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How the Job Corps Can Help You

How the Job Corps Can Help You

If you or a loved one is searching for employment, you may be wondering: what is the Job Corps? Is it easy to sign up for? What qualifies you to be considered for Job Corps programs? Low Income Relief will answer these questions and more in our easy-to-understand article!


What is the Job Corps?

Run by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program available to people ages 16-24. It is meant to empower young people by giving them the skills and experience they need to become independent and get a great job. The Job Corps can help you complete your high school education, train for significant and meaningful careers, and find employment.

How does Job Corps work?

Job Corps is fully funded by the federal government, so it is free to students and their families. You can enroll in Job Corps for up to 3 years in order to learn skills in what they refer to as the 10 high-growth industry sectors. You learn at your own pace and can leave the program whenever you want, but Job Corps recommends at least 18 months in order to gain the knowledge and social skills needed for your career.

The list below contains the 10 high-growth industry sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Automotive and Machine Repair
  • Construction
  • Finance and Business
  • Healthcare
  • Homeland Security
  • Hospitality
  • Information Technology
  • Renewable Resources and Energy
  • Transportation

During your enrollment with Job Corps, you will be assigned to a Job Corps center and given access to room and board there. The website states that you likely won’t have to live at the center if you do not want to, however, since most centers allow you to commute when you have classes and otherwise live off campus. If you elect to live at the center, there are separate male and female dormitories. You may have anywhere from 1-8 roommates.


You can also virtually enroll and start the program online for up to 60 days, but you will eventually have to attend in-person classes in order to complete training. Job Corps will provide your computer equipment for you. If interested in enrolling with Job Corps, please check with your admissions counselor for more details on campus living situations.

Job Corps instructors will assign independent study assignments (AKA homework). Grades are not assigned, however. Instead, Job Corps will have you demonstrate your competency in a skill, then instructors will mark the completion of training on your Training and Achievement Record (TAR).

Job Corps also provides support services such as:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Child care
  • Finding employment

After graduating from Job Corps, you’ll enter:

  • The military
  • Higher education
  • The workforce
  • An apprenticeship

You can also earn your high school diploma or an equivalent as well as college credits.

Some other benefits of Job Corps includes:

  • Career transition assistance
  • A bi-weekly basic living allowance
  • A transition allowance
  • A clothing allowance
  • Health and dental care
  • On-the-job training
  • Food service / meals
  • Job placement
  • Tuition-free housing

This video answers the question of whether you can change training areas.


To request more information about Job Corps, you can enter your information here at this link.

Does Job Corps have rules I need to follow?

Yes, but what rules there are vary depending on which center you go to, so you’ll want to reach out to your admissions officer or local center for more information. All centers have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.

You may be required to wear a uniform, which will be provided by the center. If a uniform is not required, you will be responsible for providing your own clothing.

The following clothing items and accessories are likely to be prohibited:

  • Large amounts of jewelry
  • Items with offensive language
  • Items that promote tobacco, alcohol, or drug usage
  • Items that promote violence

Your center may also have a cell phone policy prohibiting you from bringing your phone on campus. If your center does allow cell phones, you may only be allowed to use them in certain areas.

Some Job Corps centers offer childcare services, but most do not. If you have a child, you can ask your admissions officer about services such as single parent dormitories or allotment funds to pay for off campus childcare.


Currently, Job Corps is discouraging and limiting guest visitation during Covid, so your friends and family may not be able to visit you at the center. If you live at the center, your ability to leave is limited as well for the same reasons. Once Covid restrictions are lifted, Job Corps will provide transportation to and from home for your initial trip to the center, during the winter and summer breaks, and for your return trip home when you leave the program. You must arrange and pay for any other trips home. Taxes will be taken out of your living allowance for travel costs for winter and summer.

If you live at the center, you are expected to bring your own personal care and grooming items. You are discouraged from bringing expensive computers, audio equipment, and other items. If Job Corps provides you with technology, however, you must bring that gear with you to your center. Ask your admissions counselor about what they advise you should bring to campus.

After googling what is the job corps, this group of friends now work together to further their education and careers.
By Unsplash user Brooke Cagle.

How do I know I’m eligible for Job Corps?

If you meet the requirements listed below, you may be eligible for Job Corps.

  • Between 16 – 24 years old
  • You are a U.S. citizen, a legal U.S. resident, or are a resident of a U.S. territory and/or are authorized to work in the United States
  • Qualify as being low income (likely according to the Federal Poverty Level)
  • Need job skills training, counseling, education, or other assistance
  • Committed to improving your education and future

The list below may make you ineligible for Job Corps.

  • Have certain criminal convictions or require court supervision
  • Exhibit behavioral problems that could prevent you or others from success in Job Corps
  • Use drugs illegally under federal law

Ask your admissions counselor about additional eligibility requirements. You can also take the student eligibility quiz by clicking here. If you want to contact Job Corps via telephone, you can call 1-800-733-JOBS (5627). Here is a link to the Job Corps FAQ.

How can I find my local Job Corps center?

This quick video can provide some insight into locations of Job Corps centers.

The map on the Job Corps website lists each region Job Corps centers are available in as well as their contact information.

How do I enroll in Job Corps?

If you’re ready to enroll, you can fill out the online form here or call 1-800-733-JOBS (5627).