The plumbing industry is strong and expanding. Minnesota plumbers provide medical gas installation in hospitals, clinics and dialysis units. They work in new residential and commercial construction, remodeling and updating plumbing in existing buildings and provide valuable troubleshooting. A Minnesota plumber is a highly skilled technician who takes great pride in their work.
“The United Association Plumbers and Gasfitters Local Union #15 (Minneapolis and St. Cloud), provides excellent training for young people interested in pursuing a career in the plumbing industry,” said Trevor Ogilvie, Minneapolis Plumbers JJATC Training Director. “We have state of the art facilities and more than 45 industry-certified instructors dedicated to the trade by providing a quality education to all that attend the apprenticeship program along with ongoing education for the journeyman or master plumber.”
“Minneapolis Plumbers Local 15 is a great union for young people to start their careers in construction,” said Sarah Lechowich, senior director with the Construction Careers Foundation (ConstructionCareers.org). “Young people receive hands-on training right in the metro area and will build experience and confidence on variety of worksites from commercial to residential.”
Young people can also download the Construction Trades app, Minnesota’s first free construction training resource for youth interested in exploring careers in the construction industry or beginning the apprenticeship application process with a Minnesota building trades union.
Key Skills for Plumbing
Manual dexterity and being comfortable adjusting to small spaces and often cramped work environments is important for a plumber’s success. Plumbers also must be good at communicating their ideas, especially if the work is done in residential areas or in teams. Knowledge of a variety of tools and being cautious and aware of safety practices at all times ensures a plumber gets the job done effectively.
Young people preparing to become a plumber should seek out part-time jobs that require being physically fit and outdoors in a variety of conditions. A knowledge of tools such as the experience one gets working at a local hardware store is beneficial to a plumber apprentice candidate.
The Apprenticeship Program
The plumber apprenticeship with Local 15 is a five year program. Apprentices get paid to receive on-the-job practical training. They also receive classroom instruction and pay $650-750 in tuition costs. The apprenticeship requires 8,780 hours (over the five year period) of on-the-job training and 200 classroom training hours each year.
“Starting an apprenticeship with Local 15 is the beginning of a career,” Ogilvie said. “Not only do you gain much needed, hands-on training inside and outside of the classroom, you also earn a living wage from day one, so you are not accumulating thousands of dollars in debt and have the ability to build a solid, stable life.”
When a plumber apprentice can demonstrate competence in vital skills, the apprenticeship will be complete. Apprentices will graduate to journey-level status after passing the Minnesota State Plumbing License exam. After joining the union as part of the apprenticeship process, apprentices are eligible for benefits after two months of work.
Interested in signing up for an apprenticeship?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a plumber or gasfitter, here’s the process to follow through with Local 15:
The Minneapolis Plumbers JATC will be taking applications for both the Minneapolis and St. Cloud apprenticeship programs on January 4 – 28, 2021, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday, at 818 Dunwoody Blvd., Mpls, MN, 55403. COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines will be followed.
Applications may be filled out in person or online.
In person applicants must bring a copy of your high school diploma, transcripts, or GED. Strict social distancing measures will be in place and properly worn masks will be required at all times.
After applying, candidates take a criteria exam that includes reading, arithmetic and mechanical knowledge. For more information view the Future Applicant page.
If you have any further questions about the process or what work as a plumber entails, please contact the Minneapolis Plumbers Apprenticeship Program for more information regarding classes, schedules, and training information.
Plumbers Local 15