The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 Waco Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, or JATC, operates a college-accredited five-year registered apprenticeship program for men and women who want to begin a career as a plumber, pipefitter or welder. The program was started in 1946.
During the apprenticeship program, you must get 8,500-10,000 hours of on-the-job training. The average 40-hour a week job adds up to almost 2,000 hours a year.
There are technical schools that offer training for these trades in much shorter lengths of time. But the best thing about our program is it doesn’t cost our apprentices a dime! There is zero out-of-pocket cost to the apprentice for the classroom-related instructions. Waco JATC is funded by contributions from employers on behalf of the apprentice as part of the CBA-mandated wage package. All material, books, tools and instruction are paid for from those contributions.
Our U.S. Department of Labor recognized Registered Apprenticeship Training program teaches individuals how to perform the specific work of their desired trade. Through an earn-while-you-earn model, apprentices work during the day and get paid for the hours they put in. While on a job site, they learn the ins and outs of the piping trades from UA journeymen. These veterans teach apprentices the skills needed to perform efficiently high-quality work within a given trade.
Besides going to work, apprentices also receive in-person classroom instruction from certified JATC instructors, who teach them things they cannot learn on the job site, such as a certain level of math needed to perform the work. Additionally, apprentices also get hands-on training in a lab setting and earn industry-specific certifications required on job sites such as OSHA-10.
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 apprentices earn a livable hourly wage and receive scheduled pay raises as they progress through the apprenticeship program. Furthermore, they earn full-family health insurance and are eligible for retirement benefits, which include a pension and a 401k.
The earn-while-you-learn model is a great way to receive a good education and job training. When a person completes the apprenticeship program, they top out and become a journeyman, which means they have the skill set to perform the work of a specific trade at a high level.