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When you complete your apprenticeship program the U.S. Department of Labor issues a "Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship." This means that you have completed the industrywide required number of classroom hours and on-the job training requirements for that trade. A "certification" program normally requires that you pass a standardized test and obtain a federal, state, or local license to practice your trade. When employers talk about "qualifications" they are generally referring to a special skill or requirement that must be met to qualify for a particular job.