Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible to join the UA?

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.

2. Do I need any pipe trades experience?

No experience is required to become an apprentice. Demonstrated ability and experience is required to join the UA as a journeyperson.

3. What is a union?

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.

4. What are the benefits of joining a union?

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.

5. What is an apprenticeship? 

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.

6. How long until I get a job?

The pace of the hiring process is determined by the local union. Labor demands generally dictate the number of apprentices accepted each year.

7. How much will I get paid?

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.

8. What is the VIP Program?

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.