Apprenticeship programs allow aspiring tradesmen to earn a wage while they learn a craft. However, not all of this training takes place in the field. Much of an apprentice's training takes place in the classroom. A number of unions have schools that take direct control of an apprentice's classroom learning.

Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program

The Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program has a national training center in Kansas City, Missouri, and regional training centers around the country. Apprenticeship begins with a probationary period, when the union evaluates the apprentice on the basis of job performance, willingness to work and academic seriousness. The boilermakers’ apprenticeship requires 6,000 hours of workplace training to complete, though this can be reduced if the apprentice has prior experience welding. In addition, apprentices must complete 576 hours of classroom-based study as well as independent self-study.

Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program 1017 N. 9th St. Kansas City, KS 66101 913-342-2100 bnap.com

Sheet Metal Workers International Association

The Sheet Metal Workers International Association hosts more than 170 joint apprenticeship training councils throughout the United States. The union's apprenticeship education program is coordinated with the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association under the auspices of the International Training Institute. This institute provides the standardized learning materials used by SMWIA apprentices throughout the country, including student textbooks, instructor manuals and videos. Classes have, on average, a student-to-instructor ratio of 17-to-1.

Sheet Metal Workers International Association 1750 New York Ave. NW, 6th floor Washington, DC 20006 202-783-5880 smwia.org

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers JATC

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers train apprentices in a variety of fields. Electrician apprenticeships include outside lineman (those who work on outdoor power lines that move electricity from the plant to homes and businesses), inside wireman (those who install and maintain wiring in businesses), residential wireman (those who install and maintain wiring in private homes) and telecommunications installer (electricians who install lines for phones and computers). Typically, aspiring apprentices must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent with at least a year of algebra, be able to pass a drug screen and pass the qualifying aptitude test.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers JATC 9846 Limonite Ave. Riverside, CA 95204 951-685-8658 njatc.org

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters maintains a variety of training centers around the country for different crafts within the carpentry trade. UBC apprenticeships train student-workers in crafts such as cabinetmaking, floor covering, framing, lathing and pile driving. UBC training centers include the International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This training center is set on a 12-acre campus that houses over 60,000 square feet of training space and more than 40 classrooms and dormitories.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters 101 Constitution Ave. Northwest Washington, DC 20001-2192 815-626-8376 carpenters.org