An apprentice is a worker who learns a skilled trade through planned, supervised, on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. An union apprentice is a regular part of the work force and earns wages while acquiring important skills. The length of an union apprenticeship program ranges from three to five years. At the completion of the program, an apprentice becomes a journeyperson, fully qualified to perform the work of the trade and earns full pay for their skill.
For those interested in becoming a skilled journeyperson, the importance of a well-rounded high school education cannot be over emphasized. A strong background in math and science is important. Good attendance is a necessity. Today's competitive industry requires employees who can perform technical tasks, exercise good judgement and possess strong work ethics.
The selection of apprentices is conducted by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) of each trade. These committees are staffed by member representatives of both management and labor organizations. Each JATC seeks men and women who demonstrate the best character, aptitude, motivation and personality traits conducive to success in their trade. Apprentice candidates are considered under the equal employment opportunity guidelines. They are required to participate in standardized testing and are personally interviewed by the JATC. It is their goal to select candidates who demonstrate reliability and sincere desire.