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Just like colleges, many unions have deadlines to apply for their apprenticeship programs, so plan ahead! Use this chart to see the best month to apply for a Philadelphia union building trades apprenticeship.  Remember, an apprenticeship is a full-time job from day one. Most trades apprenticeships take 4-5 years and you receive raises until you are fully trained as a journey worker making $60,000 – $90,000 per year plus benefits!


  • Contact information and website
  • When to pick up and deliver applications
  • Minimum qualifications
  • Application or testing fees
  • Information especially for women (maternity leave, women’s committees)
TradeBest Month to Apply
Carpenters (also includes floorlayers, millwrights, cabinet makers)Any
Cement MasonFebruary – March
Commercial PaintingAny
Drywall FinishingAny
Electrician (Electrical Wireman)April
Electrician (Electrical Wireman) IBEW NORTHAny
Electrician (Sound & Telecommunications)Any
Elevator ConstructorsTBD
HVAC & R Tech (Mechanical Equipment Service)October and April
Industrial/Bridge PaintingAny
Iron Worker – ReinforcingOctober
Iron Worker – StructuralMarch
Laborers District CouncilVaries
Operating EngineerOctober
PlastererFebruary – March
Sheet Metal WorkerAny
Sprinkler FitterTBD
Steamfitter/Pipefitting & WeldingOctober and April
Wall CoveringAny

Learn more about each trade – choose your top three:

Find more contact information and apprenticeship application details in this Philadelphia Apprenticeship Guide.

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