Employment Opportunities


Pre-Apprentice and Apprentice to Various Trades

NBBB has been building boats on beautiful Whidbey Island since 1964.  In Freeland, WA we produce state-of-the-art vessels; tugs, ferries, fire boats, fishing vessels, barges, dinner boats, along with many other sophisticated ships. We lead in adopting innovative marine technology to serve our customers' needs.

NBBB currently sponsors five approved state programs; Marine Pipefitters, Marine Painters, Machinery Assemblers, Production Welders, and Ship fitter/fabricators. In late 2017, NBBB was awarded significant grant funding from state and federal sources that it is now using to accelerate the growth of its apprentice programs, including acquiring equipment that will improve the learning experience for its apprentices.  NBBB is investing in quality and accomplished instructors, new training equipment, new curriculum and expanded training resources for the existing five apprenticeships and two apprentice programs that will soon be certified.  We are seeking candidates to fill our many Pre-Apprentice and Apprentice opportunities in our various trades.

NBBB’s Apprenticeship program develops a sustainable core workforce of journeypersons with the full body of on-the-job and trade knowledge necessary to fill vital workforce gaps.  Our Apprenticeships provide employment, education and training of technical skills under the guidance of experienced journeyman and technical experts. NBBB’s programs and apprentices are registered with the State of Washington, which is recognized by the U.S Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.


Our structured program provides thoughtful opportunities for each apprentice to learn all the phases of a selected craft. This is done by focused tracking of assignments and classroom instruction that enables the apprentice to learn and demonstrate competence in the various job assignments within the particular trade. Our classroom curriculum meets the rigorous requirements of State of Washington Department of Labor & Industries. These college level classes are generally held on site after or before the apprentice’s regular paid work hours. Classroom hours are unpaid and on the apprentice’s own time. A normal academic load is about three hours of classroom instruction per week. Apprentices are required to maintain minimum cumulative average of 80% and failure of any course will result in removal from the program. Homework is assigned in each class and it is the responsibility of the apprentice to complete the assignments outside the normal workday.

To Apply: Submit completed application form online via email to or via USPS to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Attn: Human Resources. PO Box 580, Freeland, WA 98249. NBBB's application form is available for download by clicking here.  

NBBB posts and accepts applications for apprenticeship through WorkSource

Those desiring to be considered should apply per the instruction on the NBBB Careers Site or through WorkSource. 


Below is a list of schools who have successfully placed graduates in an NBBB pre-apprentice positions or who have proven effective in preparing their students for success in our apprenticeships:

  • Skagit Valley Community College (Maritime Center of Excellence)
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Seattle Central Community College
  • Everett Community College
  • ANEW

AJAC (Manufacturing Academy)

Key Roles & Responsibilities

Depending on the trade, apprentices (or pre-apprentices) will learn to build vessel structures, hull components, piping systems, machinery installations and alignments, and prepare surfaces for painting or structural welding. The exact functions and responsibilities will vary by trade, and cannot be enumerated for all trades in this posting. For illustration, however, Marine Pipefitters fabricate and install all the piping systems on the ship. Ship Fitter/ Fabricators fabricate and install the many pieces that make up the hull of the ship and install equipment foundations and miscellaneous structural pieces. Welders weld everything for the ships, including the hull, foundations on the ship, and miscellaneous items. The general description of each of our trades can be found on our web site. In addition to learning the trade, specific functions common to all apprenticeships include:
• Responsible for safe work practices and housekeeping procedures.
• Work as a member of a team demonstrating skills to adapt, interpret and problem solve.
• Express ideas concisely and clearly, both orally and in writing.
• Perform other tasks as directed.
Once admitted to apprenticeship, duties will also include:
• Regular presence during the classes presented;
• Demonstrate competence in learning trade by way of performance on practical exams at each step of the apprenticeship and successful completion of the required classwork, including passing scores on required tests.
• Recording and tracking on the job training ("OJT") hours daily;
• Have a journeyman or above sign off on hours weekly;
• Turn in a copy of their monthly hours tracking form to their supervisors;


• High School Diploma or Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED).
• 18 years of age or older at time of application.
• Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. Must be able to work at heights of 60 ft. Must be able to enter confined spaces using and use respirator and work in small work spaces at odd angles.
• Able to understand and perform basic mathematics
• Knowledge of basic hand and power tools
• Willingness to learn the trade and attend training as required
• Experience using Safe Work Practices
• Able to meet all requirements of our state-certified apprenticeship program, including ability to attend between 144 hours and 216 hours per year of classroom training (exact hours vary by trade) during non-regular work hours for which no hourly wage compensation is provided.
• Experience working around Heavy Machinery and Equipment and as a member of a team.
• Successfully completed a craft-related technical training program or have the equivalent craft work experience
• Ability to communicate well with others and to take instructions and work as a member of a team.
• Personal attributes NBBB looks for in a pre-apprentice or apprentice include:
• An interest in the selected trade through work experience, personal project, interests, or hobbies
• a commitment to self -development, and commitment to quality and attention to detail.
• Able to provide proof of US Person Status
• Willing to submit to a drug screen
• Willing to submit to a background check
• No felony convictions of Theft/Deception or Drug crimes or Violent crimes
• Possess the academic ability to succeed in the program
• Demonstrate the motivation to continuously improve your knowledge/skills
• Have the integrity to complete all assigned academic work independently
• Demonstrate a high degree of reliability, both in task accomplishment and time keeping
Apply Now

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