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What is apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is occupational training that combines on-the-job experience with classroom instruction. Apprentices earn while they learn– their wages usually begin at 40% of the journeyman salary. Journeymen are individuals who have completed their training and hold industry certification.

Apprentices receive pay increases as they learn to perform more complex tasks. When they become a journeyman, they increase their chances of finding a well-paying job in the industry and may become supervisors or go into business for themselves.

See below for more details on the job description.

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  • The working activities are both active and strenuous and may include much walking, prolonged standing, reaching and lifting. Workers can be exposed to heat, cold, and industrial facilities.

  • Assemble, install and maintain piping systems that carry water, steam, compressed air, gases and fluids which are needed for manufacturing, heating and cooling.

  • Reading of blueprints to determine the layout of piping, valves, fixtures and controls.

  • Welding of piping systems made of materials that include carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, plastic, and other special alloys.

What type of work do apprentices do?

In every place where piping, heating, cooling and air conditioning is needed, the highly trained professionals of Local 290 can be found!

Union Steamfitters, Plumbers and HVACR Service technicians can specialize in:

  • Commercial Construction

  • Commercial/Industrial Instrumentation

  • Gas/Air/Water/Medical Gas Piping Systems

  • High Purity Piping Systems

  • Hydronic Heating

  • HVACR Service

  • Hydraulic Piping and Systems

  • Lab and Clean Room Work

  • Building Information Modeling & Detailing

  • Pipe Fabrication

  • Power Piping

  • Vacuum Piping and Systems

  • Valve and Pump Installation and Repair

  • X-Ray Quality Welding and many more!

What type of apprenticeships are offered?


Apprentices attend school 2 nights a week, for 3 hours each night, which equates to 108 hours per term, or 216 hours per year. There are also occasional mandatory classes on weekends. Students pay a registration Fee of $100 per term, and books are sold at a 50% discount to Apprentices.

Instruction covers the installation of commercial and industrial process piping systems. Welding certification plays a big part in the education process. Apprenticeship is 5 years long, with the first year considered probationary. Students purchase text material for use in related training classes as required. All on the job training is performed under the supervision of a journeyman .

When do apprentices attend school?

Apprentice wages are based on the current contractual journeyman rate.
A term is minimum of six months. Once all program requirements are met, the apprentice earns a raise.

How much money do apprentices earn?

After the successful completion of 10 terms or semesters (8,000 training hours and 1,080 school hours total), and upon completion and passing of the UA STAR exam, apprentices are referred to the Building Codes Division for State exams. Once all licenses are obtained and verified, the apprentice is re-rated to journeyman status.

How long does it take to become a Journeyman?

  • Must be 17 years of age to apply, and 18 years of age at the time of registration.

  • Must have high school diploma or GED

  • Must have completed one full year of high school algebra, integrated math 2, or equivalent post-high school Algebra 1, course(s) with a grade of ‘C’ or better or must present current math placement test results from a community college facility indicating a placement level beyond high school level algebra.

  • Certified transcripts from a post-high school educational institution accredited by a state education agency may be accepted as evidence the education qualification standard is met if the transcript affirms the applicant has completed high school, community college or baccalaureate graduate status or is a GED exam score qualifier.

What are the minimum educational requirements?

To request more information:

Contact the Admissions Office

Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm


You can also request more information with this form:

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