Apprenticeship is both an ancient tradition and a highly-effective modern training method, particularly for those choosing to work in the exciting and increasingly technical construction industry.

The apprentices of Plumbers Local 519 learn through both classroom and on-the-job training in what is considered by many to be the best construction industry apprentice program in the world. The five-year apprenticeship period is divided into one-year segments, each of which includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and a minimum of 216 hours of related classroom instruction per year (10,000 and 1,080 over the five-year program).

All training programs are run through United Association local joint training committees in specific cities or regions and are overseen by National Joint Training Committees. One of the things that make the UA training program so successful is that we view it as a joint partnership between labor and management.

Apprenticeship is not an easy time, apprentices must work the same hours as journeymen plus attend classes. Yet, this can be a highly rewarding career path for an individual who is motivated to learn the piping trade and become an active member of a proud and noble trade union.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Apprenticeship Program

How long has the apprenticeship program been in existence?
The program has been in existence since 1939. We have the oldest program in continuous existence registered with the Florida Bureau of Apprenticeship and are recognized by the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship.

What are the requirements for the program?

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have reliable proof of birth
  • Are a high school graduate or have proof of equivalent educational attainment, such as an official GED report
  • Agree to Apprenticeship Standards approved by the U.S. Department of Labor

What are we looking for in a candidate for the program?
Men and women who are willing to dedicate themselves to a five-year program and will strive to develop a good work ethic while performing their on-the-job training.

What is the process for entering the program?
You may come in and fill out an application in person at 14105 N.W. 58th Court in Miami Lakes. Make sure you bring your birth certificate, Social Security Card, Drivers License and your High School Diploma with your transcripts or your G.E.D. scores. Filling out the application takes about a half-hour. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will mail you an application upon request. We can be contacted at the Apprenticeship School at (305) 822-9411 or via e-mail at if you should need directions or have any questions.

How long is the program?
It is a five-year program consisting of 216 hours of classroom training each year, with up to 1700 hours per year of on-the-job training.

What courses and training are involved in the program?

  • Plan reading and interpretation
  • Design and drawing
  • Welding and torch cutting
  • Lead working
  • Copper Soldering and brazing
  • Rigging
  • Crane signals
  • Basic Electrical concepts
  • Code training and theory
  • Medical Gas Installer/Brazer Certification
  • Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing

What is the typical schedule for a student in the program?
Classes are held two nights a week from September through May for 4 hours each night from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. You will be registered with Miami Lakes Educational Center, which is a vocational school in the Miami-Dade Public School System.

How rigorous is the program?
An apprentice must be willing to study on his or her own time to keep up with their class work and be physically able to work in the construction industry.

What are the advantages and benefits of the program?

  • No tuition or other costly fees and you earn while you learn
  • Employment is provided
  • Full life insurance benefits
  • Two pension plans
  • Miami-Dade County Journeyman Plumbers License can be attained after 4 years in the program
  • Annual pay increase over the five-year training program with a starting pay of $25,280 per year and $56,160.00 per year upon graduation based on 2,000 hrs. per year..
  • 32 college credits towards an Associates Degree in Construction Supervision.