Who can be a carpenter apprentice?

Any person meeting the minimum requirements may apply to become a carpenter apprentice. Women, minorities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a training program where you earn wages while learning to become a skilled carpenter. Apprenticeship combines classroom studies with on-the-job training supervised by a trade professional. Much like a college education, it takes several years to become fully trained in the trade that you choose except you get paid while coming to school and also during the on-the-job training.

What are the rewards of apprenticeship training?

The rewards of apprenticeship training are the good wages and benefits you receive as a member in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (over a half million members in the United States and Canada). These members work for qualified contractors under the protection of union contracts. This means you will become eligible to have health insurance, a pension and an annuity.

Why is apprenticeship training best for you?

Wanting a career in any part of the carpentry trade is a worthy goal, but it is often difficult to achieve. Historically, the knowledge needed to perform the tasks safely, proficiently and correctly was handed down generation to generation, from one skilled craftsperson to the next. History proves the knowledge of only one aspect of a trade limits apprentices from reaching their full potential. Therefore, craftspeople need to understand both the work they specialize in and how it might affect and relate to the particular tasks of other tradespeople.

By completing the nearly 6,000 hours of work experience required to graduate the training program, apprentices gain journey level worker status and become the best trained, most well-rounded and preferred candidates available for employment in the carpentry industry.

What do you mean by apprenticeship training?

An apprentice is someone who is learning a trade by working under the guidance of skilled workers called journeymen. It’s on-the-job training. You earn while you learn and are paid a wage from the first day you’re hired by a contractor.

How is a registered Apprenticeship different from other types of work-based training?

Registered apprenticeship training is different from other types of workplace training in that, for registered apprenticeship training:

  • Participants who are newly hired (or already employed) earn wages from employers during training.
  • Programs must meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies).
  • Programs provide on-the-job learning and job-related technical instruction.
  • On-the-job learning is conducted in the workplace under the direction of one or more of the employer’s personnel.
  • Programs offer worker employer-paid healthcare, dental, vision, vacation and pension benefits.
  • Training results in the apprentice receiving an industry-recognized job credential.

MACTC apprenticeship programs are registered apprenticeships.

What is the “pre-apprentice” program?

Pre-apprenticeship offers persons wishing to join the union with no experience the training necessary to work as beginning carpenters. There are three pre-apprentice programs in the Chicagoland area:

  • General Carpentry @ 7 weeks
  • Concrete Form Builders @ 7 weeks
  • Mill Cabinet @ 7 weeks.

Our other training centers may offer pre-apprenticeships at various times and lengths. Please call the Campus you are closest to to see when there next class will run.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Most apprenticeships last four years. Apprentices attend one week of training every three months as long as they have work hours. The exact rate of pay depends on the type of carpentry program and location that apprentices are enrolled in. An example of standard rate for an apprentice is:

  • 1st Year @ 40% of journeyman wages
  • 2nd Year @ 50% of journeyman wages
  • 3rd Year @ 65% of journeyman wages
  • 4th Year @ 80% of journeyman wages.

Are there application fees for the carpentry apprenticeship program?

Yes. Most have a “NON-REFUNDABLE” Application Processing Fee (Fee varies by location) which must be submitted with all applications.

What will this apprenticeship cost me?

There is an application fee and then the purchase of the books needed for your apprenticeship. That is all you will have to pay the training program. In fact, some areas will be pay a stipend during the week that you are attending school. It’s a scholarship for you to earn a career without the debt associated with college degrees.

Can an individual join an Apprenticeship Program if they have a criminal conviction?

In most cases, criminal convictions will not exclude an individual from becoming an apprentice. However, a conviction may prevent an individual from getting certain licenses or credentials required to work on government projects, in airports or in highly regulated industries.

Can individuals with disabilities join an Apprenticeship Program?

Individuals with disabilities can become an apprentice as long as the individual can meet the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship program.

What tools, materials or supplies must be purchased for an Apprenticeship Program?

Once an individual is indentured as an apprentice, they must purchase basic hand tools for the applicable craft. The cost is about $100-$300 to get started, depending on the quality of the tools purchased. Tools are a job site requirement, so an apprentice cannot start a program without basic tools. Generally, books needed for classroom instruction are paid for by the apprentice. All other materials and supplies are paid for by the Programs. A list of required books and materials are available for each apprentice program and can be purchased as needed. Costs vary by program.

If an individual doesn’t have a car or doesn’t drive, can they still become an Apprentice?

Yes. An Individual doesn’t need to own a car or drive to become an apprentice. However, to participate in the apprenticeship program, an individual must have a reliable form of transportation to get to the job site and classroom training locations. Individuals who don’t keep consistent work hours or classroom training because of transportation issues cannot continue in an apprenticeship program. Not all jobs are located along public transportation routes.

What does an Apprentice receive after completing an Apprenticeship Program?

After completing an apprenticeship program, the apprentice earns nationally recognized credentials from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the applicable State Agency that oversees their trade, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Credentials are portable and stackable. Additionally, an apprentice earns a paycheck throughout the apprenticeship and the potential for increased pay and career advancement opportunities.

What is a Sponsor letter?

Sponsor letters are submitted by contractors/employers to apprenticeship committees as a recommendation for indenture into an apprenticeship program. Applicants for apprenticeship may visit union job sites and speak to prospective employers about sponsorship.

Can an applicant select the Training Center where they want to take Apprenticeship Training courses?

MACTC will accept a request for applicants to train at a specific training centers but it cannot guarantee that the request can be met. MACTC have placed Training Centers around the area to be more convenient to get trained. MACTC will do its best to accommodate training center requests but we strongly recommend to attend the campus closet to where you live.