Are you interested in a union job? There are many benefits to joining a labor union, including higher salaries, a pension and better health insurance benefits than those provided by many non-union employers. According the AFL-CIO:

  • Union members earn 26 percent more than their nonunion counterparts.
  • More than 75 percent of union workers have health benefits. Less than half of nonunion workers have health coverage.
  • Nearly 70 percent of union workers have a pension. Only 14 percent of nonunion workers have one.
  • The 10 states where unions are strongest have higher earnings, better health coverage, less crime, more civic participation, less poverty and better schools than the 10 states where union membership is lowest.

The Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association was developed to provide a medium for the exchange of ideas and the methods and information relative to apprenticeship in the state of Pennsylvania. PACA exists to collectively assist in improving its members registered programs and the skills of their instructional staff. PACA exists to inform and promote apprenticeship; especially in the unionized building trades. Lastly, PACA exists to inform its members of the latest laws, regulations and pending legislation that affect Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Training in the State of Pennsylvania as well as North America.

The members of the Pennsylvania Apprentice Coordinators Association (PACA) have provided the information found on this web site to help you decide if you have the aptitude and ability to train for a career in the construction industry.

The Joint Apprentice Training Facilities (JATF) exists to serve a number of purposes:

  • To supply all contractors with highly skilled workers including apprentices, journeypersons, supervisors, project managers, etc.
  • To facilitate a unique learning environment with varying instructional objectives and technologies.
  • To provide activities and resources that fosters a positive, comprehensive training environment.
  • To provide career advancement through a combination of classroom instruction as well as shop and field experiences.
  • To provide continuing education and training in the form of Journeyperson Upgrade classes.

Apprentice development and progression is achieved by partaking in classes such as Health and Safety, Blueprint Reading, Mathematics, and Leadership and Foreperson Training.

It is a combination of on the job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.

Apprenticeship programs are operated on a voluntary basis by employers, employer associations, or management and labor groups (unions). The Federal and State Governments are also involved in that they promote the establishment of apprentice programs and in that they provide technical assistance to program sponsors. The related classroom instruction is usually given in the program sponsor’s training facility. Most trades require four to five years to complete a program.

The trades represented by the JATC have different requirements and programs that must be completed. Most include classroom instruction, computer skills and on the job training.


The pay scale for apprentices is somewhat less than that of “Journeymen” (i.e., workers who have completed the program), and may start at about 35% to 50% of the Journeyman rate. Apprentices receive pay increases as they advance through the program. Such increases may occur every six months or every year. Additionally, there are fringe benefits, such as vacation, health & welfare plans, pension plans, and other benefits.

Specific information about the participating PACA members trades can be found on the chapter pages. Such as; what qualifications they require, description of the job and how to apply for apprenticeship. You will also find links to local union web sites, other union links on the internet, and how to contact us if you need more information.

Are you interested in joining one of the exciting apprenticeship programs in your area and starting a career in the Building Trades?



Iron Workers

Iron Workers fabricate, erect and assemble the fabricated and structural steel framework structural metal products in industrial, commercial or large residential buildings, bridges, towers and other structures. Iron workers also erect precast concrete structures, metal stairways, fences, pre-engineered buildings and miscellaneous iron.

Only candidates can apply for this job.
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