LLNL’s elite Machinist Apprenticeship Program to begin accepting applications for 2024

Machinist Apprenticeship Program (Download Image)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s prestigious Machinist Apprenticeship Program will begin accepting applications in January for 3-5 paid apprenticeships, which will begin in summer 2024. Photo by Garry McLeod/LLNL.

Looking to advance your career in machining? The annual job posting for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) esteemed machinist apprenticeship will go live in January and will accept applications for approximately one month.

The California-certified program is one of the oldest in the nation, and one of the most unique. Apprentices are trained in LLNL’s complete on-site manufacturing complex, equipped to make parts with varying sizes, extreme precision and a wide range of techniques, in support of U.S. national security.   

In spring 2024, top candidates will test and interview for 3-5 paid apprenticeships, which will begin over the summer. At the end of four years, graduates earn state-issued Machinist Certificates and a skillset that prepares them to be world-class machinists and leaders.   

After mastering the fundamentals through rigorous on-the-job training and supplemental instruction, apprentices spend three years rotating through different shops to gain experience with a plethora of machines and processes while developing strong professional networks. Since LLNL is a research and development facility, apprentices also learn to manufacture parts that have never been made before — often involving new techniques, unique materials or unusual geometries.

“We do everything here, so it’s a very well-rounded education,” said Jason Carroll, LLNL’s Main Bay machine shop supervisor and a former apprentice. “We do general machining, special materials and grinding, as well as water jet and sheet metal if need be. We even have tours where you learn how to run a coordinate measuring machine or do other granite plate inspections.”

Along the way, apprentices cultivate a sense of pride in their work and its value to the country, as well as an understanding of the novelty, opportunity and stability that come with working at the Lab.  

“Machining is part of everything we do,” said Larry Sage, Materials Engineering Division manufacturing section superintendent, who helps lead the program. 

Learn more about the apprenticeship.

–  Noah Pflueger-Peters