

    • Take the Florida Postsecondary Education Test (P.E.R.T.) within the past two (2) years and have a score of at least 106 in Reading, 103 in Writing, and 96 in Mathematics. (Part of application prior to selection)
    • Post Canadidate Selection (deadline to be announced);
    • Complete the application to SJRC State;
    • Complete and submit the Florida residency declaration;
    • Provide official sealed transcripts from high school transcripts, GED and/or any colleges attended;
  • You may use your VA GI Bill Benefits to supplement your income while in the program if you wish to do so.
  • All apprentice-related training and on the job learning will be at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. The college coursework is at St Johns River State College campus in Orange Park during working hours.

Questions? Please email FRCSE_Apprentice@navy.mil. or contact SJR State.