Industry FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a career in construction is a good match for me?

Before considering a career in construction, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I like hands on or traditional classroom learning? 
  • Do I like solving problems?
  • Do I enjoy physical work?

What is a registered apprenticeship program?

Customized and hands-on, apprenticeships allow you to learn and earn. Your wages increase as you master job-specific skills through classroom and on-the-job training. Apprenticeships offer rewarding careers and flexible work/life balance.

Videos of many apprenticeship topics here: This webpage has an excellent array of many videos representing a variety of Construction apprenticeship career insight. 

What is the principal role of the apprenticeship sponsor?

Sponsors typically recruit, screen, and hire apprentices, or work with employers to do so. They develop formal agreements with apprentices identifying the length of the program, skills to be learned, the wages to be paid at different points in time, the development of the equal employment opportunity plan, and the required classroom instruction; and work with state apprenticeship agencies (SAAs) or DOL to make sure that their registered programs meet state and federal requirements.

U.S. Department of Labor 

Is all construction registered apprenticeships union?

The majority of construction-based apprenticeships are union yet there are some sponsors who are not affiliated with a union.  

If I have a criminal record how will that affect my career in this industry?

People with criminal backgrounds do work in the construction industry. Typically, this is by choice of the contractor (employer) to hire the individual. Yet, an owner (The entity who is paying for construction to be done on their premises) can choose whether any or specific criminal backgrounds cannot be on the property thus it could affect a worker with a particular criminal background to not work on that specific project. 

What is a typical day look like as an apprentice?

Here’s a great video sample of what other apprentices do as part of their day:

What is a union hiring hall?

Some unions are called “hiring halls”. These trades you cannot solicit your own work, instead your union finds you work. Most of the hiring hall unions are set up to as a first come first serve basis instead of seniority so if you get laid off, you call your union, and they will tell you what place in line you are. 

What does “solicit your own work” mean?

About half the construction trades unions give you an option to apply with an employer, when you get hired you then either become a union member and/or you continue your union membership as an “active” member such as, the registered apprenticeship programs, pensions, health, etc. 

If I have a union construction job, who pays my wages?

The contractor/employer you work for pays your wages and the union that you are a member of helps train you during and after your apprenticeship program and also can assist in finding you work. 

Where can I get trained to prepare for my construction career?

There are some great options for you to start your construction career. Depending on what trade you decide on (over 30 trade options) could determine what path you take for your education in that area. Typically, licensed trades and field professionals (i.e., construction management, civil engineering) have a college component. With other trades, getting started with a short-term training program through a community-based organization is enough to take the next step and focus on a specific trade. If you choose to do union work, some trades will train you first at their union apprenticeship training center and then get you placed with an employer. 

Here are some website links for you to explore: