Changing the Manufacturing World With TMA’s Training & Education Classes

The TMA Related Theory Apprentice Training Program has been assisting member companies in training their apprentices for over 75 years. It is one of the largest, most recognized precision metalworking apprenticeship programs in the United States.

TMA’s Related Theory Training is designed so students can work during the day and attend classes in the evening from 6 pm to 9pm. All TMA instructors have a minimum of 10 years in the industry. They, too, work during the day and teach in the evenings.

​TMA’s 3-year Related Theory Apprentice Program totals 504 hours of classroom instruction, 168 hours per year. TMA currently offers three tracks: Tool and Die, Mold Making, and CNC programming.

The class sizes have gone through several swings over the years, from 100s each year in the 1960s and 1970s, to none for a few years in the 2010’s. 

In the 2023-2024 class year, TMA was forced to limit its class spots to 48. 

The 2024 TMA Related Theory Class with graduate April 25, 2024. 

Class of 2023

Class of 2022

Class of 2021

Class of 2020

Class of 2019

Before the 2020-2021 COVID pandemic-related pause, TMA invited special guests to keynote and distributed diplomas to TMA graduates.

In 2018, NIMS Executive Director Montez King was on hand to present diplomas. In 2017, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguenetti congratulated the graduates. In 2016, then-Congressman Randy Hultgren presented diplomas. 

In order to begin TMA’s 3-year Related Theory Course, the following requirements must be met: 

  • Successful completion of TMA Entrance Exam.
  • Proof of high school diploma or GED required.
  • Access to internet for the school year, to complete an assignment, take a quiz, and/or attend class online LIVE.
  • Access to a computer (laptop or desktop) that meets the minimum requirements, outlined by TMA.
  • A minimum of 6 months experience in the mfg. industry (NEW)


For more information, go to

Class of 2014