Better wages.

Better conditions.

Better results.

Get rolling and connect with the building trades.

Fill out the form below to contact your trades of choice to talk with the experts.

Check Areas of Interest

undecided/all

electrician
HVAC/sheet metal
boilermaker/welder
ironworker
operating engineer
laborer
bricklayer
plasterer/cement mason
painter
pipefitter/HVAC/welder
plumber
elevator constructor
commercial roofer
sprinkler fitter
teamster driver
insulator specialist
glazier
drywall finisher
carpenter
Your information will be routed to the areas of interest to provide information and details regarding trades selected.

Stand With Unions

Stand with Unions and the Middle Class Against Corporate Greed

Unions protect the interests of workers. Prior to Unions, workers often worked in horrible conditions that were unsafe and not humane. Big business owners and CEOs continue to see workers as expendable, literally, lives and livelihood aren’t as important as profits to make corporate executives even wealthier. Thanks to Unions, the work place is safer and more people share in the American dream but the health and livelihood of workers are still threatened by corporate greed. The collective voice of workers, through Unions, allows a “seat at the table” to discuss fair wages, healthcare and retirement for the reliable, skilled and quality work delivered by the Union workforce. America is stronger with strong, middle-class families, but aristocrats ever-eager to make more money are spending lots of cash to confuse the public and tear down unions. Know the Issues!

Blue Collar Occupations are worthy of the best

Elitists who disregard those choosing to not take white-collar jobs often make assumptions on the value of those in labor. Skilled professionals have a tremendous amount of training required to be certified in the building trade professions. The trades often apply technical math and physics to complete their job. Many choose labor for its physicality versus working behind a desk or like the earn while they learn apprentice programs to get a career without the college expenses and debt alternative. The quality of society, and our economy, is critically dependent on the strength of those who build and maintain our infrastructure, constructing the world’s finest and safest buildings, roadways, bridges, power plants and more.

“Right to Work” is Wrong for America

The phrase “Right to Work” may sound good, but it is driven by a wealthy few that get richer and further the wage disparity between workers and CEO. The facts are “Right to Work” is bad for workers, businesses and the economy. It drives down wages, healthcare and creates a dangerous workplace for everyone. Businesses want a healthy economy fueled in part by good jobs, skilled labor and a solid infrastructure that the Building Trades Unions bring. Right to Work proponents say workers should have a choice to be in a union or not on the hopes to weaken the collective bargaining and essentially give those that do not pay for the bargaining a free ride to enjoy the benefits of the union without being in the union. Freeloading isn’t right and it is what is wrong with “right to work”.

Prevailing Wage Laws are a Positive Force for All

Prevailing wage statutes simply sets a floor on workers hourly wages and benefits who work on government contract jobs. The floor is the “prevailing wage” and standards for that community. Having prevailing wage laws keeps predatory companies that travel around and try to undercut the local bidders using migrant workers the stipulation that they’d also have to pay their workers the same fair pay standards of the community where they work. Often the argument is government could get more by paying less, but the facts are the cost of labor is far more than wages, it is health, pension, payroll taxes and training investments. Cutting training and critical benefits and protections are not a solution.

Take Action

While we all share in the desire to cut waste and protect our constitutional freedoms, the livelihoods of the American workers are fundamental to the American dream. Making a decent living and having safety, healthcare and retirement protections are necessary to live.

Make sure you are registered to vote.

If you work out of town or traveling, be sure to get your absentee ballot. It is easy. For information about registering to vote:
Missouri- http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.aspx
Kansas-   https://www.kdor.org/voterregistration/Default.aspx

For Missouri, candidate for Governor, Chris Koster, chriskoster.com respects the workers and wants to protect the trade unions. A vote for Koster is a vote for the American worker. Koster is running against Kinder. Remember Koster NOT Kinder.

