Skip to main content
I Can Succeed

College Budgets & Borrowing
When finalizing your financial aid, it's important to borrow responsibly. Research all your options and make an informed decision. Learn more.


Main Content

Career Training Apprenticeship Programs

Four years of college isn’t for everyone and the job market isn’t set up for everyone to need a four-year degree.


Apprenticeship and job training programs are options that provide specific career and industry training.

  • On-the-job training
  • Apprenticeships
  • Career-focused certificate and degree programs at a community college or career training center.

Earn As You Learn

The Iowa Building and Construction Trades Registered Apprenticeship Programs are overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, and are “earn and learn” curricula that combine on-the-job training with structured learning at no cost to the students. While individual programs and trades vary, in many cases an apprentice student would spend time with experienced professionals on real job sites working and learning the trade. When not on a job, students are in classes. Both on-site and classroom experience provides a paycheck, and while exact figures vary by profession, the average apprentice makes about half of a journeyman’s hourly wage with salary increases every six months, along with health care benefits and the opportunity to enroll in a pension program. Most programs also guarantee a job within the union upon completion of the registered apprenticeship program.

In addition to experience, a paycheck, and a job guarantee, many apprentice program classes and training can be applied to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. For transfer credit specifics, talk to your local union representative about how programs can be transferred for college credit and to which colleges the transfer credits are accepted.

Building Trades Registered Apprenticeship Programs - What Are Your Options?

Click any career listed above to learn more about industry pay and program contacts.

Career Options


Boilermakers build and repair steam and hot water boilers that are used in a wide variety of commercial and
industrial settings.

Boilermakers Local 83 - Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and part of Missouri
  • Visit and click Apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Tom Burgess - (816) 526-8300
  • Hourly Wage: $46.63
  • Total Wage Package: $79.99


Bricklayers build walls, partitions, arches, fireplaces, chimneys and other structures from bricks, blocks, structural tile and other pre-made materials. Specialty areas include bricklayers, terrazzo workers, pointers, cleaners and caulkers, stonemasons, tile and marble setters, tile and marble finishers.

Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers 3 - Cedar Rapids & Iowa City
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Bob Rowland (641) 328-2251
  • Hourly Wage: $34.75
  • Total Wage Package: $52.70
Bricklayers #3 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Bob Rowland (641) 328-2251
  • Hourly Wage: $36.00
  • Total Wage Package: $55.48


Carpenters construct, erect, install and repair commercial and residential structures and fixtures of wood, plywood and wallboard. They erect framework in buildings, including sub-flooring, partitions and rafters, and install molding, wood paneling, cabinets, windows, doors and hardware as well as building forms for concrete work, building stairs and laying floors.

Carpenters Locals 308 & 1260 - Cedar Rapids and Iowa City
Carpenters #106 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Anthony Fasano (515) 265-3467  
  • Hourly Wage:  $34.10
  • Total Wage Package: $54.35 


Electricians plan, install, maintain and test electrical circuitry and appliances for heating, lighting, communications and power, as well as in air conditioning and refrigeration systems in homes, commercial buildings and factories.

Electricians Local 405 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Jebediah Novak (319) 654-9238  
  • Hourly Wage:  $40.42    
  • Total Wage Package:  $59.38
Electricians #347 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Steve Hansen (515) 224-4349  
  • Hourly Wage: $44.45     
  • Total Wage Package: $63.41

Elevator Constructors

Complete installation, service and maintenance of all residential, commercial and industrial elevators, escalators, moving walks or any other form of people-moving and vertical transportation systems.

Elevator Constructors Local #33 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Business Manager:  Chris Shay (515) 262-0120  
  • Hourly Wage:  $39.185 - $53.94
  • Total Wage Package:  $93.125


Glaziers cut and install all types and sizes of glass such as plate glass, custom glass, window glass, obscure glass, mirrors and leaded glass panels and curtain wall. They also fit and install aluminum entrances, sidelights and show windows, as well as plastic and porcelain panels in metal and wood frames.

