Who are we?
The Apprenticeship and Training Program for Ironworkers' Local #387 Atlanta, Georgia. We work hand in hand with the local contractors to be sure we are able to provide the very best education and training for the future of the Ironworking trade.
Here at Ironworkers Local #387 we are very proud of our heritage and take great pride in training some of the best Ironworkers this country has to offer. We expect our apprentices to give their very best on the job site and in the class room.
What is an apprentice?
Apprentices have a long history dating back to ancient Greece when young workers entered a term of service, now called indentureship, to a skilled tradesman to learn his craft. Things are much the same today. Currently, an apprentice is an employee who learns a skilled trade through planned, supervised work on-the-job, while at the same time receiving related technical classroom instruction. Apprentices are required to sign an indenture agreement with their Joint Apprenticeship Committee that spells out the requirements and expectations of an apprentice ironworker.
Apprentices are taught the proper use, care, and safe handling of the tools and equipment used in connection with their work and, of course, the important skills necessary to become a successful tradesperson.
While working on-the-job and acquiring skills, apprentices are a regular part of the work force on whom contractors and co-workers rely. But remember that apprentices are also required to attend ironworking school and complete the prescribed courses related to the trade in order to complement their on-the-job training. Apprentices will receive an evaluation about every 6 months to determine if they are learning the craft. If the on-the-job or schoolwork is not satisfactory, they may be dropped from the program or sent back to repeat that segment of training. If, however, the work is good they will receive a pay raise. That's right, pay raises usually occur every 6 months!
What can I expect of the Ironworker Apprenticeship Program?
The Atlanta Ironworkers training for apprentices consists of four (4) years of on the job and classroom training. The apprentice is expected to attend classes at the training center two (2) nights a week for the duration of the four (4) year program. The subjects include blueprint reading, care and safe use of tools, mathematics, safety issues, welding and oxy-acetylene flame cutting.
What is expected of ironworker apprentices?
- Complete cooperation and willingness to learn
- Regular school attendance
- Dependability on the job
- The ability to work as part of a team
- The development of safe work habits
- Perform a day's work for a day's pay
- Be Drug and Alcohol free
What are the benefits?
Being a union ironworker has many benefits. You can read about some of those benefits below in detail. The benefits include health Insurance and a pension plan that are both contributions made by the contractor.
Union apprentices earn while they learn.
Apprenticeship classes are conducted after normal working hours to allow apprentices to gain on-the-job experience and bring home a respectable wage while they are in training. In some instances the apprentice may have to attend certain classes on Saturday. As an apprentice gains more skill throughout training, the pay for the work performed becomes higher. Starting pay is approximately 55 percent of a journeyman's wage or $13.50 per hour at the current rate, and as you accumulate an established number of on-the-job hours, wages are increased at regular intervals, usually every six months. At the end of the term of apprenticeship, you graduate to journeyman status and will receive full pay for the skills you have attained.
The opportunity to earn journeyman status provides lifetime security for you and your family. Learning the skills for this essential trade means that wherever you may go the construction industry at the local level will need your skills.
Naturally, the greater number of courses and certifications you have earned, the more likely it is that there will always be jobs available to you. That means your education doesn't - and shouldn't - end once you complete your apprenticeship. Education is an ongoing part of life. Gaining knowledge and increasing your abilities provides interest and challenge in your work. Journeyman upgrade classes (available through the Local Union and contractors) provide you with the opportunity to continually increase your skills and keep up with the new technologies being introduced into the industry and, of course, make yourself more marketable.
College or a Trade? Have it both ways!
Apprenticeship training in the ironworking trade can be applied toward college credit. You can earn as many as 65 credits toward a college degree and gain skill in the most respected craft of the building and construction trades at the same time.
Think of it. You can be learning a skill that will serve you for the rest of your life, earning credit toward a bachelor's degree, and making a living all at the same time. Talk about bang for the buck!
The Union Advantage
As a member of a union you will earn higher wages than non-union workers will. In most occupations union workers earn 34 percent more than non-union workers do. Unions have health care benefits, retirement plans, and short-term disability benefits and in many cases, an annuity and/or vacation plans. Non-union workers often do not receive these benefits, and those that do are completely at the employers discretion.
As a union worker you will be working under collective bargaining agreements - ratified by the membership - that emphasize equal pay and fair treatment. That means that every ironworker – male, female, minority, white – all receive the same pay and opportunities.
Additionally, union workers are better trained, have lower turnover, and share in decision making. In other words, you have a voice on the job.
As a member of the Iron Workers Union you will become a member of the AFL-CIO federation of unions whose membership totals more than 13 million. The AFL-CIO helps workers and unions combine strength and work together to improve the lives of working families, bring fairness and dignity to the workplace and secure social and economic equity.
What are the requirements?