The United Association has the first nationally registered joint apprenticeship program in the United States---60 years and growing! Our apprenticeship program has one goal---to ensure every job done by our members is Done Once. Done Right.

The Local 51 Joint Apprentice Training Program is comprised of classroom and hands on training over a 5 year period. Apprentices graduate with 1,230 classroom hours and 10,000 on-the-job hours, as well as the required trade certifications. All apprentices receive instruction in basic math, blueprint reading and Trimble training, with health and safety emphasized throughout the program.

The Local 51 Training program is an accredited school in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The training department will register you as an Apprentice in RI and MA, leading to eventual dual Journeyperson licensing in both states.

Classes are 2-3 nights a week, Monday through Friday from 5 PM to 9 PM, running September – May. Job placement with Union Contractors will be set up once a position becomes available.

Local 51 offers Apprenticeships in:

Local 51 prides itself on holding highest standards of excellence, our dedication to the education of our members is our highest priority. Local 51 offers continuing education after graduation, as well as the ability to re-indenture for a second trade after receiving your first Journeyperson license.

Apprentice wages are based on a percentage of the journeyperson rate, and is spelled out in each apprentice agreement. All apprentices are eligible for a yearly raise if the required work and school hours are met. 

Right now, first year apprentices make over $20.00 an hour! 
Local 51 also provides an hourly benefit package in addition to the hourly rate:

Health Insurance: Health, Eye and Dental Insurance

Pension: A fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments for life.

Annuity: Union annuities are established under contracts negotiated with employers. Employers make tax-exempt contributions on behalf of the workers. Employees do not make contributions. Contributions and accumulated interest grow tax-free until withdrawn from the plan.


How to Apply

Applications for the 2024-2025 school year will be available on our website,, from 3/4/2024 to 3/15/2024.

- All applicants must provide a valid Driver's License
- Applicants must be 18 years of age by September 2024
- Graduate High School or have GED by June 2024
- Pass required Drug Test


  1. Digital Color Headshot Photo with White Background   
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Valid Driver’s License
  4. High School Transcripts or GED Transcripts
  5. High School or State Issued GED Graduation Diploma 
  6. Application Boosters*: Trade School Transcripts; Trade School Graduation Certificate; College Transcripts; College Graduation Diploma; Certifications: OSHA, NFPA, EPA; Additional Training: Rhode Island Makers Certificate, Building Futures Certificate, Pre-Apprenticeship, Plumber-Pipefitter-Refrigeration State Issued Apprentice Licensing (Must provide estimated Work and School hours); Resume & References; etc. *Application Boosters may add additional points to your interview score. Copies of transcripts, diplomas or certifications must be received for credit.
  7. Military Transfer or Discharge Form DD-214, if applicable. Sign up for Helmets To Hardhats.

A link for the Local 51 Application will be made available on our website,, starting Monday, March 4, 2024 to Friday, March 15, 2024. There is a $51.00 application fee that will need to be paid to access the application. Payment is made online using a credit or debit card. (If you have paid the application fee for a previous year, please email and we will refund your payment for the current year.)

A Math Evaluation is given to all Applicants in April. The exam will consist of basic fifth to eighth grade math. You will be tested on reading a ruler, adding, subtracting, multiplying/dividing fractions and decimals. Calculators are not allowed. You must obtain at least a 70 on the Math Evaluation in order to continue to an Interview. Links to practice math problems similar to our exam are listed below.


You have until 4/12/2024 to submit your required documents using the submission link that will be emailed to you once your application has been completed. If your documents are not fully submitted by 4/12/2024, your application will be marked incomplete and you will not move forward with the application process.



 Applicants who pass the Math Evaluation and submit their Supporting Application Documents by the deadline, will proceed to interviews in May. You will be emailed with your interview date and time. The Applicant will meet with the Local 51 Joint Apprentice Training Committee for an Interview that will take no longer than 15 minutes.

The training department will notify all Applicants of their acceptance status by email in early June. Applicants who have been selected to continue with the application process must pass a Drug Test to finalize their acceptance.

If you are accepted into the Local 51 Training Program, you will be scheduled for a mandatory OSHA 10 and NFPA Fire Protection training class that will take place in June.

Once you have been accepted into the UA Local 51 Apprenticeship program and have completed your OSHA 10 & NFPA training, you will be ready to go to work. The Training Coordinator will reach out to you once an employment opportunity opens up. You should keep your current employment until you are contacted to go to work.

First year Apprentice wage rate right now is over $20.00 an hour in pocket, with a total package of over $35.00 an hour with benefits. For every 2,000 hours of work accumulated, the Apprentice is given a raise. Apprentices typically work 2,000 hours each year, earning a raise for each year of their Apprenticeship.

School will start in September, and run from September to May. You will attend class 2 nights a week from 5-9 PM for 5 years.


If you currently hold or have held a State Issued Apprentice License in Plumbing, Pipefitting or Refrigeration please let me know. A copy of your Apprentice license and estimated Work and School hours will be required.

If you hold a Journeyperson License in Plumbing, Pipefitting or Refrigeration, our Organizer can speak with you about joining Local 51.