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Trade apprenticeships

Metro has created pathways for employees to advance their skills and careers. Qualified employees working at Metro in utility and equipment service, custodial and other non-trades positions can find opportunities in Metro’s apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship serves as a crucial pathway for qualified Metro employees to become skilled trades people.

Members of the public are eligible to apply to our apprentice programs, however current, qualified King County Metro employees may receive first priority. Eligibility and selection criteria will be outlined in each job announcement.

What is an apprenticeship?

  • On-the-job training and education program using a planned, closely supervised combination of hands-on, on-the-job training, and classroom education
  • Overseen by a joint labor-management committee
  • Wage increases as apprentices learn more demanding skills
  • Successful completion will result in a journey-level position at Metro

Journey-level means that an individual is recognized by a state/federal registration agency or industry, as being fully qualified to perform the work of the occupation.

Important skills for trades apprenticeships:

  • An interest in learning
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Use of safety practices
  • Good communication (reading, writing, and verbal)
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving and creativity

Registered apprenticeship programs


Metro Heavy Duty (Bus) Mechanic

Mechanics are responsible for the maintenance and repair of heavy-duty diesel engines along with all aspects of diesel, trolley, hybrid electric and battery electric buses and other vehicles operated by Metro. This apprenticeship includes 5,000-6,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as additional hours spent in school.


Metro Building Operating Engineer (BOE)

Building Operating Engineers provide a comfortable environment in shops and offices by maintaining and repairing heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems. They also apply energy management practices and use building management systems. This apprenticeship includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as additional hours spent in school.


Metro Light Rail Electrical Worker (REW)

Light Rail Electrical Workers support the electrification of light rail vehicles and light rail stations, maintain equipment needed to power light rail vehicles, and assist other trades when they are working close to high voltage equipment. This apprenticeship includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as additional hours spent in school.


Maintenance Painter

Maintenance Painters support the fabrication, repair and maintenance of transit facilities buildings, parking lots, bus stops and other assets. Apprentices learn professional practices including striping, graffiti removal, sandblasting, application and removal of vinyl wraps, drywall taping, thermal plastics and more. This apprenticeship includes 6,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as additional hours spent in school.


Rail Signal and Communication

Rail Signal and Communications Technicians support maintaining equipment such as motorized switch machines, vital relays, microprocessor-controlled interlockings, programmable logic controllers, fiber optic links, failsafe railroad crossing equipment, stand-alone computers, and power supplies. This apprenticeship includes 4,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as additional hours spent in school.

Not eligible? Check out all open positions at King County Metro, which may help your future eligibility for an apprenticeship!

Preparing a strong application

King County Metro apprenticeship programs involve a competitive application process, including skill tests. The following resources can help you prepare a strong application.

  • Prepare for skill and aptitude tests

    Mechanical Aptitude MultiCraft tests are designed to measure the ability of an apprentice or trainee to learn and perform mechanical and electrical production and maintenance job activities.

    Sample mechanical aptitude questions

    Electrical Aptitude tests are designed to determine whether an apprentice or trainee candidate possesses the abilities that will help them succeed within the electrical construction industry. A test may measure both an ability to solve problems (using algebra and basic math functions) as well as a reading comprehension section.

    Sample electrical aptitude questions

  • Study resources

    Most of these books are available from your local public library.

    • "ARCO Teach Yourself to pass Civil Service Exams in 24 Hours" by Shannon R. Turlington.
    • "Basic math and Vocabulary for Civil Service Exams" by Learning Express LLC Editors.
    • Duran, T. (2015). Barron’s ASVAB: armed services vocational aptitude battery. 11th ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series.
    • Martin, Jack. & Serich, M. (2006). Pre-apprentice “Basic Skills” training: A test preparation manual for the skilled trades. Grand Blanc, MI: Jack Martin & Associates.
    • McGraw-Hill Education Editors. (2014). McGraw-Hill Education preparation for the GED test. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    • Van Slyke, C. (2015). Kaplan GED Test 2015 strategies, practice, and review with 2 practice tests. 12th ed. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing.
    • Wiesen, J. (2015). Barron’s mechanical aptitude and spatial relations test. 3rd ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series.
  • Strengthen your application materials and interviewing skills

    WorkSource Washington - All Washington residents may access career support, including career interest and strength exploration.

    King County Career Support - Current King County employees may access resume, cover letter and interview assistance.

    CareerOneStop - Explore different types of careers and find out what’s in demand through the Department of Labor.