Earn While You Learn

As an apprentice with the WV Building & Construction Trades, you get paid to learn your trade.

Joining the WV Building Trades and enrolling in one of our local apprenticeship programs is your ticket to a fulfilling and prosperous career in one of 13 construction trades.  Being a union tradesperson offers a competitive wage, excellent benefits and a satisfying career without the high level of debt associated with a similar 4-year degree.

Learn In-Demand Career Skills Without All The Debt

The West Virginia Building Trades helps connect our affiliates with dedicated individuals looking to earn while they learn through apprenticeship programs. These programs are managed jointly by a committee with craft unions and union contractors. Click the link below to find out more about our varied trades and learn how to join their apprenticeship programs.

WV Building Trades NEEDS YOU!

Our affiliated trade unions are looking for the next generation of construction workers.

What Exactly IS an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship Offers College Level Education That PAYS YOU To Learn

In a general sense, an apprenticeship is training that gives a student specific skills for a job. In the construction trades industry, an apprenticeship can be for a variety of skilled construction crafts. Depending on your interest and inclination, one could train to be an electrician, a carpenter, an operating engineer who operates heavy equipment, or one of many other skilled trades. In West Virginia the WVBCT represents thirteen different crafts. That is over a dozen different trades and skill sets to choose from as you try to decide which path is right for you.

Available Apprenticeship Opportunities

The West Virginia Building & Construction Trades is an organization that represents fifteen different crafts, or "trades".  This means you can choose your new career based on your specific skill-set, your location, or your past experience level.   Click the links below to learn more about each craft, and get started in your new career path.

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A boilermaker is a skilled tradesperson who works in industrial construction, repair and maintenance; manufacturing; shipbuilding and marine repair: on railroads, mining and quarrying, cement kilns, dams and related industries.

Boilermakers Union Logo


The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers is the oldest continuous union in North America and represents skilled masonry trowel trades craftworkers in the United States and Canada, including bricklayers, tile setters, cement masons, plasterers, stone masons, marble masons, restoration workers, terrazzo and mosaic workers

Boilermakers Union Logo


Carpenters are skilled tradespersons that construct, erect, install and repair structures and fixtures of wood, plywood and wallboard. They erect framework in buildings, including sub-flooring, partitions and rafters; they install molding wood paneling, cabinets, windows, doorframes, and doors and hardware.

Boilermakers Union Logo

Cement Masons

Skilled cement mason and plaster tradespeople finish interior walls and ceilings of buildings and apply plaster on masonry, metal, and wire lath or gypsum. Cement masons are responsible for all concrete construction, including pouring and finishing of slabs, steps, wall tops, curbs and gutters, sidewalks and paving.

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A skilled electrician specializes in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment. Electricians often install new electrical components and then can maintain and repair existing electrical equipment/infrastructure.

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A skilled Insulator/Asbestos Worker’s job includes the insulation of both industrial and commercial mechanical systems (i.e. piping, boilers, duct work, storage tanks, and equipment) for the purpose of energy savings: burn protection: and to control system heat transfer and condensation.

Boilermakers Union Logo

Iron Workers

Ironworkers are involved in erecting buildings and bridges as well as other structures. They follow blueprints to hoist and install structural steel as well as precast concrete, concrete reinforcing materials and other metals used in construction.

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Laborers are trained to help build infrastructure- from roads, bridges and transit to schools and commercial buildings. They are certified to install rainwater catchment systems and trained to build water and sewer systems.

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Millwrights are skilled tradespeople who fabricate, assemble, diagnose and maintain industrial equipment using their knowledge of moving interconnected parts, including drive shafts, bearing, gearing, conveyors, gas, nuclear and steam turbines.
WV Equipment Operators Union IUOE Local 132 Job Site Photo of Crane on River

Operating Engineers

Operating Engineers cover a wide range of job classes in industries such as highway and building construction, mining, tunnels, landscaping, power and other types of industrial plants, logging, utility work such as gas, water and sewage excavation.

WV Painters Union worker painting metal beam

Industrial Painters

A union painter is responsible for preparing surfaces for paint finishes to be applied, using sanding and chemicals in some instances, sandblasters and blowtorches to remove old paint. Surfaces must be primed and prepared properly so that the paint work is of exceptional quality.

Boilermakers Union Logo

Pipe Fitters

Pipefitters install piping systems in projects ranging from residential to high-tech, sensitive and sophisticated facilities. The work can involve high-pressure systems using carbon, steel and other complex materials. They can work in power plants, pharmaceutical facilities, hospitals and many other commercial and industrial jobs.

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Skilled Roofers install roofs on structures using a variety of materials, including shingles, slate, tile, hot tar, rubber, thermoplastics, and composites. In addition to working on commercial, industrial and residential roofing, union roofers also can specialize in waterproofing and dampproofing.

Boilermakers Union Logo

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers install and service all types of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as fabricate the majority of components including duct work. They also can fabricate and install various metal products such as lockers, kitchen equipment, metal roofs and wall panel systems, siding, rain gutters, skylights and more.

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The Teamsters Union is North America’s strongest and most diverse labor union. In 1903, the Teamsters started as a merger of the two leading team driver associations. These drivers were the backbone of America’s robust economic growth, but they needed to organize to wrest their fair share from greedy corporations. Today, the Union’s task is exactly the same.

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Apprenticeship Requirements

What do I need to become an apprentice? What is the cost?

  • Must be a least 18 years of age.
  • Must be a High School graduate, GED, or equivalent.
  • Must be physically capable of performing the work of the trade.
  • Must be a resident of the state of West Virginia for at least one year prior to submitting application for apprenticeship.
  • Must have a valid WV Drivers’ License.
  • Must pass a drug test.

Trade unions have different schedules for taking applications, and as you narrow the scope of your trade choice/interest you can get more details here

What Are You Waiting For?  Choose Your County To Sign Up For The Opportunity Of A Lifetime!

Our organization represents 33 locals that offer apprenticeships across the entire state.  Click your county on the map below to find a listing of apprenticeship programs available in your area.

Barbour Berkeley Boone Braxton Brooke Cabell Calhoun Clay Doddridge Fayette Gilmer Grant Greenbrier Hampshire Hancock Hardy Harrison Jackson Jefferson Kanawha Lewis Lincoln Logan Marion Marshall Mason McDowell Mercer Mineral Mingo Monongalia Monroe Morgan Nicholas Ohio Pendleton Pleasants Pocahontas Preston Putnam Raleigh Randolph Ritchie Roane Summers Taylor Tucker Tyler Upshur Wayne Webster Wetzel Wirt Wood Wyoming