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Apprenticeship offers the best of both worlds: paid on-the-job training and related classroom instruction.  Since 1933, formal apprenticeship has played an important role in assuring North America of a steady supply of skilled workers.
In many ways, the apprenticeship system has been one of America's best kept secrets!

Formal apprenticeship is most highly established in the Building Construction Industry where management (the building contractors) and labor (the craft unions) maintain a long tradition of working together to recruit and  train new workers in order maximize the productivity of its workforce! The vast majority of union carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers, ironworkers, glaziers and elevator constructors learned their trade through formal apprenticeship.

However, outstanding job training opportunities are not just limited to the building construction industry! Many industries sponsor apprenticeship programs and many corporations and government agencies offer summer internship programs
which offer high school and college students a chance to earn income and gain valuable work related experience before they graduate!

is a practical source of information regardless of which career or job training program interests you. We'll guide you to outstanding online resources. Apprenticeship is an excellent place to start your career search!

Apprenticeship is intended to be a self-help information based web site-always free to the user. We are not an employer, a labor organization,  immigration advisor or a job placement agency.

So why not join the thousands of young men and women across the U.S. and Canada who are earning excellent wages and benefits as they learn a skilled trade or vocational skill.

Are you ready? Let's get started!

John L. Web Manager
8. What is a craft-worker?
A craft-worker is a person who possesses a high level of experience and proficiency in a particular trade.
9. What types of trades are found in the industry?
There are many trades involved in building construction; The most important of which, are classified as follows:
  • STRUCTURAL: Operating Engineers, Carpenters, Cement Masons and Ironworkers.         
  • MECHANICAL: Plumbers, Pipe Fitters, Sheet Metal Workers, Elevator Constructors, Boilermakers and Electricians.
  •  ARCHITECTURAL/FINISH: Glaziers, Roofers, Finish Carpenters, Cabinet Makers, Carpet Layers, Painters, Insulators, Plasterers, Dry Wallers, Tile Setters and Stone Masons.
 Many craft-workers in the United States and Canada are represented by Craft Unions.
10. What is a craft union?
A craft union is a labor organization which represents skilled workers, as opposed to an industrial union which represents unskilled or semi-skilled workers.Many craft unions and industrial unions are affiliated with the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations).In many cases, a craft (or trade) is represented by its own union. For example, electricians are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and sheet metal workers are represented by the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA).Many unions maintain a national headquarters, and are usually represented at the local level by a branch office called a local.
11. How are craft unions different from other labor unions?
Craft unions represent America's elite blue-collar work force. Their members take great pride in their craft and enjoy the prestige and high wages, long associated with the craft unions.There are some differences however, which may discourage some individuals from pursuing a career in the building trades.For example, there is no:
Paid Leave: Building trades workers are paid by the hour only, so-there are no paid holidays, sick leave.         Job Security: The Policy of seniority does not generally exist in the building trades, so length of service with a particular company offers no protection against layoffs. A termination slip can come at any time with little or no notice!
On the brighter side however, union building trades workers are well compensated for their labor. Their wages and fringe benefits are often much higher than those earned by other workers in the area.Many union building trades workers enjoy an earlier retirement age than do workers in most other industries.


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