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Construction Careers and Apprenticeship

Why a career in construction?

Construction is an industry that will always need skilled workers. Economists predict a pending shortage of skilled workers as baby boomers retire so we will be looking for workers to enter apprenticeships.

Many people are drawn to the building and construction trades because they enjoy an active, hands-on job with variety, one in which they can physically see the outcome of their work. Many cite a deep satisfaction with being part of an important project in the community, or being trusted to tackle a challenging portion of a high-profile project that allows you to showcase your high level of skill.

Apprenticeship and the union advantage

It’s easy to find a job in construction, but becoming a skilled journey worker with the union is a career choice for a lifetime.

The skills required for most trades are developed through the system of apprenticeship, which combines 3-5 years of classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training under the tutelage of an experienced journey level crafts person. Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, participants receive the industry-accepted credential as a journey level worker.

Each union has its own apprenticeship program. While all of our union apprenticeship programs operate under standards set by the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Apprenticeship Training, in practice, many set standards that exceed the minimum required for selection procedures, training content, wage progression and completion requirements.

Many union apprenticeship programs also offer college credit for their apprenticeship training and will fund some post-apprenticeship college courses, allowing union members to receive an associate degree from an affiliated institute of higher education. And, unlike a college education, apprentices earn while they learn, making apprenticeship affordable for all.

Wages in union construction are very good, and benefits such as health insurance and retirement pension, provide security for union members and their families.

For more information about building trade apprenticeship opportunities in Massachusetts, including a directory of union building trades apprentice programs, click here.