Since 1952, the Apprentice School has produced more than 4,000 graduates in support of Ingalls’ operational needs. The program involves comprehensive three- to four-year curriculum for students interested in shipbuilding careers. Our graduates have held many types of positions from pipe welders to senior executives. Our faculty and staff deliver instructions for our programs and course offerings that enable apprentices to gain not only the skills, knowledge and pride of workmanship, but also the educational foundation and personal qualities needed to fully meet the challenges of a shipbuilding career.
Advancement in the apprenticeship wage schedule is based on the length of participation in the program. All overtime hours go towards the apprentice’s hours worked. The top-out pay at apprentice completion is $28.89 an hour. Apprentices attend class 1 day per week for 4.5 hours.
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Shipfitter apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Shipfitter apprentices are first assigned to the Welding School for instruction in shielded metal arc tacking. After qualifying, apprentices begin a rotation through various production areas to hone-in-on skills. Apprentices engage in various methods of cutting, heating and burning as it applies to hand-held torches as well as automated cutting, heating, and beveling processes. Safe operating procedures are emphasized as apprentices learn to cut and shape steel plating and layout using mathematical functions. Apprentices also identify and use various measuring devices in metric and standard format as it relates to the ship’s frame, hull and superstructure. Apprentices also learn shipyard terminology, related tools, equipment and process to perform the basic tasks while building their knowledge of the maritime industry.
Carpenter apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Carpenter apprentices are responsible for laying out, erecting and dismantling multiple types of temporary scaffolding. Carpenters apprentices are also responsible for installing ship board deck sockets, incline ladders, hand grabs, station stowage’s, sound dampening tile, peel-n-stick non-skid and various other permeant ship attachments. Carpenter apprentices must be able to operate and use numerous types of hand tools and measuring devices related to scaffold erection and permeant work. Carpenter apprentices must be comfortable working at various heights and in various weather conditions.
Electrician apprentices complete an 8000-hr. program designed for maximum exposure to complex electrical systems. Electrician apprentices are assigned to a ship to begin coordinated work rotation involving layout/installation, hook up and test of various shipboard systems. These include light, power generation and distribution, interior communication, armament, fire control and electronics.
Inside Machinist apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Inside Machinist apprentices are responsible for learning all shop manual and CNC equipment and their tooling. Inside Machinist apprentices accomplish this by working with a variety of different machines including drill press, CNC lathe, CNC mill, boring mill, milling machine, layout, rudders, and surface grinders.
Pipe Insulator apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Pipe insulator apprentices are exposed to the different types of insulation used in naval shipbuilding including metal lagging, hull, and pipe insulation. Pipe Insulator apprentices are responsible for installing insulation on various critical piping systems, ventilation/HVAC duct, intake and exhaust piping, machinery, tanks, and bulkheads. They are also responsible interpreting marine blueprints for installing various types of insulation using correct measurements, layout, cutting and proper sealing techniques with a high degree of craftmanship to not only ensure the systems perform as designed, but also meet aesthetic standards.
Joiner apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Joiner apprentices in the marine environment are responsible for fabrication and installation of joiner bulkheads, foundation and other ship board furniture fixtures with a high degree of craftmanship. Joiners also are responsible for working with thin gauges of steel, aluminum or stainless material. They also fabricate and install bins, racks, lockers, tabletops, sinks, shelves, furring and sheathing. Construction consists of riveted, bolted or welded joints. Joiners are responsible for interpreting marine blueprints and using a variety of machine tools including shears, brakes presses, rollers, drills and saws.
Maintenance Electrician apprentices complete an 8000-hr. program designed to give them maximum exposure to complex electrical systems. Maintenance Electrician apprentices participate in work rotation focused on the maintenance of electrical systems related to infrastructure, including welding repair, HVAC and facility electrical systems, and cranes and equipment.
Outside Machinist apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Outside Machinist apprentices are responsible for the installation of propulsion machinery, sea valves, steering gear and anchor handling equipment, elevators, pumps, ventilation fans, cooling coils, refrigeration units, compressors, weapon systems, remote operators, radars and antennas. Outside Machinist apprentices are also familiar with the procedures for precision line boring, alignment of machinery, steel chock fitting, bolt fitting, machinery assembly, surface machining, precision reaming and machinery and weapons testing.
