Average pay while on the job 

$16.80/hour (plus benefits). Training lasts 3-5 years.

Apprenticeship pays

Apprentice programs may be entered into right out of high school, after earning a college degree or at any time as training for a new career.

When you’re accepted into a certified apprenticeship program, you receive classroom training from instructors with practical experience, plus you get paid while you’re learning on the job. The average apprentice earns about $35,000 per year during on-the-job training.

Apprenticeship training lasts three to five years depending on the trade. Admission tests are required for most of the trades and candidates with high school courses in general math, algebra, geometry, science and mechanical drawing are the most desirable.

Apprenticeship programs and their length in years:

  • Boilermaker, 4 years
  • Bricklayer, 3 years
  • Carpenter, 4 years
  • Electrician, 5 years
  • Ironworker, 3 years
  • Laborer, 3 years
  • Millwright, 4 years
  • Operator, 3 years
  • Painter, 4 years
  • Plumber/Pipefitter, 5 years
  • Sheetmetal, 4 years



Joe Prusi

“My apprenticeship with the Operating Engineers Local 324 has been the most rewarding job/career experience I could have hoped for. To be put to work and receive an education at the same time is priceless! Our training center, its instructors
and faculty are second to none. They share their knowledge and real world experiences, and want to help apprentices be successful.

Being a nationally certified crane operator presents countless opportunities for me. Also, I get to do something that I love and I am well compensated for doing it. And to top it all off, being honored by the UPCC Local 324 and my fellow tradesmen for Apprentice of the Year was a pleasant surprise!

I would recommend an apprenticeship with the Operating Engineers Local 324 to anyone looking for a career that gives back everything you put into it.”


For more information, contact the Upper Peninsula Construction Council at 906-786-1573 or go to, or directly contact the union that provides apprenticeship training.


A boilermaker is a trained craftsman who produces steel fabrications from plates and sections. They may be blacksmiths, forgers, ship builders, cement workers, stove workers, metal polishers, or numerous other job descriptions, and work on projects as diverse as bridges to blast furnaces to the construction of mining equipment.

Boilermakers Local 169
Jim Calouette, Business Agent
10154 Highway M-35, Gladstone
906-428-2800 •

Bricklayers work in varied aspects of building, industrial, commercial and residential construction. They build walls, partitions, chimneys and other structural forms from brick, block or other masonry material.  They work with mortar using a trowel.  They also use chisels, joiners, block hammers and powered saws.

Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 2 
John Kleiber, Business Representative
119 South Front Street, Marquette
906-458-2711 •

Electricians must be able to lay out, assemble, install, repair and test entire electrical systems. Along with their electrical training, journeyperson electricians must have a complete working knowledge of blueprint reading and know the National Electric Code and any state or local codes. Electricians must be mechanically inclined, physically fit and enjoy working with mathematical formulas.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 
Local 906
Tom Hogan, Business Manager/Financial Secretary
119 South Front Street, Marquette
906-226-7497 •

An ironworker is an important part of the building and construction industry, responsible for performing many duties related to the construction industry. For example: placing steel and post tensioning cables in concrete; erecting framework of steel buildings; installing metal siding and roof decking, fences, guardrails or ornamental and structural elements. It is important to be a certified welder, good burner and layout person and a team player.

Ironworkers Local 8
Tim Roman, Business Representative
119 South Front Street, Marquette
906-228-6450 •

Laborers may work in the construction industry or other areas such as paving, concrete work, blasting, demolition and small heavy equipment operation, and act as assistants to other trades. 

Laborers Local 1329
Geno Alessandrini, Business Manager-
Treasurer/Field Rep.
1800 North Stephenson Avenue, 
Iron Mountain
906-774-6070 •

Carpenters are required to have a working knowledge of many things, from building of small residential homes, to the construction of the most complex industrial settings. Their tools are hammers, saws, easers, digital and electronic devices and organizational and communication skills.  They saw wood, form concrete, build scaffolds, weld metals, mold plastics, and layout the tallest buildings.  

Millwrights are skilled construction mechanics who study and interpret blueprints and then put their knowledge and expertise to work drilling, welding and bolting in order to have a perfect fit.  Millwrights sometimes work to specifications requiring tolerances to a thousandth of an inch. Millwrights install and do maintenance in factories and do much of the precision work in nuclear power plans.  They also install conveyor systems, giant electrical turbines and generators.

Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters/Millwrights Local 1510
Brian Kerrigan, Business Representative
1221 Division Street, Marquette
906-228-2913 •

Brad Reed, Business Representative

Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters/
Millwrights Local 1510
1219 First Avenue South, Escanaba

Operating engineers work on machines that erect bridges, lay sewers and water mains, move construction materials, earth, and other heavy materials and apply asphalt and concrete to roads and other structures. Operating engineers may also be required to set up and inspect equipment, and perform minor repairs.  They are skilled at operating several different types of construction equipment.

Operating Engineers Local 324
George Edwardsen, Business Representative
802 Clark Drive, Gladstone, MI
906-399-6066 •

Apprentices in this union will gain skills for such careers as painters, glaziers, wall coverers, flooring installers, convention and trade show decorators, glassworkers, sign and display workers, asbestos workers/hazmat technicians and drywall finishers.

Painters & Allied Trades Local 1011
Travis Cary, Business Agent
707 Clark Drive, Gladstone MI
906-399-9797 •

Sheet metal work is an extremely varied trade. Sheet metal workers build interior and exterior architectural work, food service kitchen systems, material handling systems, and air handling systems for HVACR systems. Sheet metal workers also install and service mechanical equipment. It is one of the few modern trades in which the skilled individual takes the raw product, interprets the design drawing, develops the pattern, fabricates the items, installs and maintains them.

Sheetmetal Workers Local 7
Ryan Stern, Business Representative
304 Avenue A, Gwinn, MI
906-372-9288 • 906-250-6045 •

A plumber is a skilled craftworker who installs and repairs pipe systems that carry water, waste drainage, natural and medical gas in buildings. They join pipes and install fixtures like bathtubs, toilets, dishwashers and water heaters. Often they design these systems or they may work from blueprints and drawings. A pipefitter layouts, fabricates and assembles pipes from drawings, blueprints and specifications. They install and service sophisticated equipment, state of the art controls and piping systems or environmental control systems for a variety of industries and facilities.

U.A. Plumbers & Pipeffiters Local 111
2601 North 30th Street, Escanaba
906-789-9784 • 906-789-9784 •

U.A. Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 111
Dean Gutzman, Business Manager
119 South Front Street, Marquette
906-226-6511 •

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