this study aimed to know the experience of adolescents in labor insertion process. the participants were 10 adolescents of both sexes, aged 15 and 16 years old, with an apprenticeship contract at a public enterprise. it was used a qualitative approach, with the application of a biosociodemographic questionnaire and focal groups. four thematic categories were created: being adolescent, apprentice versus worker, meaning of work and professional future. the results revealed fusion between the worker and apprentice roles. the experience of apprenticeship was perceived as a privileged practice for professional training. expectancies about the professional future revealed insecurity and lack of information related to labor market. this study showed the importance of the experience of apprenticeship to build worker identities and of counseling programs for adolescents.