Earning Potential

$16,000 - $40,000

Sample Classes

Working Hours

160 hours/year, 6:00am - 4:30pm, Monday - Thursday

Earning Potential

$24,000 - $52,000

Sample Classes

Working Hours

160 hours/year, 6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Thursday

Earning Potential

$28,000 - $61,000

Sample Classes

Working Hours

160 hours/year, 6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Thursday

Earning Potential

$32,000 - $73,000

Sample Classes

Working Hours

160 hours/year, 6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Thursday

Earning Potential

$40,000 - $81,000

After successfully completing an apprenticeship program, you’ll be advanced to Journey Worker. You’ll also receive a trade certificate from the state where you were trained, and from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. And, you’ll have access to continuous learning resources. This will help you keep up with advances in your trade and keep your skills sharp.

After a career in the carpenter trade you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to retire with dignity and a steady monthly retirement income, through the Carpenters Southwest Administrative Corporation’s Pension Plan. If you meet the Plan’s eligibility and vesting (that is, “benefit ownership”) requirements, you will be entitled to a pension benefit when you retire. The amount you will receive will depend on:

  • When you joined the Plan
  • The number of your hours worked in covered employment
  • The employer contribution rate paid on your hours worked in covered employment

You are enrolled in the Plan automatically once you become eligible to participate. The cost of your benefit is paid entirely by your employers who are considered Contributing Employers under the Plan. You do not and cannot contribute to the Plan.

Generally, you are eligible to retire with a Regular Pension at age 62 with at least 10 years of Pension Credit. An Early Retirement Pension is payable at a reduced level starting on your 55th birthday, if you have at least 10 years of Pension Credit.

For an overview of the Plan, visit carpenterssw.org. For detailed information, see the Plan’s Summary Plan Description.

It Pays to be a Union-Trained Carpenter

The rewards of completing a Southwest Carpenters Training Fund apprenticeship program include developing valuable, job-ready skills and earning good wages and benefits.

You will receive on-the-job training through employers who have agreements with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America—the largest building trades union in North America. You’ll also receive classroom instruction at a Southwest Carpenters Training Fund training center throughout your apprenticeship.

The Benefits of Union Membership

Once you join a union local, you will work under the protection of a union contract. This means you are guaranteed to earn while you learn, including getting regular wage increases as you accumulate classroom hours and on-the-job training time.

You’ll be eligible for health insurance (medical, prescription drugs, dental, vision), and a pension plan to help you retire with dignity.

Moving Up to Journey Worker and Getting Continuous Education

After successfully completing an apprenticeship program, you’ll be advanced to Journey Worker. You’ll also receive a trade certificate from the state where you were trained, and from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. And, you’ll have access to continuous learning resources to help you keep up with advances in your trade and keep your skills sharp.

The apprenticeship gives you amazing and sophisticated training. It helps you become a more well-rounded person who can have a career to be proud of. You can earn and learn, and not have to pay back debt because the education is free. The pay is great and so are the benefits.

—Duane Drost

Apprenticeship Length

Most apprenticeship programs are four years in length, though some are five years.

Working Hours

On the Job Site

Job-site hours are typically 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, though earlier start times and/or later end times are possible. Shift work and/or weekend work may be required for certain job sites and/or projects.

Worksites change routinely, as projects change.

You can expect to travel 30 to 90 minutes to a job site.

In the Classroom

Classroom hours are 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Classes are held at your designated training center. You must attend 160 hours/year of classroom training.

General Program Information

  • You must bring your own hand tools to the job site, and to the classroom when attending training.
  • You’ll be scheduled to start classroom instruction three months after entering your apprenticeship program.
  • You must attend 160 hours of trade-related classroom instruction per year.
  • You must purchase the books you will need for classroom training. (There is no cost to you for the training itself—either on-the-job or in the classroom.)
  • A first-period apprentice’s wages are usually 40% of a Journey Worker’s wages but may differ based on the state in which you work and your trade.
  • Our apprenticeship programs are approved for on-the-job training benefits for military veterans who qualify.
  • The program does not offer summer or part-time employment.

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions