Apprenticeships

All of our crafts and signatory contractors operate state-certified training programs. All of our apprenticeships combine classroom and hands-on training with on-the-job experience. The training is free. Plus, apprentices earn livable wages while they learn.

The Regional Council, in cooperation with partner contractors, operates the largest apprentice training program in Wisconsin and the second-largest in Minnesota. Combined, we train more than 1,600 men and women for a better future.

To qualify for an apprenticeship, you must:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have a high school diploma, G.E.D., or high school equivalency diploma
    • Be sponsored by a union contractor

You will have to meet the physical and performance demands of the job, pay an entry fee, and purchase basic work clothing and tools for your trade. Construction is hard, physical work, often in uncomfortable weather conditions and sometimes at unusual hours. Our members must work hard, be reliable, and show up on time every day. If you think you’ve got what it takes, fill out a form at www.getbetterwages.org or contact us for more information.

Training
Our training turns out men and women who have more than a job. They have a professional career in every sense of the word. They become part of the best trained, most reliable, most productive workforce in the construction industry.

An apprenticeship typically lasts four years… about as long as it takes to complete a college degree. Apprentices are usually in the training center four weeks each year, one week per quarter depending on the program and location. When you’re done, you’ll be earning more money than many college graduates (with no student loans to pay off).

To meet our training standards, apprentices work as many as 7,000 hours on the job, side-by-side with skilled industry veterans. Instructors reinforce this on-the-job experience with between 144 and 520 hours of classroom and hands-on lessons at our training centers.

Apprentices start at 50-70 percent of the hourly wage that journey-level workers earn. (Your starting wage depends on where you live and the trade you select.) Apprentices also receive some fringe benefits (i.e. medical and pension).

Your pay and benefits increase as you gain expertise. In general, you get a pay raise roughly every 1,000 hours you work. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you immediately receive 100 percent of the journey-level wages and benefits.

At our training centers, apprentices receive basic skill and safety certifications. They also learn dozens of additional skill blocks customized for their trade. During their third year, selected apprentices spend time at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The best part? Not only do you get paid while you learn, but all of your training is FREE. (If there is an occasional class or book fee, you may be reimbursed).

The Regional Council and its training centers participate in several programs that recruit from communities which traditionally are underrepresented in the union construction trades. We encourage women and people of all backgrounds to join us.