College isn't for me, but I still
want a good job -- what are my options?
A career in the Trade Unions, through
apprenticeship, offers many opportunities for both; a good livelihood,
advancement and security. The apprenticeship system has long served as
a major source of needed craftsmen, forman and contractors. To assure the
successful completion of your apprenticeship and your future advancement
in the industry, you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent,
a positive attitude, good coordination and skillful hands. If your Interested
in a challenging and well paying job, in a field which offers outlets for
creative and artistic abilities then here's some information that we hope
will give you the motivation to take the first step on the path to a great
What is apprenticeship?
The accepted training for a Union
Career is the formal apprenticeship program. The beginning apprentice receives
on the job training where he learns all aspects of the work under the guidance
of of skilled craftsmen with manipulative training. Formal apprenticeship
program is set up under the supervision of the local joint union / employer
apprenticeship committee. Beginners are protected by written agreements
that specify the time they must put in, what they are paid, and what should
be learned. The training period runs for three years and includes on the
job training, related class room instruction, and a minimum of worked and
classroom hours per year.
What about employment?
The construction trades work in
every part of the country with more work being performed in more populous
regions. About 80% of these jobs include industrial plants, office buildings,
banks, apartment buildings, churches, schools and residential homes. The
remaining 20% are employed, for the most part, by institutions such as
hotels and hospitals, whose facilities require continuous maintenance.
They may be employed directly by the organization on whose premises they
work or by contractors who have contracted with the organization to maintain
Are there job advancement opportunities?
After you become a Journeyperson
you may look forward to advancing to forman, superintendent or cost estimator
for a employer or contractor. Additionally, skilled Journeypersons are
superintendents of large contract jobs. Many of the most successful contractors
are former apprentices.