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What is an Apprenticeship Program?
Updated On: Nov 10, 2008

In a nutshell, apprenticeships are ways for a person to learn a skill while still being able to earn a living. It is a system that is literally hundreds of years old and has only improved with the passing of time. It combines paid on-the-job training with unpaid related training to teach a committed person a craft.

The Operating Engineers' Apprenticeship Program is sponsored by the International Union of Operating Engineers' Locals 302 & 612, in Western and Central Washington, in partnership with their signatory contractors, for the purpose of recruiting and training people who are interested in a career in operating and maintaining heavy equipment and doing construction surveying.

We currently accept approximately 40-60 apprentices per year, depending on conditions in the job market. The apprenticeship program is an "Earn While You Learn" type of program with wages starting around $21.48 per hour plus a good benefit package on top of that. The union is a full-referral union, which means you don't have to look for a job--that's what we do for you. Once you reach Journey level status, opportunities across the nation will open up to you!

Apprentices who have the right attitude, aptitude, work ethics, are assertive and show genuine interest in every phase of their work, make the most successful Operating Engineers.

The selection process takes several months to complete. Those who score the highest in related background and the interview may be invited to participate in a Safety and Orientation week at our Training Center located in Eastern Washington. The Safety and Orientation week is an opportunity for applicants to get to know the trade and for our staff to evaluate the applicants. Before attending school or becoming indentured, an applicant must submit the provided medical release form completed by a doctor and pass the provided drug screening urinalysis test.

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