Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the Eligibility Requirements?

VIP is open to transitioning active duty military personnel. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent and be physically capable of performing strenuous work.

Do I need any pipe trades experience to join the UA VIP?

There is no experience required. The VIP Program is designed to prepare students with little-to-no experience in the pipe trades for an apprenticeship with the United Association. 

What is a union? And is this a union affiliated program?

A union is an organization of workers joined together in a common goal; to mutually aid and protect, to engage in concerted activity and collected bargaining, and to elevate their conditions of life and labor. It is an organization by which ordinary people do extraordinary things. And yes, the UA VIP Program prepares students for a career with the United Association as a union apprentice.

What are the benefits of joining a union?

Becoming a member of the United Association creates the opportunity for a future with high pay, great medical insurance and one of the best pension plans in the nation. Furthermore, UA members get a top quality education, with opportunities to learn the latest technologies even after apprenticeship.  They are always able to expand and improve their skillset, making them more marketable to employers across the nation.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices earn while they learn, receiving wages for their work on the job. Classroom instruction is typically attended after working hours and covers a variety of topics related to the trade. A Union Association is five years in length.

How long does it take to get a job?

The pace of the hiring process is determined by the local union. Labor demands generally dictate the number of apprentices accepted each year. All employment arrangements are coordinated on your behalf though the UA VIP Program.

How much will I get paid?

The pay scale and benefits are determined by the collective bargaining agreement that each local union makes with their respective signatory contractors. Compensation varies across the country.

How does VIP compare to other programs like Helmets to Hardhats and Hire a Hero?

The UA Veterans in Piping Program was set up to complement existing programs that place transitioning active duty service members construction careers. We actively support these programs that similarly give back to our veterans. The UA VIP Program is different in the way we provide job skills training and certification leading to guaranteed employment as a United Association apprentice.

Image of two protected individuals cutting a pipe

VIP Program Locations