Faqs, myths, facts & stats




Sign up for in-local courses at your local union hall. If you wish to take an in-local course offered by another local union hall, ask your business agent to call the hall offering the course and find out if there is room in the course for you to attend.

Students enrolled in two-week courses can receive housing and meals on the weekend. Students should inform their instructor when they arrive if these arrangements need to be made.

The Kingston training site offers a TV lounge and board games for students to use after training hours. In addition, beaches, hiking trails, a movie theatre, shopping and other outdoor activities are located nearby. Students at Satsop have access to services in Elma, Montesano, and a drive to Aberdeen is not too far.

Yes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided to students attending a course at the Kingston site (coffee is available from 6:30 a.m. through the end of breakfast; breakfast is from 7 to 7:30 a.m.; lunch is served at noon, and dinner is from 5 to 5:30 p.m.). Students at the Satsop site have access to breakfast at the hotel, while lunch and dinners are pre-ordered for pick-up. Lunch is provided to students at the West Jordan (UT) site. At all other training sites, you are on your own for meals.

Work clothes including boots, gloves, jacket, hard hat, rain gear, and rain boots are required. If you’re attending the Asbestos Worker class, you must bring a swim suit and rubber boots. If you’re attending a concrete class, bring rubber boots. Dress for construction work. Under no circumstances are sweats, jogging clothes, shorts, tank tops, or open-toed shoes allowed while attending classes or dining in the cafeteria. You may wear whatever you like after class and after you’ve finished dinner.
Students are responsible for bringing their own personal grooming items and laundry soap, if needed. The Kingston site offers an on-site laundry facility for students’ use. The training program will notify students of any specific clothing and/or equipment needs. Bed linens,  pillows, and bath and hand towels are provided. The school also furnishes necessary tools, materials and books.

Here comes the answer everyone loves… it depends. Some courses run for as long as two weeks, some one week, and some are one day in length. Usually, courses are eight hours per day, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

You betcha. Students can check in at the Warren Administration building in Kingston from 4:00 p.m. until midnight the evening prior to their course at the Kingston site. At our Elma (Satsop) site, students can check into their hotel room at the Stay Beyond Inn & Suites located on Main Street. The Des Moines, Pasco, Spokane, and West Jordan (UT) sites do not have live-in facilities.

Yep, upon successful completion of a course. The rate is based on one round trip, and is determined by the distance from the student’s local union hall to the training site.

You will be in big, big trouble. Kidding. If for any reason you are unable to attend, please call the training program office as soon as possible. For Kingston, call 1-800-240-9112; for Utah, call 801-280-7195.


Fact: The construction profession requires you to be physically fit. It does not require you to be big and buff. As a matter of fact, to succeed in this profession, brains are more important than brawn.

Fact: Today, both men and women work as respected professionals on the same construction teams, and earn equal pay. You can find talented and well-trained women in this industry, and employers and coworkers appreciate their professional skills.

Fact: The truth is that many construction workers earn more per hour than university graduates, and an average construction worker’s annual salary is greater than the overall national average salary. If you work your way up in this industry as an apprentice, you can earn money while you’re studying and avoid student loan issues.

Fact: People choose the construction industry because they like to work, use their smarts, show their skills and enjoy the challenges. Individuals with excellent math and reading skills enter this industry to build amazing structures. Construction professionals work with their hands as well as their brains, and take pride in getting an idea from conception to the final product.

Fact: Construction is a multibillion-dollar industry. From residential homes to fancy hotels and high-rises to our complex transportation systems, there are plenty of opportunities for construction workers to get ahead and earn a very decent living. Consider that the average salary for construction project managers is in the neighborhood of $112K and it is quickly obvious that professional success is a real possibility for construction professionals who are interested in working up through the ranks. It is also one of the few job markets left where entrepreneurs and skilled workers who want to start their own company have the opportunity to grow a lucrative business.

Fact: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Construction begins long before a single construction worker and their tool ever arrives on the scene. City and town planners, economists, engineers and architects are not performing “simple” jobs. Neither are the trained and skilled workers who show up every day using modern innovation and construction technology to build the world we live in. Construction requires a greater ability to “think outside the box,” as well as in-the-moment problem-solving skills that are not required in many other professions.

Fact: Most construction professionals are exactly where they want to be. Construction offers a multitude of jobs for a variety of skill sets, from planning and building to organizing and managing. Individuals who start in a trade when they’re young receive more continual education and training than the majority of their professional counterparts. This is especially true when you consider that less than half of the workforce claims their job requires a college degree. Construction workers are employed in an industry that typically works Monday through Friday, with regular working hours and holidays off. They are also fairly compensated for overtime. Plus, it is very satisfying to work in a profession where you can work with your hands as well as your head, and can see the products of your labor on a daily basis. Not to mention, the majority of houses, bridges, roads, high-rises, etc., that you build will be there for decades—if not centuries—to come.

Fact: Sure, working in construction can be dangerous, but current safety standards and regulations have made the construction industry as safe as it has ever been. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics states that fatal work injuries in the private construction sector have decreased every year since 2006. Companies have learned that developing risk management plans, observing regular safety meetings and keeping a continuous eye on safety decreases construction site accidents and injuries. Also, tool manufacturers and equipment vendors are producing equipment with built-in safety features. They are also hosting their own orientations, trainings and safety meetings, which further the cause of “Safety First.”

Fact: Construction workers are in high demand, but career training to acquire knowledge and skills is a must. Many laborers actually have some college education; otherwise they are considered skilled tradesmen. Construction is one of the only industries where employers continually pay for, host or send their employees to receive training. Apprenticeships are highly competitive. From education regarding OSHA safety regulations to classes, seminars and conferences regarding the latest construction technology and innovation, construction professionals are constantly improving their skill sets. Workers interested in pursuing project management or other upper-level positions are often required to obtain a degree or further technical training. In a competitive market, especially the post-recession construction market, it can be very difficult for uneducated or inexperienced workers to find a job.

Fact: Baloney. College isn’t for everyone, and the attitude that every high school graduate should attend college does a real disservice to those who don’t, by limiting their opportunity for career preparation. Today’s workforce requires skills that can be obtained through a technical college or an apprenticeship program. Students who enjoy working with their hands, designing and building in the construction industry are in demand and are well paid. A skilled craftsman is a career to be proud of.

Myth: If I don’t go to college my future will suck. Myth: If I don’t go to college my future will suck.


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