Helmets To Hardhats Program | Plumbing Apprenticeships for Soldiers

Soldiers who have put their lives on hold to help protect and defend our nation can sometimes find it difficult to find employment once their military service has ended.  For that reason, the Helmets to Hardhats program was developed to help our active and former soldiers find a rewarding career in the building trades.

What is Helmets to Hardhats?

The Helmets to Hardhats Program is a non-profit organization that connects military personnel who are looking to transition back to civilian life with education and training in a number of trades.  These trades all offer a great career, and one that pays relatively well too.  One of the best parts about the program is that you do not need any previous formal training to join.  You simply have to be ex-military personnel or current active duty.

Some of the trades that are part of Helmets to Hardhats are…

  • Bricklayers
  • Electricians
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Roofers
  • Painters
  • Boilermakers
  • Plumbers

For a complete list of trades that are included in the program, go here.

Plumbing Apprenticeships Through Helmets To Hardhats

As listed above, plumbing and pipefitters are also part of the Helmets to Hardhats Program.  It is run through a union organization known as UA. (Union Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada)

You do not need any prior experience to join UA’s program for a plumbing apprenticeship.  In fact, most men and women who apply do not have significant experience in the plumbing trades.  Listed below are some program requirements you’ll need to know prior to submitting an application for a plumbing apprenticeship position…

  • Apprenticeship Duration: A total 5 years is required for apprentices.  This is broken up into one year segments that require anywhere from 1700 to 2000 total hours of work related experience.
  • Related Coursework Requirements:  In addition to your on-the-job training requirements, plumbing apprentices also have a minimum of 216 classroom hours (per year) to fulfill your agreement.
  • Certification:  You will also have the option of pursuing certification in a number of areas such as welding and valve repair.  Although not required, certifications will help you gain employment.

To search openings in the plumbing trades through Helmets to Hardhats, click here.

Take a look at the video below to get an idea of how the program is run…

Is it a Paid Apprenticeship?

Yes.  Much like a regular plumbing apprenticeships, Helmets to Hardhats takes an “earn while you learn” approach.  As a first year apprentice, you can expect to make roughly half of what a journeyman’s salary.  Depending on your location within the U.S., you could make more or less.

However, it’s relatively common for a plumber’s apprentice to make anywhere from $15 to $18 per hour.  Some unions offer raises as you gain more experience and progress in the program.

The Helmets to Hardhats Program is an ideal way to “give back” to our former soldiers for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country and in their personal lives.  If you’re an active duty military or former soldier, we highly encourage you to check out Helmets to Hardhats for more information.


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