Apprentices and the Joint Apprenticeship Program
The earn while you learn model
The apprenticeship model, called the earn while you learn model, is employed by Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees (JATC), in conjunction with their signatory contractors and affiliated with United Association locals.
The training period for UA apprentices looking to become pipefitters, plumbers, sprinkler fitters and HVAC service technicians is five years. During this time, apprentices earn liveable wages as they work alongside journeymen learning how to efficiently and safely perform the work. Additionally, apprentices receive mandatory classroom instruction to learn practical and theoretical aspects of the industry and take hands-on labs to gain additional skills and improve their existing skillset.
Men and women 18 years of age and old are eligible to apply to any apprenticeship. Applicants must be physically able to perform the work of the trade and are required to have either a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate. Furthermore, all applicants must take an entrance exam.
The apprenticeship programs provide equal opportunity to all people, regardless of race, sex, ethnic group, religion or age. Equal opportunity also means equal treatment in pay, promotions, layoffs, and evaluations.
Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to learn about the benefits of becoming a pipefitter, plumber, sprinkler fitter or HVAC-R service technician. These trades offer women excellent career opportunities that are both personally satisfying and well paid.
Apprenticeships are a great way to begin a debt-free career. Multiple studies have shown apprentices who top out and become journeymen are in better financial shape than most first-year college graduates. Unlike college graduates, first-year journeymen do not accumulate massive amounts of student debt and have been earning good wages, healthcare and retirement benefits. While college graduates are looking for work, journeymen are either working or the Union Hall is looking to put them to work.
Opportunities for growth
There are more opportunities for tradesmen and tradeswomen than just working with the tools. Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s supervisors, superintendents and contractors.
Thanks to the variety of continuing education classes offered by JATCs, journeymen and apprentices are able to advance their skills, earn more certifications and position themselves to advance their careers in the long run. Supervisory positions become available as individuals improve their skills, knowledge and ability to direct and guide people in their trade. Advancement, of course, depends on the individual and their commitment to move up in the world.
As apprentices progress through the registered apprenticeship program, they earn scheduled pay increases that coincide with an improved skillset and the ability to complete more advanced work in an efficient manner.
Apprentices in the pipe trades are paid approximately 35 percent of a journeyman’s wage to start. The more hours they are on the job working and learning, the more their wages are increased at regular intervals. At the end of their five-year apprenticeship program, they become journeymen and draw full pay for their skill.
The piping industry provides job security
Training in the skilled construction trades provides job security, as well as steady pay. With plenty of opportunity for advancement not only in terms of skills acquired, but in job titles, tradesmen and tradeswomen have the ability to work anywhere in the U.S.
Through a contractual agreement, the piping trades have unique Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees. These programs adhere to strict regulations and standards, which are registered with the Ohio Apprenticeship Council and also follow the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training standards. Union building trades apprenticeship programs are registered with the Department of Labor.
Joint Apprenticeship Committees
The actual selection of apprentices is done by members of a Joint Apprenticeship Committee. These are people with considerable experience representing both management and skilled labor. The Committees is sometimes assisted by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT), the Cleveland School Board, Cuyahoga Community College, and the Recruiting & Training Programs.
To learn more about apprenticeships or to apply and to enter an apprenticeship please contact:
187 Woodlawn Ave.
Norwalk, Ohio 44857
Phone: (419) 668-4491
Fax: (419) 663-6000