With graduation approaching, it’s time to take the next step. Entering a construction apprenticeship through a local union or studying in a construction-related program at a Minnesota college or university is the perfect fit for any young person seeking an active, hands-on, good-paying career.
Believe it or not – graduation is less than 120 days away for many high school seniors in Minnesota.
If you’re a high school teacher reading this, you may know of a student or two, who would be perfect for a career as a plumber or an electrician, and any of the other 30+ careers in Minnesota’s construction industry. Do them a favor and let them know about what they should do now to prepare to apply for an apprenticeship.
In between final reports, exams, part-time jobs, and the general hubbub of one’s final semester, it can be hard to remember that you’ll be throwing your graduation cap in no time at all. When the grass turns green again and the school bell rings for the final time – Do you know what you’ll do next?
It’s a daunting question. For many students, the period of one’s life after high school graduation presents the first time that a major life decision is in the hands of oneself, and not parents, teachers, or otherwise.
So – get excited! It’s time to grab the reins of your future. If you want a career that is hands-on, rewarding, and pays you to learn instead of the other way around, the construction trades might be the perfect fit for you.
The great news is, if you’ve ever considered a career in the Minnesota construction trades, now is a great time to enter the industry. Applying for a local apprenticeship has never been easier, with dozens of unions and colleges removing their application deadlines in favor of a rolling application approach. For many programs, it’s now as simple as picking the program that’s the best fit for you, filling out the application, and getting ready to enter this new stage of your career!
To help students navigate the many construction apprenticeship programs in Minnesota, here are 14 Minnesota construction unions and colleges that accept applications year-round:
At the Carpenters Training Institute, you can enroll in carpenter, pile driver, millwright, floor coverer, or cabinet maker apprenticeship programs. Information on program schedules, salary, and career paths is available on the Institute’s website. Request an application here.
The Local 633 JATC Training Center offers a three-year apprenticeship program in cement masonry and plastering complete with related and on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a driver’s license, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have reliable transportation, and be physically capable of the work. Click here to apply.
The Local 49 Training Center offers a Universal Equipment Operator Apprenticeship for those interested in becoming an Operating Engineer. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a driver’s license, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass the Ramsey Test prior to beginning the apprenticeship. After passing the exam, you will be given a list of signatory contractors, and after receiving a Letter of Intent to Hire from one of these contractors, candidates will be able to enroll in the apprenticeship program. Fill out an application here.
To apply to this 4-year mechanical insulator apprenticeship, candidates will need to submit an online application, work in the field as a permit helper for 160 hours, complete an interview process with the Joint Apprenticeship Committee, and pass an assessment testing basic arithmetic knowledge. For more information, visit Local 34’s website or contact the Twin Cities Apprenticeship Coordinator Eric Houske at 651-312-1249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request an application for apprenticeship with Local 96, call the apprenticeship line at 763-230-7663. For inquiries about Local 96’s roofer and waterproofer apprenticeship, visit their website or call 763-230-7663.
Applications for the Central and Southern Minnesota Commercial Sheet Metal Worker Apprentice Program are available year-round by appointment. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be physically able to perform all job duties. A physical examination may be required before indenture. More details can be found on the Local’s website. To apply for an apprenticeship with SMART Local 10, contact Apprenticeship Coordinator Peter Carlson at email@example.com or (218) 330 – 4167.
To apply to the Energy Installer apprenticeship, applicants are required to be at least 17 years of age when applying and at least 18 years of age before the period of selection and indenture. Applicants must have evidence of completing one full credit high school or post-high school algebra class with a passing grade, have a high school diploma or equivalent, provide a high school transcript and proof of any education or training post-high school, have a valid driver’s license, and earn a score of 3 or above on the electrical trade’s aptitude test, which is offered monthly.
If an applicant can provide proof that they have worked at least 4,800 hours in the low voltage trade, they are not required to provide evidence of earning a passing grade in algebra, a high school diploma or equivalent, or provide a high school transcript and proof of any post-high school education and training. Visit the JATC’s website to apply online today.
Applications are open year-round, but candidates who complete an application before March 22, 2024, will be eligible to complete the GAN Aptitude Test, held once every quarter, on March 25, 2024.
Applicants are required to be at least 17 years of age, have a driver’s license, have a high school diploma or equivalent, provide educational transcripts, and have completed one full credit of algebra or higher math with a grade of at least C or successfully complete the Online Tech Math Course through the Electrical Training Alliance. Once you request an online account and your request is approved by the administrative staff, you can set up your account and fill out the application. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-497-0072. More information can be found on the JATC’s website.
This union offers apprenticeships for those interested in becoming plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, and HVAC technicians. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, provide a copy of their birth certificate, and be able to physically perform the job role. Applicants must first create an online account before they can access the online application and upload the necessary documents. The application will require one business day to be processed before you can move through the rest of the process. Visit the website to access their Apprenticeship Standards Handbook and apply.
This 5-year indentured apprenticeship involves working directly with a contractor, going to school two nights per week, and completing state testing. To be eligible for the program, candidates must be at least 18 years of age, be able to physically perform the job, have transportation, and may need to pass a drug test and/or physical exam before employment. Visit the Local’s website to find out more.
The Finishing Trades Institute offers apprenticeship programs that produce commercial painters, coating application specialists, drywall finishers, glaziers, glassworkers, and sign technicians. At FTIUM, most students earn their Associates of Applied Science Degree in an average of three years, with concentrations in each of the areas specified above. The program is registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and involves three years of training, about 432 related training hours, and 4,000 to 6,000 on-the-job training hours, depending on the program. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, be able to physically perform the job role, be authorized to work in the U.S., have reliable transportation, and demonstrate their ability to master the trade based on a variety of evaluations. 17-year-olds are eligible to apply if they are part of a school-to-work program. Fill out an application today.
The Dunwoody Construction Sciences and Building Technology department has tracks that allow students to pursue careers in construction management, sheet metal and HVAC installation, electrical construction, electrical design, power and construction engineering technology, land surveying, civil engineering technology, and more. The application process involves filling out and submitting an online or paper application, sending in your official transcript, and completing an optional interview with an admissions counselor.
Programs tend to fill up fast, so the college recommends that students submit applications as early as possible to increase the chance of admission. Contact email@example.com or 612-381-3041 for more information and visit their website to apply today.
Saint Paul College offers career and technical education programs on cabinet making, carpentry, electrical technology, pipefitting, plumbing, and more. While the college accepts applications year round, candidates must apply by May 1, 2024 in order to be eligible for study in Fall 2024.
Visit the Saint Paul College website to apply today. For more details, contact registration at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-846-1555.
There are a number of construction-related programs available at various secondary education institutions in Minnesota, including carpentry and building trades, bricklaying, heavy equipment operation, plumbing, cabinetmaking, and more. Visit www.minnstate.edu/ for more information.
Interested in learning more about different construction trades and what might be the best fit for you? Visit the Construction Careers Foundation website at constructioncareers.org to get information on industry wages and benefits, career paths, and more.