Painter apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Painter apprentices are responsible for blasting, spraying, brush painting and many other coating processes. Paint apprentices must be able to operate numerous types of equipment and gauges in relation to blasting and spraying.
Pipewelder apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Pipewelder apprentices are exposed to the complex weld piping systems aboard naval vessels. Pipewelder apprentices learn how to weld pipe in various positions using SMAW and GTAW recesses as well as other methods.
Pipefitter apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Pipefitter apprentices are exposed to the complex piping systems aboard naval vessels. Pipefitter apprentices learn to read blueprints, fabricate, install, inspect and test the many piping systems aboard a ship.
Quality Inspector Apprentices complete an 8000-hr. program. Quality Inspector Apprentices learn to use predetermined methods, operations, setups and prescribed specifications to inspect visually in-process and completed products such as structural units, subassemblies, structural flaws, internal defects, and missing welds. Quality Inspector Apprentices also use various measuring devices. Quality Inspector Apprentices work from blueprints, diagrams, scales, fixtures, customer specifications, drawing or inspection instructions and checklists. Quality Inspector Apprentices may also monitor and verify quality in accordance with statistical process or other control procedures.
Rigger apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Rigging apprentices are responsible for hand signaling various types of cranes, bull rigging and marine rigging throughout the facility. Rigging apprentices must be able to operate and use numerous types of lifting equipment related to rigging used aboard ships and in shops. Rigging apprentices must be comfortable working at various heights and in various weather conditions.
Sheetmetal apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Sheetmetal apprentices are responsible for fabrication and installation of ventilation and air conditioning ducts made from thin gauges of steel, aluminum, or stainless material. They also fabricate and install bins, racks, lockers, tabletops, sinks, shelves, furring, sheathing, along with intake and exhaust stacks with a high degree of craftmanship. Construction consists of riveted, bolted or welded joints. Sheetmetal apprentices are responsible for interpreting marine blueprints and using a variety of machine tools including shears, brakes presses, rollers, drills, and saws.
Welder apprentices complete a 6000-hr. program. Welder apprentices are exposed to many different welding processes used to weld hull systems aboard naval system(s). Welder apprentices receive special training including a pre-training and certification course during the first several weeks in order to attain basic competency skills to perform the job. During the program, apprentices learn how to weld structure in various positions using the SMAW and FCAW processes as well as other methods. Apprentices receive on-the-job training through a series of rotations in weld shop(s), build area, integrate area and waterfront area.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, in partnership with Ingalls Apprentice School, works to meet the training needs of apprentices as outlined by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training of the U.S. Department of Labor. A person who has completed an approved apprenticeship program may receive credit towards the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Education (AASOE) degree. Other requirements for the AASOE degree are outlined under “Graduation information” on the MGCCC website.
The Ingalls Apprentice School is conveniently housed in the Haley Reeves Barbour Maritime Training Academy on Jerry St. Pe’ Highway off of Highway 90 in Pascagoula, Miss. The Training Academy is located beside Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Human Resources building and Navigator Credit Union. Named for Haley Reeves Barbour, Mississippi’s 62nd Governor, the newly opened Maritime Training Academy serves as the training epicenter for Ingalls’ Apprentice School. The 70,000 square-foot facility features 24 classrooms, three computer labs, a library, a bookstore, 26 offices/conference rooms and several state-of-the-art craft labs for students to practice the various shipyard trades. Download a map of the Apprentice School
Sherri Kovar (228) 935-0917
Shelley McElroy (228) 935-7330
Victoria Godbold (228) 935-0298
LaKres Conner (228) 935-5898
Apprenticeship Programs, Director
Apprentice Class of 1998 – Manager of Workforce Training and Current Electrical Training Manager
Apprentice Class of 2011 – Lead Electrical Instructor
Apprentice Class of 1988 – Pipe and Machinery Training Manager
Apprentice Class of 2001 – Shipfitting, Welding, Sheetmetal, Joiner, Insulation, Carpentry, Paint and Rigging Training Manager