Live and work in America for up to 20 months on our professional trainee program – without the need for a college degree.
On the fence?
Missed out on our Grad USA program? Talk to us about Trainee USA instead.
Only in America
If you have a degree and have started your grad job – but want to accelerate your training. Or if you don’t have a degree and are established in your professional field – but feel like you’ve got as far as you can in Ireland. Then it’s time to take it up a level. Doing a professional traineeship in the USA will put your experience head and shoulders above the rest. You’ll grow your skillset, learn from leaders in your industry, and get world-class experience that can see you move straight into senior leadership roles when you return home.
Why do it with USIT
Together with CIEE, our US partner, we set you up with the sponsorship and placement vetting to work in a trainee position anywhere in the States for up to 18 months – with 30 days either side to travel.
We’ve been bringing our USA game for 60+ years. Our team will assist with your visa and embassy paperwork, and work with you on a training program that will help you get ahead in your profession.
Job Hub access
You must have a traineeship secured before you can apply for your visa. You can find your own trainee position, or search and reach out to our database of vetted US employers on the USIT Job Hub.
What we love
Being able to live and work in the USA for an extended period without a college degree.
Need to know
Trainee USA is aimed at helping recent grads and current professionals fast track their career with professional traineeships in America.
The Trainee USA program is designed for graduates with one year’s work experience or non-graduates with five years’ work experience in their professional field to upskill in America. You can work for up to 18 months, anywhere in the States and in most industries from fashion to finance – with previous participants working as Marketing Managers, Civil Engineering Managers and more.
Once you have your position secured, the USIT team take it from there – checking your placement meets the visa criteria, vetting your host company (if required), and starting the process of sponsoring you. When you’re in the States, our long-standing partner CIEE supports you 24/7 – with regular check-ins to make sure your training is on track.
Who can apply
You must have an Irish passport, be 20+ and be able to fulfil one of the below criteria:
If you don’t have a degree You must have five years’ full-time experience in your professional field. You don’t need to have worked for the same employer, but it must have been in the same industry and have been within the last seven years. Unsure if your experience makes you eligible? Email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a degree
If you did our 1-year Grad USA program after graduating and want to return to the USA on the Trainee USA program, you must wait two years before applying.
Age There is no age limit for this program – so you could be a graduate with a couple of years work under your belt or have worked a decade or more in your field and be at the top of your game.
When to apply You can apply at any time of the year. Applications usually take around 12 weeks once you’ve secured your trainee position.
What you can do
What is a training position A training position is any position that shows you are upskilling and developing in your field while receiving supervision. This is not regular employment, and you cannot be filling a labour need or taking a job away from an American worker. Your training position should show a clear progression of skills and rotation throughout your time at your host company.
Duration and salary Depending on the length of your internship, you’ll be issued with a 1-18 month visa with 30 days before and after. The USA has a well-paid traineeship culture, with most US traineeships equalling or exceeding Irish salaries. Your salary will be negotiated directly with your host company and there is no cap to what you can earn on this visa.
Finding your trainee position It’s your responsibility to secure your own traineeship, and most professionals on this program have a clear idea of the organisations they want to target. After you’ve paid your deposit, we’ll also give you access to the list of US employers on the USIT Job Hub. If you find an employer in your field, you can reach out directly to explore possible traineeships.
Approving your traineeship Your traineeship will be assessed and approved by CIEE, your sponsor, to make sure it meets US visa and labour criteria. Our team will advise all about this and what your training plan (known as DS7002) must include. CIEE may also need to include a site visit to your US employer. Check out our FAQs for more.
Where you can do it
Popular industries for Irish professionals to continue their training in the USA are construction, events, engineering, tech, law, finance, science, architecture, media, marketing and fashion – but you can work in most fields as long as it is related to your professional field. Since COVID-19, there has been restrictions on training within the hospitality industry. If you work in hospitality, please contact the team to talk through your experience and go over your options.
There are some roles within certain industries such as agriculture, teaching and medicine that aren’t permitted, but our USIT USA team will be able to guide you on this. For more on restricted industries and positions, check out our FAQs.
Popular destinations for Irish graduates and professionals to do their career training in are New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego – but you can find a placement anywhere in the States. Check out our US city guides for more intel and inspo on where to go, and our guide on finding long-term accommodation.
How it works
Our team will support you through the entire process, from help filling in your forms to preparing for your embassy interview. You couldn't be in safer hands.
1. Secure your position Check you’re eligible in the tab above, start your online application and pay your deposit. If you don’t already have a traineeship, you’ll get access to our Job Hub where you can search and reach out to US employers.
2. Book a call Once you have a position secured, you’ll have an in-depth call with our USA team to run through the program, answer any questions, get you set up the sponsor’s system and conduct a phone interview (this is a visa requirement).
3. Assessment by CIEE Your employer will need to fill out your DS7002 Training Plan which will then go to CIEE, our US sponsor, for approval. If your application is approved, your work papers will be issued within 15 business days – or 21 business days if a site visit to your employer’s workplace is required.
4. Pre-departure pack Once CIEE approves your application, we’ll email your DS2019 work papers, SEVIS receipt and DS7002 Training Plan to your home address. You’ll then receive your pre-departure pack by email with all the information you need to schedule your US Embassy appointment.
5. US Embassy interview You're off to the US Embassy! This interview and a 5-7 day review of your passport will provide them with the information they need to issue your visa.
6. Land in the USA Before you go, you’ll complete an online orientation with CIEE to make sure you’re perfectly prepped for life in the USA. CIEE are then on hand 24/7 to support you during your stay.
Trainee USA inclusions
What you get
Trainee USA cost breakdown
The brass tax
Your program cost is determined by the length of your traineeship in the US.
0-3 months €2,445 | 4 months €2,489 | 5 months €2,539 | 6 months €2,589 | 7 months €2,629 | 8 months €2,669 | 9 months €2,689 | 10 months €2,729 | 11 months €2,759 | 12 months €2,789 | 13 months €2,819 | 14 months €2,869 | 15 months €2,919 | 16 months €2,949 | 17 months €2,979 | 18 months €2,999 | 19 months €3,049 | 20 months €3,099
What’s not included
We don’t recommend booking flights until your visa is approved.
A fee of USD $250 will be added to your program fee if a site visit to your prospective employer's workplace is required.
To cover against cancellation, we recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you book.
US visa fee Irish passport holders
This is paid directly to the US Embassy and currently costs USD $185.
Travel like a pro
A homerun for your career
Past Trainee USA participants have done training positions at Pinterest, Kerry Group and Hack Media – returning to Ireland with the exposure, networking opportunities and progression they need to excel in their fields.
Hit new career heights
If you can make it there...
Why a traineeship
The USA has a highly paid professional trainee culture – with participants looking for sponsorship for a variety of positions from midweight to managerial roles. Any position you secure must show that you are learning new skills and progressing in your career, while at the same time not replicating any of the experience you already have. Your host company and mentor are there to guide you, but traineeships are for self-starters and professionals who are confident in their field and looking to accelerate their training.
Aside from the obvious – the food, weather, cities, beaches, the food again… this visa is the chance to learn from the best in the business. The land of opportunity, you’ll have access to companies in America that you just won’t get staying in Ireland. From multinational headquarters to media start-ups, every industry and sector is represented here. Attracting the leading talent from around the world, you’ll gain invaluable international experience and grow your network – all while living in one of the most exciting countries in the world.