Frequently Asked Questions About The Apprenticeship Program

What is an Apprentice? 

An apprentice is learning a trade by working under the guidance of skilled workers of that trade, called journeymen. It is on-the-job training. You earn while you learn and are paid a wage from the first day you become a working apprentice.  As an apprentice your wages will start at approximately 50% of the journeyman rate of pay and will increase periodically until you reach the full journeyman scale. It takes four years to become a journeyman carpenter. But remember, the training costs you nothing!

Interested applicants must pass certain testing requirements before acceptance in the program.

What is the Carpenters' Union?

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is North American’s largest building-trade union, with more than a half-million members in the construction and wood-product industries. We recognize that for the union to remain strong, our signatory contractors need to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace – and they do that with workers committed to safety, productivity and the proud legacy of our Brotherhood. Skills, safety and productivity have brought members fair wages, good benefits and dignity in work and retirement since the Brotherhood was founded in 1881.

You can learn more about the Carpenters Union by visiting United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Who can be an apprentice?

Any woman or man meeting the minimum requirements. Women, minorities and veteran are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age to apply (must be 18 to work)

Applicants must be a high school graduate, hold a GED certifications or equivalent.

Minimum Requirements
  • 17 years of age to apply, 18 years old to work for signatory contractor
  • High school graduate or hold the equivalent GED
  • Must be physically capable of performing the work of the trade
  • Must have a valid form of Government Photo Identification
  •  Suitable transportation

As part of the final selection process a drug test by a drug-testing laboratory chosen by the Joint Apprentice Committee will be administered. In addition, random drug tests will be conducted while in the Apprenticeship Program.

 

Be Advised

Upon acceptance into the Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, you are required to pay fees totaling up to $500 (varies by craft).

In addition, you will be responsible for the purchase of your own tools. You will receive a toll list of required tools once you have been accepted into the Apprenticeship Program.

Attitude Factors
  • Must indicate interest, desire, and willingness to learn
  • Genuine interest in the trade as opposed to just looking for a job
  • Sense of responsibility for performance, materials, safety
  • Ability to work with others as part of a crew
  • Positive attitude towards school – must see it as an opportunity, not just a requirement

 

Be Advised

Upon acceptance into the Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, you are required to pay fees totaling up to $500 (varies by craft).

In addition, you will be responsible for the purchase of your own tools. You will receive a toll list of required tools once you have been accepted into the Apprenticeship Program.

How does the apprenticeship training function?

An apprentice is someone who is learning a trade by working under the guidance of skilled workers called journeymen. It’s on-the-job training. You earn while you learn and are paid a wage from the first day you’re hired by a contractor

To make a career of the carpentry trade requires the knowledge of how to perform these tasks safely, proficiently, and correctly.

Carpentry is a skill which historically has been handed down from one skilled craftsman to the next. History has proven that knowledge of only one limited aspect of the trade is never enough.

By completing the 4,000 to 5,200 hours (depending on the craft training and location of training center) of on-the-job training “work experience” required to complete the apprenticeship program and become a journeyman, you will be among the best, most well-trained, well-rounded and most desirable candidates available for employment in this industry.

Depending on carpentry craft and training center location, scheduled classroom time will vary anywhere from four to eight weeks per year.

Recommended High School Courses
  • High school embedded skills training
  • Career and technology center training
  • Shop
  • Science
  • Mechanical Drawing
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Geometry
How Can I Prepare Myself to Excel in the Apprenticeship Program?

If you are still in school, you should take courses that prepare you with the skills needed to succeed in apprenticeship such as basic mathematics, drafting and mechanical drawing, wood shop and construction courses offered through your high school or technical training school.  Download a copy of the KML Training funds sample test and answers to the test to help in your preparation.

 

Be Advised

Upon acceptance into the Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, you are required to pay fees totaling up to $500 (varies by craft).

In addition, you will be responsible for the purchase of your own tools. You will receive a toll list of required tools once you have been accepted into the Apprenticeship Program.

Sample Test
What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

The rewards of apprenticeship training are the wages and benefits you receive as a skilled craftsperson. Our apprentices are members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the largest building trades union in North America. You’ll be working under the protection of a union contract that includes health insurance, pension and savings benefits.

  • Progressively increasing wage with excellent benefits
  • Nationally recognized credential: Apprenticeship Certification
  • Improved job security and standard of living
  • Opportunity for college credit
  • Pride and dignity of completing the most comprehensive vocational carpentry training program offered anywhere
What do I need to apply for the apprenticeship?
  • Mandatory Requirements
    • Valid government photo ID (17 years old to apply, 18 years old to work)
    • High school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • Optional/Supplemental Documentation
    • As an interested party for the apprenticeship program, you may choose to submit evidence of having a valid driver’s license to enhance your application.

 

Be Advised

Upon acceptance into the Carpenters Apprenticeship Program, you are required to pay fees totaling up to $500 (varies by craft).

In addition, you will be responsible for the purchase of your own tools. You will receive a toll list of required tools once you have been accepted into the Apprenticeship Program.

Why should I apply to the apprenticeship program?

For Carpenters, membership in the Union guarantees benefits that they wouldn’t otherwise have, such as:

  • Higher Wages. Every Union member has a guaranteed hourly wage agreed upon by written contract. All employers of Union members have signed agreements with the Union and contribute to our members’ health insurance and pension benefit plans.
  • Training. We offer the latest industry training at our state-of-the-art training centers for apprentices and journeymen at no cost to our members.
  • Medical Benefits. Union members enjoy a career where their benefits are “portable,” moving with them as they work for different employers.
  • Prescription Drug Benefits.
  • Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance Benefits.
  • Disability Benefits.
  • Pension Programs.

These benefits combined with a solid training curriculum provide our members with the skills needed to succeed.  Click here to contact one of our representatives at the Training Center.

Additional Resources for Applications

 

Khan Academy

  • Khan Academy is a non-profit website that offers classes and tutoring for higher math skills, free of charge. The website is www.khanacademy.org 

CCAC

  • CCAC offers mathematics courses that help sharpen participant’s mathematics skills for a cost of $100. Their website is www.ccac.edu

CareerLink

Introduction to Construction Trades 

  • This program is available to help prepare participants for the trades. To enroll or for more information please call 412-532-1733 or visit www.buildersguild.org
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship and Training Funds admits students of any race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin in admission policies, educational policies, scholarship loan agreements, and any other school-administered programs.