Now that you’ve selected your desired career path, it is important to get the education and training you need to become a qualified job candidate. To help, we have pulled together basic information to get you started on this path, including how education level can and may affect pay, where to find training programs and how to enroll in secondary education.

Training, certification and education required will vary based on occupation and specific job listing.

Education level and pay

In most cases, jobs that require high levels of education and skill are likely to pay higher wages than jobs that require fewer skills and less education. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the unemployment rate among those with a professional degree is significantly lower than those with a high school diploma or less than complete high school education. Statistics also indicate that earnings increase significantly as a worker’s degree of education rises.


Determine Educational Requirements

Equipped with knowledge on your skill set and growing industries in your area, it's time to learn more about the educational requirements of your desired career field.

For more information on education and earnings, visit:


Find a training program and provider

Over the years, West Virginia has worked hard to increase the number of specialized education and training programs. Whether your desired occupation requires a certificate, apprenticeship, two-year or four-year post-secondary education degree, there are options for you to explore in West Virginia.

Math and reading skills are important in most occupations.

To find programs that match your identified skills and career interests, check out these helpful resources:


Questions to ask

When choosing a training program or education provider, be sure and get specific information related to your program of study.

  • How long is the program? When will I be in class (day, night, weekend)?
  • What kind of credential/degree/diploma/certificate will I have when I complete the program?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is financial aid available? How do I apply? When will I know if I receive financial aid?
    »Click here for more information on financial aid.
  • Is the cost of the training offset by the wages I will earn?
  • I need to support my family while I am in training. How can I do that? Will I need to work while in training?
  • Is there an internship/externship with the training? Is it a paid experience?
  • What is the completion rate of the training program? What percentage of trainees become employed in the field after completion?
  • Is there an apprenticeship program available? Is it accepting applications? When does the next apprenticeship class start?
    »Click here for more information on apprenticeships.
  • Does the program offer job placement services? Is there someone involved in the program that can help me find a job in my field of study?

How to find the answers

There are a number of avenues available to receive more information and find the answers to these and any other questions you may have.

  • Visit the school: Talk to people in the program you are reaching.
  • Go online: Review school websites, look for reviews of programs, talk to people who have taken the training.
  • Research financial aid: To help you get started with financial assistance, visit:

Not quite ready for college

We understand college is a huge commitment. If you do not feel ready or fully-prepared for this next step, that’s okay.

  • Call and speak with a representative at WorkForce West Virginia.
    1-800-252-JOBS (5627)
  • Visit your local Adult Education Center.

How do I pay for my training and education?

Financial aid is available for post-secondary education at colleges, universities and technical schools. Grants and scholarships are also available for people of all ages, backgrounds and grade point averages. Visit your school or program’s financial aid page to learn more about what scholarships, grants, apprenticeships and work study programs may be available for you.

WorkForce West Virginia may have WIOA funds available for training.

Effective and accessible workforce training programs are essential to preparing new workers while also providing career development opportunities for current ones.

Most of the fastest growing jobs require education beyond high school. Any level of training, including certifications and apprenticeships, can improve your job search success. WorkForce West Virginia administers several training programs to help you, as well as grants and other funding options to pay for it. Find the county you reside in below and click the link to the Local Workforce Development Board serving your county to find out what options are available to you.

Region I – ( Serving Fayette, Monroe, Summers, Webster, Raleigh, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Nicholas and Pocahontas Counties. You may contact us at: 304-253-3611 for additional information or assistance.

Region II – ( Serving Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Putnam and Wayne Counties. You may contact us at: (304) 429-5900 or (866) 262-5348 for additional information or assistance.

Region III- ( Serving Kanawha County. You may contact us at 304-344-5760 for additional information or assistance.

Region IV-  ( ) Serving Clay, Mason, Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasant, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood Counties. You may contact us at: 304-420-4531 for additional information or assistance.

Region V-   ( Serving Hancock Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties. You may contact us at 304-323-6880 for additional information or assistance.

Region VI-  ( Serving Barbour, Braxton, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, and Upshur Counties. You may contact us at: 304-368-9530 for additional information or assistance.

Region VII – ( Serving Berkeley, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton Counties. You may contact us at: (304) 530-3917 for additional information or assistance.


Paid on-the-job training

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will help job seekers and workers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market. WIOA provides training services to eligible job seekers and promotes on the job training, which allows participants to “learn as they earn.”

For more information on available on-the-job-training courses, visit:

Call 1-800-252-JOBS (5627) or visit a WorkForce West Virginia office near you for more information.


Understanding the terminology

  • Grants/Scholarships: This form of financial aid does not have to be repaid, may be based on academic performance, financial need or other criteria. Many states and the federal government offer different grants.
  • Loans: This financial aid refers to money borrowed that must be paid back. Certain loans are available through the federal government that do not have to be paid back until you are no longer in school.
  • Work-Study: This refers to student employment, usually on the Federal Work-Study program. Upon qualification, students will then be placed in jobs on campus.
  • FAFSA: FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s a form you’ll need to fill out to qualify for many federal and state aid programs.

Apply for scholarships

For more information on available scholarship opportunities, visit:


Apprenticeship programs

An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job-training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn both the practical and theoretical elements of a highly-skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs are operated by employers, employer associations, or management and labor groups (unions). Classroom instruction is usually given on-site in the program sponsor’s training facility. Most trades require three to five years to complete a program.

Apprentices have the opportunity earn as they learn, meaning some programs offer paid wages throughout the program.


The registered apprenticeship system provides a wide array of benefits.

  • Improved skills and competencies that meet specific employer needs
  • Incremental wage increases as skills improve
  • On-the-job training and occupation-focused education
  • Industry issued, nationally recognized credentials
  • Articulation agreements between certain apprenticeship training programs and two-and-four year colleges that create opportunities for college credit and future degrees.


Apprentices earn as they learn. The pay scale for apprentices is based on wages of journeyman (workers who have completed the program). On average, apprentices may start around 35 to 50 percent of the journeyman’s rate. Apprentices receive pay increase as they advance through the program. Such increases may occur every six months or every year. In addition, fringe benefits, such as vacation, health and pension plans, are also available.

For more information on apprenticeship programs and statewide apprenticeship sponsors, visit:



Questions to ask

When choosing an apprenticeship, be sure and get specific information related to your area of study.

  • When does the next class start? Is there a deadline to enroll?
  • Are you currently accepting applications? If so, where can I apply?
  • Do I have to live in a specific service area/jurisdiction?
  • What are the requirements for the program?
  • How long is the training program?