Apprenticeship

Deciding to become a Boilermaker Apprentice may be the single most important decision of your life. Any job can provide a paycheque, but a career as a Boilermaker will bring a sense of fulfillment. It will not be easy. You will work in tight spaces, hundreds of feet in the air and with equipment that is weighed by the tonne. You will work in sweltering heat, frigid cold and everything between. However, we assure you that through our apprenticeship program, you will acquire the necessary skills to set you apart on the job site – any job site.

The following important information will detail some of the roles, responsibilities, requirements and challenges in becoming a Boilermaker Apprentice.

What do Boilermakers build? Where do Boilermakers work?
There is a HUGE variety of Boilermaker work. In general, Boilermakers work on pressure vessels related to big industry. Storage Tanks, Boilers, Furnaces, Towers, Heaters, Penstocks, Exchangers, Stacks, Duct Work, Structural Steel and much more.

Boilermakers find themselves working on various different jobsites including, but not limited to: Oil Refineries, Steel Mills, Pulp and Paper Mills, Nuclear Power Plants, Coal Fired and Natural Gas Generating Stations, Hydro-electric Generating Stations, LNG Plants, Cement Plants

There are three main aspects to the Boilermaker trade; welding, fitting and rigging. Some Boilermakers excel and gravitate towards the welding aspect, others towards the fitting and rigging. However, it is important for a Boilermaker to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the trade. In connection, Boilermakers are involved in layout, blueprint reading, metal fabrication and much more.

Who are the Boilermakers? 
The Boilermakers Union is comprised of men and women from all walks of life. Diversity adds to the success of our Brotherhood. The door is always open to anyone that is willing and capable of contributing.

The Boilermaker trade as a whole is very complex. We have a presence in just about every major industry. A Boilermaker can be part of a two-person team, working for a small contractor or part of a 100 plus person crew building or maintaining large industrial projects.

Structure
The Boilermaker organization is guided by the concept of Tripartite. We continue to evolve through effective Labour-Management cooperation. This can be described as being one leg of a three-legged stool; if one leg is missing, the stool will collapse. The union, contractors and the owner/customer each represent one leg and each is dependent upon the others for success.

Superior Wages and Benefits
Through Collective Bargaining, Boilermakers earn a competitive hourly wage and a substantial benefits package consisting of a defined benefit pension plan, a top-notch health and welfare plan and a red-seal certified education.

Opportunities for Advancement
There is always room for self-improvement and the Boilermakers have plenty of opportunities for career advancement. Our advanced training programs allow our apprenticeship graduates to follow many career paths including but not limited to: Mechanic, welder, foreman, shop steward, safety advisor, union representative, instructor/trainer, superintendent, project manager… The sky is the limit!

Training
The Boilermakers have many courses and programs available to enhance a workers skills and become more useful to our contractors. Our welding shops and rigging structures are available for members to learn new and supplement old skills. We are also constantly developing new programs to keep up with a rapidly changing work environment.

Safety
Boilermaker safety programs are second to none! Boilermakers are often required to work in hazardous situations. Consequently, our safety programs have been carefully designed to bring awareness to the various potential hazards one may be exposed to in the shop and in the field. As a result of our commitment to safety, unionized jobsites report fewer workplace injuries and fatalities than our non-union counterparts.

Potential Candidates
Your responses to the 10 statements below should be “yes” prior to beginning one of our apprenticeship programs.

  1. I am willing and able to do demanding and strenuous physical work.
  2. I am not afraid of working at heights or working in confined spaces
  3. I am willing to travel and live away from home for long periods of time to maintain employment.
  4. I am willing to work in all types of adverse conditions.
  5. I am willing to make a commitment to 6600 hours of on-the-job training.
  6. I am willing and able to complete self-directed study lessons and the on-the-job training modules.
  7. I understand, based on employment conditions, I may be unemployed at times.
  8. I am dedicated to performing all assigned jobs to the best of my ability and to employer’s standards.
  9. I am willing to learn new trade skills and apply them on the job.
  10. I will agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Boilermaker apprenticeship indenture and all rules and regulations of the trade qualification and apprenticeship act.

If you answered YES! To all statements, then you may be the kind of individual who could successfully complete the Boilermaker apprenticeship program. If you didn’t answer yes to all the statements, you may want to reconsider. If you have any questions or would like more information on the Apprenticeship programs we have available, please contact the Apprenticeship Coordinator, Chris Peddle (cpeddle@ibblocal128.org).

