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Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Has the career path you’ve chosen stalled? Are you making far less money than you expected with ordinary benefits and a less than attractive retirement plan? 

No doubt you’ve thought about a change, but the aspect of additional costly education or simply moving from one job to another with no better long-term growth than you have now is not appealing.

You’ve likely never thought about it, but a career in the region’s building trades may be right for you.

The apprenticeship training programs offered through the region’s 16 building trades are at no-cost to you, and further, apprentices are paid during their three to five year-training period. In addition, apprentices receive comprehensive quality health care coverage, as well as pension and annuity benefits.

Here’s what a few of our apprentices who joined later in life have to say:

“I spent a few years working after graduating from college with a Business Management degree.  I didn’t like it at all and wanted to do something I had a passion for.  It was a great opportunity being accepted into the local 66 training program, I’ve learned so much and I’m earning far more than I ever would have with tremendous benefits.”  - Zachary Babich, Apprentice, Operating Engineers Local #66.

 “I had a ‘job’ that was unexciting, paid minimum wage and had no prospects for growth.  A friend suggested I look at the Steamfitters and it’s incredible what I’ve been able to do.  I’ve learned a life-long professional skill, I earn five times what I used to, and I have great benefits.  Truly life changing for me and my son.” – Jessica Traynor, Apprentice/Welder, Steamfitters Local #449.

“After 11 years of long and odd hours in the restaurant business it was time for me to find a sustainable career where I could earn the kind of money and benefits that would allow me to provide a far better than average life for my wife and kids, and to spend more time with them. There’s a great togetherness and it feels good to have people interested in your progress and who are passionate about their chosen career.  I’m now making a great life for me and my family.”  - Ulysses David, Apprentice, Insulators Local #2.

High Demand Profession

There is an overwhelming need for skilled, professional tradespeople in the building trades in our area, with billions of dollars of projects underway and many billions more in the pipeline. These are careers that pay family-sustaining wages with comprehensive health care and retirement benefits. 

The region’s building trades project to take more than 1,500 apprentices into our programs this year. There are 16 training centers in the region offering scores of training programs. But not everyone gets in; we are looking for driven, committed people who want to build a lifelong career that can lead them to a variety of long-term career options.

What Does It Take To Be An Apprentice?

It takes desire and commitment and a willingness to work hard and be open to learning. It also takes pride and discipline. You need to be on the job on time, every day, as you are part of a team that relies upon each other to get the project done with the highest quality, on time, and under budget. 

And it’s not just a man’s world. Women too excel in the building trades.

Minimum Requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age.
  • You must have a valid Pennsylvania drivers’ license.
  • You must have reliable personal transportation.
  • You must be a high school graduate, or have a GED.
  • You must pass a drug test for entry into the program, and throughout your career.

If accepted into one of the programs, you’ll be trained in state-of-the-art facilities and first hand on the job. You will develop and refine skills that will make you into a professional, skilled tradesperson and part of a team that builds our region's office buildings, entertainment venues, manufacturing and industrial plants, and roads, highways, and bridges.

Application periods and class start dates vary by trade. Please visit the “Apprenticeships” page for information and contacts to all the Joint Apprenticeship Training Centers.