Explore Careers

Career options in the Kansas City metro area
(click a card to explore)

electrician

electrician

Electrical workers include linemen, who work on electric utility company distribution systems at higher voltages, and wiremen, who work with the lower voltages utilized inside buildings. Wiremen are generally trained in one of five primary specialties: commercial, residential, light industrial, industrial, and low-voltage wiring, such as control wiring, fire-alarm, fiber optics and voice/data/video equipment. Attracts individuals with an aptitude for math and science, hands-on work with the ability to distinguish colors.
  • union: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #124
  • connect: ibewlocal124.org
  • HVAC/sheet metal

    HVAC/sheet metal

    Sheet metal workers are highly skilled and trained to fabricate, install and service heating, venting and air conditioning systems; architectural sheet metal work, blowpipe and industrial systems, metal roofing, coping and flashing and stainless steel work for restaurants, kitchens and hospitals. Attracts individuals that are mechanically-minded, problem solvers and physical strength is a bonus.
  • union: Sheet Metal Workers Local #2
  • connect: www.sheetmetal2.org
  • boilermaker/welder

    boilermaker/welder

    Boilermakers specialize in steel fabrications from plates and sections. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, and Forgers and Helpers that construct, maintain, manufacturer and perform emergency repair of pressure vessels, plat and structural fabrications used in the power industry as well as other vessels, like boats and cranes. These skilled specialists use acetylene torches, power grinders and other equipment for welding, burning, cutting, rigging, layout and bolting. Attracts strong individuals and those with an interest working with fire.
  • union: Boilermakers Local #83
  • connect: www.bml83.org
  • ironworker

    ironworker

    Ironworkers assemble and erect steel framework, pre-cast concrete panels and other metal parts in building, bridges, dams, etc. Types of ironworkers include ornamental ironworkers install systems such as curtainwall and window systems; reinforcing ironworkers who place rebar, mesh, composite bars, and post-tensioning cables in structures; and rigging ironworkers who unload, move, and set machinery and other challenging objects. Attracts those with mathmatical skills, mental alertness, good mechanical aptitude and spatial reasoning abilities.
  • union: Ironworkers Local #10
  • connect: www.ironworkers10.com
  • operating engineer

    operating engineer

    Operating engineers are the point running the heavy equipment that excavates and transport heavy material around building sites. Operators also perform mechanical repairs of the equipment including bulldozers, cranes, front-end loaders, pile drivers, etc and are surveyors, and stationary/power engineers. Operating Engineers build buildings, factories, roads, tunnels and bridges. Operating Engineers attract those who would enjoy controlling powerful equipment and systems, follow directions, mechanically inclined and watchful of machine indicators and gauges.
  • union: International Union of Operating Engineers Local #101
  • connect: www.iuoelocal101.org

  • operating engineer
    laborer

    laborer

    Laborers are critical workers to almost every job site, as a result there is significant job demand. Workers have extensive safety training and best practices supporting the various trades. Laborer jobs range from demolition, material preparation, and environmental remediation to job site preparation, landscaping, concrete mixing and installation, build scaffolding, road and bridge construction, signaling, clean-up and much more. Jobs especially appeal to those who like variety and enjoy staying fit on the job.
  • union: Laborers Local #1290
  • connect: www.local1290.net
  • bricklayer

    bricklayer

    Skilled trowel trades specialists, including bricklayers, tile setters, plasterers, cement masons, marble masons, restoration, terrazzo and mosaic specialist, construct using various forms of materials that make a lasting impact seen in buildings, stadiums, monuments and landmarks. Attracts individuals who enjoy working outdoors, have good hand-eye coordination and a technical aptitude.
  • union: Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local #15
  • connect: www.baclocal15.org
  • plasterer/cement mason

    plasterer/cement mason

    Skilled plasterers finish interior walls and ceilings or plaster decorative moldings applying plaster on masonry, metal, wirelath or gypsum. Cement masons pour, smooth, and finish concrete floors, sidewalks, roads, curbs and responsible for cement construction of bridges, canals, dams, reservoirs and roads and other engineering feats. Attracts individuals who enjoy working with their hands and can demonstrate precision and care in their work and manual dexterity.
  • union: Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons Local #518
  • connect: www.opcmia518.org
  • painter

