Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?

The Registered Apprenticeship system has been utilized to meet the needs of America’s skilled workforce since 1937. It is a unique, flexible training system that combines job related technical instruction with structured on-the-job learning experiences. Registered Apprenticeship is a leader in preparing American workers to compete in a global 21st Century economy because the system keeps pace with advancing technologies and innovations in training and human resource development.

I’ve heard there are other technical training programs out there. Why should I choose to join this Registered Apprenticeship Program?

It’s true! We’re NOT the only training provider for carpenters, millwrights, and pile drivers. The simple truth is that other programs don’t fully teach you a trade, they only teach you the basics to gain employment as a helper. They may offer a few weeks of training in a classroom, or even some shop time. But if you want to be the best at your trade, no one can beat the training of a real Registered Apprenticeship Program.

DOL Registered Apprenticeship Programs

DOL Registered Apprenticeship Programs
  • Union Apprenticeship Programs
  • Non-Union Apprenticeship Programs
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission Apprenticeship Division there are 47 active programs, with 60% being Registered Union Apprenticeship Programs.

DOL Registered Apprentices

DOL Registered Apprentices
  • Union Building Trades Apprentices
  • Non-Union Building Trades Apprentices
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission Apprenticeship Division, 74% of all registered building trades apprentices belong to Registered Union Apprenticeship Programs.

Louisiana Union Apprentices

Louisiana Union Apprentices
  • Carpenter & Heavy Civil Apprentices
  • Millwright Apprentices
*Figures are updated quarterly. (Oct 2018) Apprentices are within the jurisdiction of Carpenters & Pile Drivers Local 1846, Carpenters Local 1098, and Millwright & Machine Erector Local 729.

How long is the training program?

The Apprenticeship Program is a 4 year commitment. As part of your registered apprenticeship, carpenters and pile driver apprentices are required to complete a minimum of 640 contact hours at the Training Center. Millwright apprentices are required to complete a minimum of 800 contact hours. In addition, apprentices must complete 5,600 hours of on-the-job training to graduate as a journeyman.

This training program sounds expensive. How much is this going to cost me?

Tuition is free. How’s that for financial aid? The only expense to you is an $80 textbook usage fee for the duration of your apprenticeship and $20 monthly union dues. you will receive $30,000 worth of training over your 4 years of apprenticeship. It is estimated that the typical Union Carpenter receives $100,000 of training over the span of their career.

How long will it take me to earn top pay?

If you are regularly attending classes as scheduled and working consistently, you should be making top pay in 4 short years. Even apprentices are paid well compared to most entry-level pay of other jobs. The typical journeyman carpenter makes about $24.00 an hour. A 1st Year Apprentice starts at 60% of the journeyman wage. In this example that would be $14.40. There aren’t too many entry-level jobs that start you off at that rate. Raises are typically earned in 2.5% increments by achieving 40 hours of training combined with 350 hours of work hours every 3 months.

Union Apprentice Wages

Louisiana Union Apprentices
  • Percentage
  • Wage
*This is an example based on a journeyworker wage of $25.71. Actual wages vary depending on the contract.

Are there women in the Union?

Today, there are many woman working in the trades. Did you know that women working full-time in the United States typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 21 percent? While carpenters, millwrights, and pile drivers have traditionally been viewed as being men-only, this isn’t the case in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. The biggest benefit for women being in the Union is pay equality. Equal pay for equal work!

If you’d like to learn more about Sisters in the Brotherhood, please watch the video below and CLICK HERE.

When you think of a union carpenter, what image comes to mind? Do the hard-working women throughout our trades come to mind? It might be time for you to imagine something new. Watch this video and meet some of the interesting women who are union carpenters. They’re succeeding in a career they love and creating a path for others to follow.

What are the requirements to become an apprentice?

How do I get a copy of my high-school/college transcript or GED with scores?

Contact the school board in which you went to high school. If you no longer live in the area, simply search for the high-school name under the white pages or on the internet. Speak to someone who keeps track of paperwork within the facility. Request a copy of your transcripts. Ask them to send a copy of your transcripts to your address.

How do I apply to the Apprenticeship Program?

CLICK HERE and fill out the online application.

What if I already have experience in the trades?

Credit will be given depending on a combination of prior employment and knowledge. If you have prior experience, we will need to verify your past employment and work hours. You will also be required to participate in an evaluation with our instructors to test your knowledge in the trades.

Do veterans receive special consideration when applying for the apprenticeship program?

Yes, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America honors those who have served in the Armed Forces. Veterans are asked to complete a Helmets to Hardhats Application in addition to their Apprenticeship Application.

CLICK HERE for more information about the UBC and Helmets to Hardhats.

With your FREE Helmets to Hardhats account, you’ll be able to:

Join Helmets to Hardhats and start your next career today!

Here’s how it works: Simply CLICK HERE and complete the registration page. Make sure that you create a resume and apply to one of the carpenter job listings. We have included a nationwide posting so that every geographical area in the country is covered for your convenience. Soon, a UBC representative will contact you to help you start your civilian career with the UBC. Within no time at all, your career will begin with a solid pay and benefits package.

A Strong Future Awaits

Learn, earn and build a career for a lifetime. Become a Central South Union Carpenter or Southern States Millwright today.

Join Us