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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.


  • Trade jobs account for 54% of the labor market*
  • In 2017 approximately 40% of job growth will be the estimated 2.5 million new middle-skill jobs that are being added to the workforce.**
  • The United States has a skills gap, meaning there are more job opportunities than there are skilled labor to fill them.

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
Kansas City, MO
  • Business Agent/Manager: Tom Dye (816) 276-1225 -
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Tom Burgess - (816) 526-8300
  • Hourly Wage: $36.56
  • Total Wage Package: $65.61

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
Bricklayers #3
Des Moines

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
#308 - Cedar Rapids
#1260 - Iowa City
Carpenters #106
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Blake Wikoff (515) 371-8902
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Brittini Kircher (651) 888-1629  
  • Hourly Wage:  $28.00
  • Total Wage Package: $42.00 

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
  • Business Agent/Manager: Bill Hanes (319) 396-8241 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Mike Carson (319) 654-9238  
  • Hourly Wage:  $26.40-$33.92    
  • Total Wage Package:  $40.10-$47.62
Electricians #347
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Patrick Wells (515) 243-1924
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Steve Hansen (515) 224-4349 
  • Hourly Wage: $35.09     
  • Total Wage Package:  $50.73

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.

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
Glaziers #1075
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager: J.D. Fitch (515) 710-9689  
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Howard Baker (515) 322-5009  
  • Hourly Wage: $26.71    
  • Total Wage Package: $45.13

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
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Tony McNeally (563) 210-2267 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Paul Miller (563) 785-4622   
  • Hourly Wage: $30.41     
  • Total Wage Package: $51.01
Insulators #74
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Mark Selby (618) 401-0907  
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Jeremy Heimbaugh (515) 202-6903 
  • Hourly Wage: $26.65  
  • Total Wage Package:  $43.71

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
  • Business Agent/Manager: Troy Sauter (319) 365-8675 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Seth Gorman (319) 365-8675   
  • Hourly Wage:  $26.67 
  • Total Wage Package:  $43.64
Ironworkers #67
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager: James Wat (515) 262-9366 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Joe Derby (515) 262-9366    
  • Hourly Wage: $26.58   
  • Total Wage Package: $45.67

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
  • Business Agent/Manager: Danny Hemminger II   
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Lynn Pickard (515) 238-5216      
  • Hourly Wage: $24.62   
  • Total Wage Package: $36.96
Laborers #177
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager: Mike Weckman (515) 265-6131    
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Lynn Pickard (515) 238-5216      
  • Hourly Wage:  $25.00   
  • Total Wage Package: $35.36

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.

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

Millwright Local 2158
  • Business Agent/Manager: Derek McClain (319) 777-8901   
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Willy Duncan (563) 357-8070      
  • Hourly Wage:  $27.79    
  • Total Wage Package: $50.99 

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
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Jason Copple (712) 577-3046 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Ryan Hollinrake (641) 942-7112        
  • Hourly Wage:  $28.10-$36  
  • Total Wage Package: $42.65-$50.55
Operating Engineering Local 234
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Jason Copple (712) 577-3046 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Ryan Hollinrake (641) 942-7112        
  • Hourly Wage:  $27.12 
  • Total Wage Package: $42.53

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 447
Cedar Rapids
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Derek Molyneux (319) 320-8988 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Howard Baker (515) 322-5009         
  • Hourly Wage: $23.45 
  • Total Wage Package: $33.34
Painters & Allied Trades #246
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Jason D. Knight (515) 289-0482 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Howard Baker (515) 322-5009        
  • Hourly Wage:  $25.44    
  • Total Wage Package: $37.40

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
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager: Earl Agan (515) 266-1668   
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Earl Agan (515) 266-1668
  • Hourly Wage:  $27.29   
  • Total Wage Package: $43.23
Plasters & Cement Masons #21
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Earl Agan (515) 266-1688
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Earl Agan (515) 266-1688       
  • Hourly Wage: $25.67     
  • Total Wage Package: $40.72

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
  • Business Agent/Manager: Jerry Hobart (319) 270-1350  
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator:  Chip Davis (319) 362-9259        
  • Hourly Wage: $37.29      
  • Total Wage Package: $53.72 
Plumbers & Steamfitters #33
Des Moines
  • Business Agent/Manager: Andy Roberts (515) 243-3244 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Eric Smith (515) 244-1346        
  • Hourly Wage:  $33.65       
  • Total Wage Package: $53.65

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
Roofers #142
Des Moines

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
Sheet Metal Workers #45
Des Moines

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
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Paul Cunningham (402) 960-8424 
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator: Paul Cunningham (402) 960-8424      
  • Hourly Wage: $32.41  
  • Total Wage Package: $49.71


Teamsters Local 238
Cedar Rapids
  • Business Agent/Manager:  Dale Walters (319) 365-1461      
  • Hourly Wage:  $27.14
  • Total Wage Package: $38.81 
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