Boilermaker Red Seal (428A)

  • Each candidate must submit a formal resume and high school transcript
  • Pre-assessment Examination at 70% or greater achievement (preparing for the Boilermaker trade handbook may be purchased at a cost)
  • Upon successful completion of aptitude tests, all qualifying candidates will be asked to appear before a sub-committee interview. At this time, candidates must provide all pertinent documentation (on request)
  • Acceptable candidates, following interview process, will be scheduled for pre-apprenticeship construction safety training and further evaluation.
  • Successful completion of pre-apprenticeship, candidates will sign probationary contract for 1650 hours.
  • The Boilermaker Apprentice must successfully complete 6600 hours of field assignments monitored by the Coordinator, under direction of the Boilermaker Apprenticeship Committee (BAC)
  • Complete & return field reports
  • Attend all technical training assignments

Pre-Apprenticeship – 3-4 weeks

  • Within the pre-apprenticeship you will be required to complete a physical and a pre-screening drug and alcohol test. (mandatory)

In school portion:

  • Term 1 – 8 weeks
  • Term 2 – 8 weeks
  • Term 3 – 8 weeks

(In school portion, apprentices will attend Humber College)

After completion of 6600 hours and the mandatory training assignments, an apprentice becomes eligible to write the Interprovincial Red Seal Examination. A passing grade on this examination must be achieved in order to complete the apprenticeship program. Successful completion of this exam graduates the apprentice to a Red Seal Certified, Journeyperson Boilermaker.

Boilermaker (PSW) Pressure System Welder

  • Each candidate must submit a formal resume and transcript along with any welding tickets.
  • Complete an in-house SMAW welding test at our facility.
  • Pre-assessment Examination at 70% or greater achievement (preparing for the Boilermaker trade handbook may be purchased at a cost)
  • Upon successful completion of aptitude tests, all qualifying candidates will be asked to appear before a sub-committee interview. At this time, candidates must provide all pertinent documentation (on request)
  • Acceptable candidates, following interview process, will be scheduled for pre-apprenticeship construction safety training and further evaluation.
  • Successful completion of pre-apprenticeship, candidates will sign probationary contract for 1650 hours.
  • The Boilermaker Apprentice must successfully complete 6600 hours of field assignments monitored by the Coordinator, under direction of the Boilermaker Apprenticeship Committee (BAC)
  • Complete & return field reports
  • Attend all technical training assignments

Pre-Apprenticeship – 3-4 weeks

  • Within the pre-apprenticeship you will be required to complete a physical and a pre-screening drug and alcohol test. (mandatory)

In school portion

  • Term 1 – 8 weeks
  • Term 2 – 9 weeks

(In school portion, apprentices will attend our school at the Sarnia Hall)

After completion of 6600 hours and the mandatory training assignments, an apprentice becomes eligible to write the Pressure System Welder Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) and work towards challenging the Construction Boilermaker Red Seal. A passing grade on this examination must be achieved in order to complete the apprenticeship program. Successful completion of this exam graduates the apprentice to a Red Seal Certified, Journeyperson Boilermaker.

Commitment to Safety
Safety is the most important factor that all Boilermakers must adhere to. Accidents and injuries can and must be prevented. As a result, accidents on Boilermakers job sites are few and far between. Our safety record did not happen by a twist of fate. It was accomplished through a concerted effort into safety and skills training which has created a positive safety culture.

Positive Attitude
How Boilermakers present themselves will define us as individuals and as a whole. This means keeping an open mind to an-ever changing industry, anticipating daily changes and adapting to them in a positive manner even if it is frustrating or seems counter-productive. You may not understand the reasoning behind the needed changes at that time. If you project a positive attitude you will instill confidence in those around you and will promote good all-around morale. Choose to be positive, not negative. On a job site, each Boilermaker is an ambassador for our organization, what one says and does has ramifications that affect all.

Pride in One’s Work
As a Boilermaker, your past performance is your resume for the future. Just as Boilermakers are recognized for welding and rigging skills, our training and commitment to quality show we get the job right the first time, safely, on time and within budget.

Regular Attendance
While material costs and past practice are usually a constant, absenteeism drives costs up for both the contractors and our union. Boilermaker benefits are paid on credited work hours and if someone misses one hour, that is one less contribution amount paid into the pension, health and welfare and any other funds. Tardiness, leaving early or returning late has the same effect on the job. Owners and contractors plan for and expect a full day’s contribution from each Boilermaker. In return, the Boilermaker receives a full days wage. It is important that you show up for every shift and stay until the workday and project ends. Every successful project goes towards securing the next project for our contractors and the Union as a whole.

Commitment to Continuing Training
There is never enough training that one can receive. In addition to on-the-job training, the Boilermakers offer continuing training education opportunities to augment skills. Welding tickets and specialty tools certificates will make an apprentice more employable.

Work Ethic
A strong work ethic is one of the most important factors in becoming a successful apprentice. The more initiative you show the more likely you are to receive feedback, tips, tricks and techniques from your journeymen. Do not let others pull your weight.

Ask Questions
An apprentice is not expected to know everything but they are expected to want to know everything!

Additional Resources

Interested in a Boilermaker Apprenticeship?

Send your resume to apprentice@ibblocal128.org