When you choose to become a skilled carpenter, you reap financial rewards. You’ll gain access to higher pay, regular raises, better fringe benefits and a collective bargaining agreement that spells out the terms and conditions of your job.

But we know that you may have questions about what specific benefits, training and who you will be working for. Please find answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What is the apprentice program?

Our apprenticeship is a free, state-certified training program. It combines classroom and hands-on training with on-the-job experience. In addition to learning a variety of new skills, apprentices earn livable wages while they learn.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for an apprenticeship, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma, G.E.D., or high school equivalency diploma
  • Be sponsored by a union contractor
  • Have the ability to meet the physical and performance demands of the job
  • Pay a one-time entry fee

What will I learn?

Through the 4-year training program, men and women learn how to turn carpentry into more than a job. They build a professional career in every sense of the word.

To meet our training standards, apprentices work as many as 7,000 hours on the job, side-by-side with skilled industry veterans. Instructors reinforce this on-the-job experience with between 144 and 520 hours of classroom and hands-on lessons at our training centers.

Apprentices earn basic skill and safety certifications. They also learn dozens of additional skills customized for their trade. During their third year, selected apprentices spend time at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Will I be paid while being in the program?

Apprentices start at 50-70% of the hourly wage that journey-level workers earn. (Your starting wage depends on where you live and the trade you select.) Apprentices also receive some fringe benefits (i.e. medical and pension).

Your pay and benefits increase as you gain expertise. In general, you get a pay raise roughly every 1,000 hours you work. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you immediately receive 100 percent of the journey-level wages and benefits.

To learn more about North Central States Carpenters apprentice program, contact us.

What benefits do North Central States Carpenters provide?

Better wages

North Central States Carpenters workers earn, on average, 60% more than carpenters not in the association. What does that mean in real dollars? Our members earn an average of $9.40 more an hour, which means an average of $376 more each week.

Fringe benefits

The following are examples of fringe benefits that North Central States Carpenters provides:

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement pension
  • Savings plan

Member assistance

Our members have access to referrals, counseling and advice on a range of issues when you feel you’re in over your head. Additionally, our member assistance plan offers counseling for medical, behavioral health and substance abuse.

To learn more about benefits provided through North Central States Carpenters, contact us.

Who is North Central States Carpenters?

The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters represents nearly 26,000 members and their families in 36 Local Unions in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Our staff of nearly 125 representatives and specialists works for our members on jobsites, with lawmakers and in the community.

We set the standard

Every day, our members and signatory contractors set the standards for the construction industry in the Upper Midwest. We set the standards for:

  • Training, productivity, and safe working conditions.
  • Apprenticeship, which provides real career choices for young people and builds the next generation of skilled workers for our economy.
  • Wages and benefits. We earn wages that reward us for our hard work, carry full health insurance for ourselves and our families, and build a pension so we can enjoy retirement.

To learn more about how North Central States Carpenters sets the standard for excellence in the carpentry industry and helps individuals build their careers, contact us.