    painter

    Painters are part of the "finishing trades" who transform the final construction through paint and hanging wallpaper. Other specialties include glaziers who prepare and install various kinds of glass, mirrors, metal framing and doors/entrances to buildings, and specialists in drywall and taping, floor covering (resilient floors, carpets and decorative coverings) and sign/display who install billboard vinyl, convention displays and show decorators. Attracts individuals that have attention to detail and take great pride in their work and a steady hand.
  • union: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #3
  • connect: www.iupatdc3.org
  • pipefitter/HVAC/welder

    pipefitter/HVAC/welder

    Pipefitters install, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair pipes carrying water, steam, air and other liquids or gases necessary for sanitation, industrial production, heating and cooling and more. Pipefitters usually begin as helpers or apprentices. Journeyman pipefitters deal with industrial/commercial/marine piping and heating/cooling systems. Attracts those with an aptitude in math and attention to detail.
  • union: Pipefitters Local #533
  • connect: www.local533.com
  • plumber

    plumber

    Plumbers and Gas Fitters are highly skilled and trained to install and service systems that utilize water, steam, or gases. Specifically gasfitters install, maintain and repair natural gas equipment, fixtures, appliances, and gas meters, regulators, valves, and burners, in residential, commercial and industrial areas. Attracts individuals who are mechanically inclined, attention to detail and common sense problem solving.
  • union: Plumbers & Gasfitters Local #8
  • connect: www.plumberslocal8.com
  • elevator constructor

    elevator constructor

    Elevator constructors are highly qualified and trained to construct, modernize, repair, and service elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other state-of-the-art conveyances. Attracts individuals with a firm grasp of hydraulics, electricity and computer electronics that enjoys change to keep the pace with technological innovations.
  • union: International Union of Elevator Constructors Local #12
  • connect: www.iuec12.com
  • commercial roofer

    commercial roofer

    Commercial roofers are trained professionals that specialize in the installation and removal of roofs using a variety of materials. Roofers install hot built-up and single-ply roofing systems. Waterproofers install moisture-resistant products on below-grade structures and other surfaces to prevent water intrusion into buildings. Members also operate a variety of mechanical and electrical equipment associated with the installation of roofing and waterproofing products. Attracts those who enjoy outdoors with a vantage point above most things.
  • union: Roofers Local #20
  • connect: www.rooferslocal20.com
  • sprinkler fitter

    sprinkler fitter

    Sprinkler fitters install, test, inspect and certify automatic fire suppression systems in structures. Sprinkler systems installed by sprinkler fitters can include the underground supply as well as integrated overhead piping systems and standpipes. Attracts individuals with a practical application of engineering science and technology, math and critical thinking.
  • union: Sprinkler Fitters Local #314
  • connect: Facebook page
  • teamster driver

    teamster driver

    Teamsters working in the construction industry include riggers, demolition workers, landscapers, pipeline construction workers, warehousers, and workers engaged in building supply manufacturing. Attracts individuals looking to upgrade their driving skills and be part of a diverse group of proud, loyal and skilled Teamsters.
  • union: Teamsters Local #541
  • connect: www.teamster.org/locals/local-541
  • heat & frost insulators

    heat & frost insulators

    Heat and frost insulators fabricate, manufacture and apply insulation materials to plumbing, heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, piping equipment, and pressure vessels to reduce the passage of heat, cold, sound, smoke or fire. Some of the main duties include applying and securing insulation. Attracts individuals with an understanding of algebra and geometry, the ability to work with machinery, hand tools and power tools.
  • union: Heat & Frost Insulators Union & Allied Workers Local #27
  • connect: www.insulators27.com
  • glazier

    glazier

    Glaziers work with glass in construction performing cutting, installing, removing and replacing glass windows, skylights, displays, mirrors, and protection glass. Glaziers build metal framework and install hinges, handles, locks and other hardware. Glaziers are coordinated, flexible individuals who are good at adapting technology and equipment to serve their needs.
  • union: Glaziers District Council #3
  • connect: www.facebook.com/iupatdc3
  • drywall finisher

    drywall finisher

    A Drywall Finishers measures, cuts and fits drywall panels and Tapers apply a joint compound and apply a paper tape, followed by sanding any rough areas to create/restore finished walls and ceilings. Drywall Finishers use stilts, lifting devices to help place drywall panels on the ceiling, trowels, taping bazooka and various sanding equipment to finish professionally. Good eye-hand coordination, dependability, good work ethic and attention to detail are needed to be successful. Drywall Finishers can start earning income and benefits as they are going through career training.
  • union: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #3
  • connect: www.iupatdc3training.com

