Work and learn while you earn an income with WashU’s Medical Apprenticeship Program

WashU’s Medical Apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training as you work as an employee toward earning a national credential of a medical assistant or medical administrative position. Applicants can apply for either a clinical or non-clinical career path.

Our apprentices are full-time WashU employees on day one. Apprentices are eligible for WashU’s many benefits, including health, dental and vision care, retirement savings, tuition reimbursements, family and well-being programming, and more. While you learn and work, you earn a paycheck. 

WashU’s apprenticeship program model

Our program is a yearlong program in which our apprentices are in the classrooms four hours a week for the first 12 weeks, while learning and working in a clinic the remaining 36 hours a week. Applicants are hired as patient care associates and able to climb the career ladder through our unique program. 

At 12 weeks, apprentices take the national certification exam. Upon passing, apprentices receive a pay increase and work 40 hours a week in the clinic for the remaining 40 weeks of the program. Once graduating the apprenticeship program, we encourage our employees to stay with WashU. 

Accolades and program success

WashU’s Medical Apprenticeship program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and is the first university in the area to offer an apprenticeship. In 2021, the program was recognized as the 2021 Apprenticeship Missouri Program of the Year by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. This lifechanging opportunity has positively impacted many St. Louis community members and grows each month.

“Mrs. Kathy Clark and her team lead the Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program at WashU. The program and instructors are amazing: their style of teaching, their approach and the care they take to explain so that students can comprehend what is being taught. They made me feel like I could succeed and I did it! I am now working as a Medical Assistant with a promising career for an Infectious Disease Clinic. The program works, the teachers are awesome and the Apprenticeship program inspires employees to further their education.”

Lisa, apprenticeship graduate, March 2022

“The Medical assistant Apprenticeship has been a way to get my foot in the door in the medical world at the ripe age of Nineteen years old. I am the first person in my family to go to college and I needed more hands-on learning. After my sister’s completion and success in this program, I figured I should give it a shot. I always aspired to have a career in the medical field but never knew where I would fit in, find the financials, and be able to push myself. With the support of my teachers and financial burden taken away, this program has given me employment and endless opportunities to continue moving up in life from such a young age. The on the job training this program has to offer helps the students excel and learn while doing it. By the end of this program, I have built relationships, gained knowledge, and had a wonderful career with even better benefits. Thank you, WashU, for giving back to the community and offering an apprenticeship like this that creates stability for its participants.”

Isabella, apprenticeship graduate, Jan. 2024

Read about the program’s success:

Applicant qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Dependable and accountable
  • 2+ year healthcare work experience
  • 3’s WorkKeys score preferred
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Strong computer and electronic records skills (30+ words per minute)
  • Current WashU employees may apply with department approval

Get started with these steps:

1.     Review our program presentation (PDF).

2.     Email our Apprenticeship team at to let them know you’re interested in the program.

3.     Attend an informational session at Workforce Development location or a Community Event close to you:

4.     Complete testing requirements, such as an entrance exam and WorkKeys.

5.     Pass a background test and drug screen.

Our program accepts applications on a monthly basis and classes start once a month. Based on successful completion of the above-mentioned candidate steps, Hiring Managers will reach out  to interview and potentially verbally offer a candidate to fill their position(s). A candidate does have to verbally accept an offer and successfully complete the onboarding process in order to be a part of this apprenticeship

For more information, contact