UA stands for United Association


UA members (plumbers, pipefitters, sprinklerfitters, refrigeration fitters, and service technicians) are involved in just about every aspect of construction involving piping from the space program to nuclear power houses to refineries to shipbuilding. UA craftsmen ply their skills in commercial, industrial and residential arenas.  They may be found on jobsites involving single family homes, garden and high-rise apartment buildings, large and small office buildings, power plants, chemical installations and factories.  At this very moment , there may also be UA members at work installing complicated medical gas piping in your local hospital or putting sprinkler systems in the hotel where you will take your family on vacation.  Other UA members are laying pipelines that stretch across the landscape to serve your community's energy needs.  Visitors to the 1996 Olympic venues in Atlanta, Georgia and sports enthusiasts trekking to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio all have seen firsthand just few of the many recent projects built or expanded with the craftsmanship of UA members.


Individuals who enter a United Association five-year apprenticeship program are men and women motivated to lean a complex and challenging trade. UA apprentices learn through both classroom and on-the-job training.  The five-year apprenticeship period is divided into one-year segments, each of which includes 1,700 too 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and a minimum of 216 hours of related classroom instruction.

All UA apprentices receive a strong general education background in the trade, with core courses in basics such as mathematic and drawing.  At a certain point, apprentices can choose a specific path to follow, to become trained as a journeyman plumber, pipefitter, sprinklerfitter, or a service mechanic. All training programs are run though United Association local joint training committees in specific cities or regions, and are overseen by National Joint Training Committees.  One of the things that makes the UA training program so successful is that it is a joint partnership between labor and management.


UA members have the opportunity to pursue these certifications in a variety of specialized areas.  Certification Programs include valve repair, medical gas installation, welding, and CFC removal.  Training the instructors who will teach in local union training programs is also important to the UA.  UA instructors must be kept abreast of any technological changes, such as the newest methods and latest equipment, as well as any codes and regulations which will affect what they teach UA members in their home locals.  The UA has developed a well-respected and highly-effective  program of instructor education consisting of five one-week sessions over a period of five-years.