CareerWise Apprenticeship Cost-Benefit Analysis

Step 1 of 3

  • CAMA and CareerWise Colorado developed this return on investment calculator to help companies make informed decisions regarding their participation in our youth apprenticeship initiative. The calculator predicts the net financial impact a given apprenticeship program will have on your business. Here is how to use it:
    1. Answer the following questions with information that is specific to your company and the apprenticeship program you envision.
    2. We’ve provided estimate values for each question. If you are unsure how to respond to a particular question or don’t have program or company-specific information, feel free to input our estimate value.
    3. The tool will automatically calculate your expected gross costs, gross benefits, net benefit (or net cost), and return on investment.
    4. If your results show a net cost, experiment with the inputs to see how changes to program structure can lead to a profitable apprenticeship program.
    5. You can email the results to yourself and colleagues.
    Please contact Andrew Palmer ( with questions or comments.
  • Program Overview

  • Our estimate: $25 per hour
  • Hiring multiple apprentices spreads out your planning costs and makes it more likely that your program as a whole will be ROI positive.
  • Your Business

  • Includes Social Security taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and Medicare taxes. Our estimate: 15% of total wages
  • Includes health care insurance, life insurance, retirement savings plans, etc. Apprentices will not be eligible for these benefits. This information is required because we are comparing the costs and benefits of apprentices to employees who will have benefits. Our estimate: 15% of total wages
  • Our estimate: 5% of total wages
  • Compensation Costs

  • Our estimate: $8.31 per hour (Colorado minimum wage)
  • Our estimate: $10 per hour
  • Our estimate: $14 per hour
  • Training Costs

    Two training costs are involved with CareerWise youth apprenticeships. First, employers make an annual training center contribution of approximately $5,000. This training center contribution covers the cost of community college tuition, industry credentials, etc. Second, there is the opportunity cost of training. Apprenticeship programs require company staff to spend time training the apprentice. This is time company staff are not engaged in productive work. This section quantifies both of these training costs.
  • Our estimate: $25 per hour
  • Planning Costs

    Apprenticeship programs require company staff to spend time putting together job descriptions and organizing meetings. This is time company staff otherwise would have used to accomplish day-to-day business tasks. These questions quantify that cost.
  • Our estimate: 100 hours
  • Our estimate: $30 per hour
  • Productivity

    Apprentices will complete work that is productive for your business. These questions quantify that benefit.
  • Our estimate: 30%
  • Our estimate: 50%
  • Our estimate: 80%
  • Recruiting Savings

    If you end up hiring your apprentice at the end of the program, it can reduce your overall recruiting costs. Your HR team will not have to post the opening to a jobs board, hire a recruiting firm, or conduct interviews. These questions quantify those recruiting savings.
  • Our Estimate: 40%
  • This includes fees to recruiting firms, wages paid to company HR staff to review resumes and interview candidates, etc. Our Estimate: $4000