So you think you may want to become a carpenter? If you don’t want to pay for a trade school education and want immediate hands-on experience, then an apprenticeship is the way to go.
In central Illinois area, the Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters JATC (Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee) offers a four year extensive program. The application process is simple and an application can be downloaded from their website at www.mcircc-jatc.com. This is a union program and the requirements for the application include copies of one’s driver’s license, high school diploma or GED, and a birth certificate. A cash $10 application fee is also required.
If there is a need in the area for carpenters, then each applicant will be notified and must complete a math test. The problems are simple math which include fractions, working with inches and feet and reading a ruler. Those who pass with at least 70% will receive a letter in the mail to attend an informational meeting. At that time, the candidates will receive a yellow letter which must be filled out by a contractor, a list of regional contractors, and a physical exam sheet which must be filled out by a doctor.
It is then the responsibility of each applicant to find their own job with a contractor. This will involve persistence. A contractor must sign the yellow sheet and the applicant will in turn bring it to the regional carpentry office for further instructions. After hire, an apprentice will begin their work with 50% of a journeyman’s pay. The pay will increase at set intervals depending upon the numbers of hours completed.
If you or someone you know is thinking about an apprenticeship and resides in central Illinois, this is a good program to choose. Benefits include great pay, medical insurance and a retirement plan. The most difficult part of the program is finding a contractor. After that, your studies will include four weeks of classroom instruction each year for four years to complete the program.