Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants to the UA must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, undergo an interview, and be physically capable of performing work. There is no maximum age restriction.
No experience is required to become an apprentice. Demonstrated ability and experience is required to join the UA as a journeyperson.
A union is an organization of individuals who have joined together in mutual support to pursue a common goal. Union members engage in concerted activity, such as collective bargaining, to protect and improve their lives through better working conditions, wages and benefits.
Becoming a member of the UA provides you with a future of high pay, great medical insurance and one of the best pension plans in the nation. Furthermore, UA members get a top quality education, with opportunities to learn the latest technologies even after apprenticeship. Members are always able to expand and improve their skillset, making them more desirable to employers across the nation.
An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Like a college, students receive advanced instruction preparing them for their careers. Unlike a college, students earn while they learn, receiving wages for their work on the job. A typical apprenticeship lasts 5 years, but VIP graduates usually enter at a higher level and complete their training in less time.
The pace of the hiring process is determined by the local union. Labor demands generally dictate the number of apprentices accepted each year.
The pay scale and benefits are determined by the collective bargaining agreement that each local union makes with their respective signatory contractors. Compensation varies across the country.
The Veterans in Piping program (VIP) provides pipe trades training to active duty military personnel preparing to leave the service. To learn more about the program, click here.