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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    4
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    Just joined pipefitter union

    Hey guys ive been doing hvac for a little while now mostly residential. Im 25 now and ive been in the field since 18 yo i went to a tech school right out off hs and did a couple years in apartment maintenance and the rest of my time with a hvac contractor doing residential/ light commercial install and service. I have my mechanical journeyman and u universal epa license. Just a couple of months ago i got offered a job at a union shop and i took it. I did all my paperwork with the hall about a couple weeks later and was officially in as a tradesman ( but getting paid as a serviceman) idk why, but anyways i talked to the director of the class and he said hed bring me in as a second year apprentice which i feel is kinda low but whatever. I talked to a couple guys around the shop and they recommend testing in i guess like a placment test? Not to familiar with anything union related so im not really sure on what the test is about and who to ask about it? So if anybody has any experience with this itd help me out alot to hear what you guys have to say. Thanks guys and sorry if i posted this in the wrong place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,762
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    What city?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    4
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    Thread Starter
    Wichita.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    kansas
    Posts
    535
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    Unless your employer wants you in as a journeyman you will be an apprentice of some shape. You will be a tradesman until April when the application process begins at that point you will test and be given an interview. I’m guessing 441 talk to your employer but be careful not to come in too high it could set you up for failure. They won’t generally count your maintenance time as time in the field. I don’t know much about the process because I bought my card. Remember your employer can pay what they want but they can’t pay you less than scale.
    Honeywell you can buy better but you cant pay more

    I told my wife when i die to sell my fishing stuff for what its worth not what i told her i paid for it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    4
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    Thread Starter
    Cool yea that makes alot of sense. I talked to a couple guys and maybe 2nd year is a good starting place for me i guess thats when they talk about steam and other things but it wouldnt hurt to get a refresher anyways. And yea i was assuming id come in at some kind of an apprentice since i dont know a whole lot on the bigger commercial end of things. And yea your right 441 and yea i already had my interview but no testing. Im still new to the whole union side of things its going to take me some getting used to for sure. But thanks alot for the response!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    894
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    Glad to here it. Stay where you are at earn your journeyman card, ask questions and learn as much as you can. Keep this in mind when you get to thinking you need something more. As union member you will receive training, wages and benefits better than about 80% of what the general public has. Yes their is possibility you can do better outside the union but those oportunities are more rare than you think and it takes a lot of self-initiative to get there. If you are working for someone, you don't get more just because the employer is generous.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    4
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    Thread Starter
    Yea honestly i wish i wouldve joined sooner but what can you do lol. And yea i sat down with the representative and he had a pile of paperwork talking anout my benefits. Ive heard good things about unionfrom a couple people but ive heard more bad about it but that was from non union guys that never joined the union or anything but I believed them and that was my own fault. Im sure ill form my own opinion about it now which as it stands the pros far outweigh the negatives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    894
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    Unions are not for everyone. There are good and bad "things" in any union, any job, any employer. Not all local union do things the same way. You will have an oportunity to make your union better if you wish. I completed a union apprenticeship and worked within several union shops. I am not union now and quite frankly much of what I know was not taught to me by the union, but my union training and skills provided the experience and base knowledge I needed to move on. I'm not saying don't change or try new work experiences, but to coin a phrase "The Grass is Always Greener" is true much of the time. Many who bad mouth the union just don't know what they are talking about, Kind of like the earth is flat, "don't sail out there you'll fall off the edge"

    Our federal govement says the national average household income is about $50,000 per family (both spouses combined). I do not know a union skilled trades guy who makes less than that by themselves. Im sure there are but I have not met any. I work large construction, large maintenance, I can work with more than 1000 craft per year

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    kansas
    Posts
    535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mberumen316 View Post
    Yea honestly i wish i wouldve joined sooner but what can you do lol. And yea i sat down with the representative and he had a pile of paperwork talking anout my benefits. Ive heard good things about unionfrom a couple people but ive heard more bad about it but that was from non union guys that never joined the union or anything but I believed them and that was my own fault. Im sure ill form my own opinion about it now which as it stands the pros far outweigh the negatives.
    I had the same thoughts about unions but in this town the aircraft idiots give the union a bad name and then you look at the layoffs everyone of them winned about. Had my reservations too also wish I had done it earlier. Good luck
    Honeywell you can buy better but you cant pay more

    I told my wife when i die to sell my fishing stuff for what its worth not what i told her i paid for it

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