Apprenticeship Homepage

If you are interested in starting an exciting and rewarding career in the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, then look no further than The Local 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters Building Trades Apprenticeship. Our five year comprehensive program provides you with the skills needed to succeed in a constantly evolving industry, while allowing you to earn upwards of $60,000.00 as an Apprentice.

The JATC has formulated a rigorous 5 year apprenticeship training program that leads to building trades journeyman, a professional craftsman who meets the needs of our signatory contractors and clients.

Basic qualifications for application into the Local 396

Apprenticeship program:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age. Picture ID required.
  • High school graduate or adequate proof of or equivalent educational attainment.
  • Transcripts of grades required.
  • Must be a resident of Columbiana, Mahoning or Trumbull County.
  • Must take test as prescribed by the JATC committee. These may include tests by the Ohio State
  • Employment Service.
  • Personal interview by the committee.
  • Applicants selected for our program will be required to take a physical examination and drug test by a physician approved by the Joint Apprenticeship Committee.

Upon being accepted into the program apprentices will follow a course curriculum consisting of a combination of classroom instruction, lab work, and on the job training. Classes include backflow, welding in stick, mig, and tig, medical gas and brazing certification, basic electricity, HVAC controls, math and science in the piping field, plan drawing, blue print reading and recently installed computerized classroom and laboratory which will become an integral part of our training. This facility will introduce apprentices to the fundamentals of CAD (computerized aided drawing)

These courses are also offered to any current Local 396 member who wishes to upgrade his/her skills. Our goal is to provide our signatory contractors with highly trained and efficient mechanics who can get the job done in a timely manner and under budget.

The brothers and sisters working in Local 396 jurisdiction are proud to know they are making a good living and are able to support their families and contribute back to the local community in which they live. 

How does the Apprenticeship work?

Our State Accredited Apprenticeship Program consists of a minimum 8000 hours of “On the Job Training” and 1,150 hours of “Related Technical Instruction” (Classroom/Lab work). Once you are accepted as an Apprentice of Local 396 you will begin your field training while earning a “full time” wage with one of our Signatory Contractors. The classroom instruction runs from September through May, and all apprentices are required to attend two evening classes per week.

After fulfilling the requirements of our five year program you will earn Journeyman status with the United Association. This classification is regarded as the Gold Standard in the Piping Industry and enables you to work anywhere in the United States and Canada.

Three Occupations to choose from

While you advance in the apprenticeship your training will become more specialized as you choose one of the three following occupations to focus your training on:


A Pipefitter is a Tradesperson that installs, maintains, fabricates, and repairs mechanical piping systems used in commercial and Industrial applications. As a Pipefitter you may find yourself working anywhere from an Office Building heating system to a Nuclear Power plant and everywhere in between. Some of the skills you will learn as an Apprentice Pipefitter are as follows:

  • Pipe Welding (The UA has over 100 welding certifications you can earn.)
  • Soldering and Brazing
  • Mechanical Pipe Joining
  • Industrial Rigging
  • Installation and Maintenance of Hydronic and Steam Heating Systems
  • Installation and Maintenance of Medical Gas Distribution Systems
  • Tube bending
  • Print Reading and Piping Layout
  • Computer Automated Drafting

A plumber is a tradesperson that installs and maintains plumbing systems including drainage, potable water, heating and cooling systems, and other various piping systems. Some of the skills you will learn as an Apprentice Plumber are as follows:

  • Soldering and Brazing
  • Pipe Welding
  • Installation of Drainage Systems
  • Installation of Potable Water Systems
  • Plumbing Fixture and Equipment Installation and Service
  • Industrial Rigging
  • Print Reading and Layout
  • Computer Automated Drafting
  • Tube Bending
  • Installation and Maintenance of Medical Gas Distribution Systems

Refrigeration Mechanic
A Refrigeration Mechanic is a Tradesperson that Installs, Maintains, and Services Equipment associated with Heating and Cooling in Commercial and Industrial Settings. Some of the skills you will learn as an Apprentice Refrigeration Mechanic are as follows:

  • Installation, Maintenance, and Servicing of HVAC Systems
  • Boiler Maintenance and Service
  • Chiller Maintenance and Service
  • Building Automation
  • Soldering and Brazing
  • Pipe Welding
  • Installation of Piping for Refrigeration and Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Pump Maintenance and Repair

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