Glaziers & Glassworkers Local 581 - Cedar Rapids/Quad Cities
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Travis Luchtenburg (309) 737-2095
  • Hourly Wage: $30.78 - $33.37    
  • Total Wage Package: $52.43 - $55.02
Glaziers #1075 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Jeremiah Fliss (515) 421-0002  
  • Hourly Wage: $33.00
  • Total Wage Package: $55.98


Insulators install insulation in both industrial and commercial mechanical systems, such as piping, boilers, duct work, storage tanks and equipment for the purpose of energy savings and burn protection, and to control system heat transfer and condensation.

Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local 81 - Cedar Rapids/Quad Cities
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Jeremiah Griep (309) 283-7470   
  • Hourly Wage: $34.21   
  • Total Wage Package: $59.01
Insulators #74 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Jeremy Heimbaugh (515) 202-6903  
  • Hourly Wage: $30.77  
  • Total Wage Package: $51.16


Ironworkers erect structural steel, install reinforcing steel, metal floor and roof decking, and assemble and install decorative curtain wall. They also move heavy machinery and assemble pre-engineered buildings.

Ironworkers Local 89 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Luis Marmolejo (319) 365-8675   
  • Hourly Wage: $33.41 
  • Total Wage Package: $57.59
Ironworkers #67 - Des Moines


Work done by Construction Craft Laborers can include the construction, remodeling and demolition of buildings, dams, bridges, airports, streets, sewers, tunnels, etc. Typically, a laborer may do placement of asphalt and concrete, assisting brick masons, carpenters, and plaster masons, earth compaction, pavement breaking, landscaping, pipe laying, cleanup, flagging environmental remediation, cutting and burning steel, rigging, sandblasting, etc.

Laborers Local 43 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Training Director:  Ed Ely (515) 270-6965     
  • Hourly Wage: $21.09 - $27.30
  • Total Wage Package: $40.08 - $46.29
Laborers #177 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Training Director:  Ed Ely (515) 270-6965     
  • Hourly Wage:  $28.61   
  • Total Wage Package: $45.86


As a lineman, you’ll be involved in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground power lines. You’ll learn the skills needed to work on substations and switchyards, as well as distribution and transmission circuits up to 500,000 volts.

Missouri Valley Line Constructors JATC - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Wes Roberson (515) 961-5062     
  • Lineman
    • Hourly Wage: $31.48 - $52.46
  • Traffic Signal Technician
    • Hourly Wage: $21.95 - $36.59
  • Substation Technician
    • Hourly Wage: $30.12 - $50.20


Millwrights are construction mechanics who install and maintain conveyance systems and large machinery for factories and shops.

Millwright Local 2158 - Cedar Rapids/Quad Cities
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Dan Ketchum (309) 912-9956      
  • Hourly Wage:  $35.08    
  • Total Wage Package: $63.63
Millwright Local 1463 - Des Moines

Operating Engineers

Operating Engineers operate and maintain heavy construction equipment such as cranes, backhoes, loaders, scrapers and bulldozers for use in the construction of buildings, factories, roads, dams, power plants and bridges.

Operating Engineering Local 234 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Ryan Hollinrake (641) 942-7112        
  • Hourly Wage:  $31.86 - $38.47
  • Total Wage Package: $49.01 - $55.62
Operating Engineering Local 234 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Ryan Hollinrake (641) 942-7112 
  • Hourly Wage:  $32.90 - $34.65
  • Total Wage Package: $52.95 - $54.70

Painters & Drywall Finishers

Residential, industrial and commercial painters prepare surfaces and apply paint to walls and moldings, indoors and outdoors. Industrial work may include bridges, tanks, powerhouses, sandblasting and spray painting. Commercial work can involve painting/brush and roll, and wall covering.

