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April 24, 2018

Is our apprentice program the answer for you?

So, if you’ve been reading  along here with our blog, you’ve picked up on the fact that the NWLETT apprentice program for Laborers looks like a smart choice if you’re more interested in getting on-the-job training and cashing checks than putting in four or five years of time and tuition.

But at this point you might have some questions that we haven’t answered in detail, or at all. Here are some questions we commonly get, and straightforward answers to them.

What are the requirements to get in the program?

There are three mandatory requirements: you have to be at least 18 years old, you must have a valid driver’s license, and you need to verify that you have at least a 10th-grade education or a GED.

How do I apply?

We suggest you give our apprenticeship office a call at 800.554.4457. They’ll ask you some questions to determine your next steps – typically, you’ll go to a union hall near your area and submit an application there.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The Laborer apprenticeship program involves 6,000 hours of combined on-the-job and classroom training. This can take from 3 to 5 years to complete – and you’ll be earning a good wage at the same time that you’re learning.

Do I have to take a drug test?

Yes, drug testing is mandatory for everyone in the program.

Are housing and meals free during training?

While you’re attending classes at the Kingston or Satsop training sites, your housing and meals are provided free of cost.

Why do I have to have a valid driver’s license?

On some jobs your employer may require you to drive a company vehicle, so you must be licensed and insurable.

What if I want to be an electrician/carpenter/operator?

Laborers are a separate trade from these fields, and we do not teach these very specialized skills. But, because the scope of a Laborer’s work is broader, we’re generally the first workers on a job and the last to leave. That means more overall work hours for Laborers.

I’ve worked in another state – will my skills transfer?

If you can prove that you’ve performed Laborer work (by showing W2s and pay stubs), you might be eligible for training credit and/or a higher starting wage.

What if I just want to be a flagger?

You’ll learn flagging as part of your apprenticeship. The program is designed to make you a well-rounded Laborer, which will benefit you and your employer in the long run.

What advice can you give me?

Be willing to learn and expand your skills. Being well-rounded in your skills helps you by making you eligible for more types of work. Because Laborer work can be cyclical, that means when one type of work (for example, concrete) slows down, you can pick up other work, like asbestos abatement. The more skills you possess, the more work will be available to you.

We hope this gives you an even better idea of why the NWLETT program is so beneficial for so many people looking to start on a solid career path. But, of course, you might have even more questions; we welcome them. Give us a call at 800.554.4457 and find out if you’re ready to get to work with us.

Find your Laborers Union Hall