Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about sheet metal apprenticeship training?

Learn how our program will help you become a highly skilled worker in the industry.

Apprenticeship typically lasts 5 years in our program. You will be working for a contractor up to 2000 + hours per year and attend school 200 hours per year.

​Apprenticeship costs the apprentice nothing. Your education is funded entirely by our Journey-Mechanic members. They contribute part of their hourly wage to fund the education of apprentices. Somebody did the same for them when they were an apprentice.

Apprentices must purchase their own set of hand tools. Most will incur an initial investment of under $200, to get started, and then add to their set of tools as they progress and get a few more paychecks under their belt.

Apprentice wages are based upon a percentage of journey mechanic wages. First-year apprentices currently earn over $22.99 per hour in their check, with full benefits for themselves and their dependents. Apprentice wages increase each stage of the apprenticeship, which typically is every year.

Like with any apprenticeship, you begin with the simple things. You may be expected to work in a shop as a helper on equipment, or on a job site performing installation of products. In either case, you will be supervised and taught the correct way to perform the work expected of you. If you perform well, you will likely be taught more advanced skills and tasks as you proceed, mastering various types of skills and jobs as you gain experience and practice. Expectations of new apprentices are fairly simple and easy to meet when you first begin, but our people value those apprentices who learn quickly and demonstrate desire to learn more and advance. Ultimately, the work you are assigned is entirely up to you. Hard work and dedication is usually rewarded.

Our schooling is mandatory training. You will initially take classes in OSHA safety protocols, basic shop fabrication, basic mechanical drawing and blueprint reading, and basic welding. There will also be some seminars with guest speakers, which are required for your professional development. School weeks occur for the newer apprentices approximately every seven weeks between September and June. A school week lasts for 40 hours, just like a work week. In later years of apprenticeship, your schooling may occur in evenings and on some Saturdays. Because this training is mandatory for your job and career, you are entitled to file for unemployment compensation when you miss work hours because of mandatory training.

Yes, you do. Our Training program is affiliated with Community College of Allegheny County. You will receive credits for most of the classes you take while an apprentice. You can earn an Associates degree through CCAC if you take just a few additional classes while you are an apprentice. However, it is not mandatory that you do so.

We have an application package that can be picked up at our Union offices, or you can apply here. There are detailed instructions regarding all the paperwork needed, and all of the documents which you need to provide. You may apply at any time throughout the year. When your application package is complete, you must bring it back to us for review. If you have included all of the required documents and your application is deemed complete, you will be scheduled for an interview. Please note that your ability to follow instructions and provide all the necessary paperwork is considered part of your evaluation.

At that interview, you will meet a panel of people who will speak to you about your interest in our program. Be honest. We value good work ethic and character far more than vast experience. You will get plenty of experience during your apprenticeship.

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