Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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Joint Base Lewis-McChord UA VIP welding students learn career skills

Joint Base Lewis-McChord UA VIP welding students learn career skills

For the students in Joint Base Lewis-McChord Welding Class 25, the start of class is certainly an important moment. It is the beginning of a new civilian career in the pipe trades.

The students are part of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program, which is designed to prepare transitioning active-duty service members for civilian careers in the pipe trades.

Over the course of 18 weeks, the students will train alongside an experienced journeyman instructor. They will learn through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience and gain foundational career building skills learning to weld. They will earn industry recognized certifications that will propel their advancement when they move on to UA registered apprenticeship programs.

The certifications the students will earn can include oxy fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling.


Guaranteed union job placement in a civilian career

Upon completing their UA VIP training and transitioning out of the military, the students will enter a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. They will earn good union pay as they learn and will quickly become eligible for excellent healthcare benefits for their family. They will also start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement. As they progress through the program, they will be entitled to systematic pay raises.

Transitioning active-duty service members become eligible to enroll in the UA VIP program during their last 18 months of military commitment. The training takes place during the last few months of their enlistment.

The UA VIP Program takes place at select military bases throughout the country. UA VIP training is available in welding, HVACR or fire sprinkler fitting.

Learn more about the UA VIP welding and HVACR programs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.