The Benefits of Being a Union Plumber

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Union Plumber

If you are interested in becoming a union plumber, there are several paths you can take. Some of these include on-the-job training with a plumbing company, attending trade school, or becoming an apprentice through a union. That being said, working for a plumbing union is not the same as working without a union.

What is a Plumbing Union?

A plumbing union is a group of professional plumbers who work together for a common goal. They negotiate for pay & work scope, as well as benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and training programs.

They also provide advocacy to protect their members by ensuring adequate workplace conditions and legal representation. This is especially important in a world where fluctuating workforce conditions can cause problems for both businesses and contractors.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA) represents nearly 355,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters, HVACR service technicians, welders and pipeliners in North America.

The UA has a 133-year history of providing top-notch training and education to its members. It also supports a variety of community projects and charitable activities that help families in need.

Union Plumber Job Description: What Do They Do?

The job description of a union plumber varies in that it does not usually involve house calls. Union plumbers most often work on long term commercial jobs for big clients rather than drain cleanings.

Their duties include preventative maintenance, new construction, plumbing installation, and repairs on plumbing equipment like boilers and water heaters.

They also design, install and maintain sanitary, storm, water supply and gas service lines; plumbing fixtures; and mechanical equipment.

Union Plumber Salary and Benefits: How Much Do They Make?

The average salary for a union plumber in the United States is $70,503 per year, while the average hourly pay rate is $34 per hour. Union plumbers earn 6% more than non-union plumbers in a national average. After 10 – 15 years of service, it is common for union plumbers to earn six figures.

Union plumber salary rates are determined by a variety of factors, starting with the union contract. Plumbing unions negotiate pay scales in their contracts with employers, so each union plumber salary is predetermined. Other factors in union plumber pay are education, experience level, license status, and location.

In addition to higher pay, plumbing unions negotiate for high quality insurance and retirement benefits. Union insurance often has a low monthly payment and covers health, dental, vision, and workers’ compensation.

Retirement benefits for union plumbers usually include a pension plan that pays you monthly in retirement after years of service. You can also start a 401k plan or IRA to supplement your pension income.

How to Become a Union Plumber as an Apprentice

In order to become a union plumber, you will need to complete a plumbing apprentice program in your state. Union plumbing apprenticeships last between 3 – 5 years depending on the state.

A union plumbing apprentice typically works for a company or labor union while also receiving classroom instruction and hands-on training. During this time, you’ll learn everything from basic construction skills to advanced drafting and blueprint reading. You’ll also receive a great deal of safety and health training.

You’ll have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in a safe, organized environment. As a result, you’ll have the chance to grow as a professional and develop your own work habits.

A union plumbing apprenticeship is a highly selective program, each candidate is carefully screened. But completing an apprentice program will set you on the right path towards a lucrative union plumbing career.