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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 aircraft and components at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRC-SE), Naval Air Station Jacksonville FL.

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

  • Up to 7200 hours of Training (Depending on Trade)
  • 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 including to and from place of work.

Applicants will work a standard 40-hour workweek.

Apprentices are employed at the pay rate of WT-00, Step 1 starting from $15.57 per hour and receive promotions upon successful completion of program requirements.

Apprentices EARN an average of about $42,000 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

The Federal hiring process can be relatively lengthy (starting with the announcement and ending in final job offer with a start date) and highly competitive. Please do not apply unless you are serious about pursuing a career in a skilled trade and civil service. Expected start date of employment for the next cohort of apprentices is to be determined.

Minimum Requirements for Federal Employment:

  • 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
  • Must be able to successfully pass pre-employment physical and drug test, as applicable

Get more information about the Fleet Readiness Application:

College Placement Testing

The Post-Secondary Educational Readiness Test (PERT), SAT, ACT or Accuplacer, is required for all Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Apprenticeship candidates. The test covers Reading, Writing and Math.

Minimum Test Scores Required:

Reading Writing Math
PERT 106 103 96
Accuplacer NG Range (Effective December 2019 245 245 215 (QAS)
SAT 24 25 24
ACT 19 17 19

To register to take the PERT at St. Johns River State College (SJR) for the Fleet Readiness Southeast Apprenticeship Program, candidates must:

1. Pay the required testing fee. The initial fee for all candidates is $10. All retakes* require a $20 fee to be paid in advance. The testing fee may be paid online on the SJR State Testing Center website: by clicking the green “Test Fee Payment” button, selecting either “PERT-Fleet” for an initial attempt or “PERT-Retake or Other” for any retake attempts, entering the required information, and checking out. It is important to make note of the receipt number as it is required when scheduling an appointment. Please be aware that all fees are non-refundable and submitting payment does not schedule an appointment for the candidate to take the test.

*The PERT may be retaken after 48 hours, but not more than three times in a 12-month period.

2. Contact the Testing Center location of choice to schedule an appointment. Candidates should identify themselves as part of the Fleet Readiness Southeast Apprenticeship Program.

Palatka Campus: (386) 312-4228
Orange Park Campus: (904) 276-6793

Please be aware that the Testing Centers are operating at reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. Testing Center staff will provide appointment options based on availability and campus. PERT testing will primarily be offered at 9:00 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The last day to take the PERT test at SJR State this semester is to be announced.

Please contact the Testing Center at 386-312-4228 or with any questions in regard to PERT testing at SJR State.

(Study Guide PDF)

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 Candidate 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 attending SJR State 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 or contact SJR State.

Shannon Beechum student spotlight


Shannon is living her dream of becoming an aircraft electrician, thanks to a partnership between SJR State and Fleet Readiness Center Southeast.