Transitioning out of the military can be a challenge. After years of military service, veterans are
faced with the daunting task of forging a new career in the civilian world. Many worry about what
they will do.
Fortunately, the students in Fort Hood Welding Class 22 now have a much clearer career path.
Thanks to the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program, they are gaining the
foundational skills necessary to begin a career in the pipe trades. The program guarantees them
not only a good paying civilian job, but a career with a great future and plenty of opportunity for
The UA VIP program is a Career Skills Program (CSP) for transitioning active-duty service
members. Over the course of 18 weeks, the students will learn alongside an experienced
journeyman instructor through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Some have never held a welding torch before, but will soon gain basic skills and earn industry
recognized certifications that will propel them into good paying civilian careers.
The Class 22 students will learn oxy fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe
welding and SMAW pipe spooling.
The students became eligible to apply for the program during their last 18 months of enlistment.
The UA VIP program offers training in welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler fitting at select military
bases across the country.
A direct path to a good paying civilian career
After the Class 22 students complete their UA VIP training and transition out of the military, they
will go on to join a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. While training, they
will earn good union pay, including annual raises as they progress through the program and
advance their skill set. They will quickly become eligible for quality healthcare for their family.
They will immediately start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement.
Upon completion of their training, the students will become journeymen with numerous
opportunities for advancement. Some will go on to become foremen, superintendents or even
instructors in the UA VIP program.
They will have good paying careers in a field with high job demand. The construction industry
faces a shortage of skilled labor as older members retire. The UA VIP program provides
transitioning active-duty service members a good paying career that cannot be outsourced or
replaced with technology.