All union apprenticeships are certified through the state of Wisconsin and range from three to five years in length. Apprentices learn during paid classroom participation and on-the-job training. Apprentices are required to perform a certain number of hours of both classroom and hands-on training that is different for each trade.
Getting Started with an Apprenticeship
For more information about individual trades, read the summaries and watch the videos below. Go to the Apprenticeship Contacts page to get in touch with each trade's Apprenticeship Director.
Boilermakers erect and maintain various types of pressure vessels, and perform some of the following skills: welding, burning, heavy and high rigging, and layout work. A Boilermaker works primarily in plants that are considered heavy industrial. Steel mills, power generation plants for utilities (fossil fuel and nuclear), chemical plants, refineries, and paper mills are just a few of the industries that Boilermakers and their contractors service.
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
Bricklayers and allied craftworkers skills range from bricklaying, plastering, tile laying, terrazzo and marble work, cleaning, pointing and restoration of older buildings, and of course, laying bricks. The apprenticeship program lasts for three years with on-the-job training and classroom work.
Carpentry apprenticeships include the following trades: Carpenter, Cabinet Maker, Floor Coverer, Lather, Millwright and Piledriver. Their programs are four-years long, require both day and night school classes totaling over 750 hours, and a minimum of 5,800 hours of on-the-job training.
Cement masons main work is to finish concrete surfaces ranging from small to large projects where as many as 10-50 cement masons and helpers mix, place (pour) and finish concrete in structures.
Electrical apprenticeships provide a diversified training program over a five-year period that includes 1,100 hours of classroom training and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Heat and Frost Insulators
Heat and frost insulators perform thermal insulation application, and offer a four-year apprenticeship program.
Ironworkers erect structural steel, place reinforcement bars in concrete construction, move machinery, rig and erect equipment, and install miscellaneous fabricated building materials to name a few of their skill sets.
Laborers are often the first trade on a project and the last ones to leave. The job requires you to have physical strength, reading and math skills and good problem-solving abilities.
Operating engineers operate what is generally referred to as heavy equipment such as cranes, dozers, scrapers, loaders, motor graders, tractor loader backhoes, crawlers, and pavers to name just a few.
Plasterers must successfully be able to perform the following upon completion of their apprenticeship: Two coat, thin coat, stucco, EIFS and taping drywall.
Painters, Paperhangers and Drywall Finishers
Painters, paperhangers and drywall finishers put the finishing touches on new construction and remodeling. They apply paints, special coatings, color, wall coverings, and tape and finishes to previously hung gypsum wall board.
Plumbers work in residential areas such as homes, apartment buildings, health-care facilities, and in commercial and industrial facilities.
Roofers and Waterproofers
Roofers and waterproofers work outdoors in all kinds of weather and heights. Their skills range from applying hot built-up and singly-ply roofing; installing shingle, tile and slate roofs; waterproofing foundations and plazas; and lining ponds and tanks.
Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal workers are typically employed in the Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry where they fabricate, install and maintain HVAC systems. They can also be employed in specialty areas including kitchen equipment, sign work and sheet metal decking and siding to name a few.
Sprinklerfitters are pipe fitters specializing in fire protection, and they install fire projection systems. They install, repair and maintain all types of fixed piping fire-protection systems.
Steamfitters and Refrigeration Fitters
Steamfitters and refrigeration fitters install and service state-of-the art heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning equipment along with related piping and energy management and pneumatic control systems for residential, commercial and industrial buildings.