Painters & Drywall Finishers Local 1178 - Cedar Rapids/Quad Cities
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Travis Luchtenberg (309) 737-2095        
  • Painters Cedar Rapids
    • Hourly Wage: $28.60
    • Total Wage Package: $40.53
  • Drywallers - Cedar Rapids
    • Hourly Wage: $29.10
    • Total Wage Package: $41.03
  • Painters - Quad Cities
    • Hourly Wage: $31.32
    • Total Wage Package: $50.89
  • Drywallers - Quad Cities
    • Hourly Wage: $31.82
    • Total Wage Package: $51.39
Painters & Allied Trades #246 - Des Moines

Plasterers & Cement Masons

Plasterers mix and apply coats of standard and decorative plasters, both inside and out. Cement masons smooth and finish exposed concrete surfaces on projects such as walls, floors, steps, sidewalks, driveways and roads.

Cement Masons Local 561 - Robins
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Adam Nevins (515) 266-1668
  • Hourly Wage:  $33.16
  • Total Wage Package: $53.05
Plasters & Cement Masons #21 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Adam Nevins (515) 266-1668     
  • Cement Masons
    • Hourly Wage: $32.16     
    • Total Wage Package: $51.57
  • Plasterers
    • Hourly Wage: $33.31
    • Total Wage Package: $48.25

Plumbers & Steamfitters

Plumbers design, install and maintain sanitary, storm, water supply and gas service lines, plumbing fixtures and mechanical equipment. Steamfitters install and service pipes and measuring devices in water and steam pressure systems, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, and power and fuel facilities.

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 125 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Liam Wilkins (319) 362-9259        
  • Hourly Wage: $41.94
  • Total Wage Package: $63.22 
Plumbers & Steamfitters #33 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Jerry Lindquist (515) 244-1346        
  • Hourly Wage:  $43.20
  • Total Wage Package: $66.70
Plumbers & Steamfitters #25 - Quad Cities
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Chuck McKnight (309) 788-4159        
  • Hourly Wage:  $41.70
  • Total Wage Package: $67.22

Roofers & Waterproofers

Roofers install roofs on structures in a variety of materials, including shingles, slate and tile, hot tar, rubber, plastics and composites.

Roofers & Waterproofers Local 182 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Brian Cosgrove (319) 213-0332      
  • Hourly Wage: $29.28
  • Total Wage Package: $46.72
Roofers #142 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Dan Ferch (515) 779-9550       
  • Hourly Wage: $31.50  
  • Total Wage Package: $46.72

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers build products from sheets of steel, aluminum, copper and other metals, and install the finished products. They are responsible for heating, air conditioning and ventilation of commercial buildings and homes. They also design and fabricate fascia, flashing, awnings, gutters and metal roofs, as well as kitchen equipment and exhaust systems.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 263 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Mike McCullough (319) 533-1389       
  • Hourly Wage: $40.01
  • Total Wage Package: $63.84
Sheet Metal Workers #45 - Des Moines
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Larry Ferriss (515) 262-7421     
  • Hourly Wage:  $41.31
  • Total Wage Package: $65.01


A sprinkler fitter is responsible for installing, inspecting, and repairing sprinkler systems. Duties will typically include installing plumbing fixtures, fixing and replacing defective and outdated sprinklers, and soldering and welding pipes, tubes, and fittings designed for sprinklers.

Sprinklerfitters Local 669 Dis. 23 - Omaha, NE
  • Visit
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Tony Zakaras (531) 203-0398      
  • Hourly Wage: $43.04
  • Total Wage Package: $69.14


The Teamsters Union is North America’s strongest and most diverse labor union. There are nearly 1,900 Teamster affiliates throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Teamsters stand ready to organize workers who want to bargain collectively. The Teamsters Union also performs vital tasks in such areas as pension management, safety and health, community outreach, governmental affairs and communications. For more than a century the Teamsters have been a public voice for the rights and aspirations of working men and women and a key player in securing them. Hourly wages and benefits varies by industry.

Teamsters Local 238 - Cedar Rapids
  • Visit
  • Representative: Zach Peterson (712) 363-3173
  • Hourly Wage:  $32.81
  • Total Wage Package: $57.71 
Teamsters Local 371 - Quad Cities


© 2024I Can Succeed. All rights reserved.