  • drywall finisher
    carpenter

    carpenter

    Carpenters are skilled trades people who do cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, timber bridges, concrete formwork, etc. Attracts critical thinkers, attention to detail, with good math and mechanical skills operating power tools.
  • union: Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity
  • connect: www.carpdc.org

  • carpenter

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Can I get a grant or scholarship to pay for training?
    A: Your investment in apprentice training is actually better than a scholarship, because you earn a salary while you learn. It is essentially an internship where you work at different skill levels and pay grades until you become a master of your chosen trade. Find out more about the apprentice programs offered by each trade – simply contact us and select the trades that most interest you.
    Q: Do I need a college degree to working in the Union?
    A: No, many don’t require that but a degree is possible in some of the trades without incurring a mountain of student loan debt! Our apprentice programs provide a chance to earn while you learn on the job as an apprentice and provide the training necessary for certification in the trade. Working in the Kansas City Building Trades' Unions require a tremendous amount of technical work in the classroom and on the job to meet Union certification requirements to have a career among the best in the building trade. When a student graduates after a four or five year apprenticeship in one of the craft unions, he or she will also have credits toward an Associate’s Degree from an accredited community college. Apprentice graduates can decide if they’d like to go on and receive a Bachelor’s Degree with some of the top colleges and universities in the nation where the Building Trades Council has articulation agreements.
    Q: How do I determine which trade is best for me?
    A: Check out the summaries of each trade and consider the skills that are required. Select those trades that most interest you, and a representative will send you information and help you determine what career might be best for you.
    Q: Is Union membership required?
    A: Yes, because apprentices in these select trades are provided access to the highest and safest levels of training, and ongoing instruction in new technologies and tools that will continually increase the member’s quality, productivity and value. Plus, under the protective umbrella of the union, member tradespeople enjoy pay and benefits equal to their superior skill levels.
    Q: What do Unions do?
    A: In an increasingly stingy corporate marketplace, where human resources are too often devalued, trade unions work round-the-clock to protect their members’ right to fair wages and core benefits, like health care, safer working conditions and retirement plans.
    Q: Why choose a career in the Building Trades?
    A: Earn a degree without the debt and enjoy a career in a hands-on trade where you are highly valued, skilled and earn a good living for a lifetime in the trade.  Plus, you gain the comradeship of union co-workers that collectively work together for the betterment of each worker and his or her family and America.

    Careers in the Building Trades offer an excellent way to stay fit and healthy (think crossfit, versus being chained to a desk).

    Unlike many "desk jobs" in our country, the job of a skilled individual who helps build an American building, stadium, power plant, arena or road cannot be outsourced to a worker who lives half-way around the world.
    Q: What is the compensation for the various trades?
    A: Compensation ranges depend on the trade, skill-level and position, but the reality is that Union members earn better wages and benefits than people who aren't union members. According to the AFL-CIO, the organization that most American unions are affiliated with, average union members' wages are 27 percent higher than those of their nonunion counterparts. More than 79 percent of union members have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, compared with less than half of nonunion workers.
    Q: How do I get trained to be a professional in the Building Trades?
    A: Building trades’ certification programs are typically offered by the local union in order to train you to do your job safely and expertly. Many unions refer to their training programs as apprenticeship programs, because you typically earn while you learn, even at the earliest stage of training. But let’s be clear, you don’t get to be the best, unless you are willing to study your craft, be responsible and work hard. Much of training even has college credits.

    Most unions provide opportunities for additional training and career advancement even after you become a full-fledged member of the trade.
    Q: Am I employed by the Union?
    A: Union workers are actually employed by contractor businesses for their jobs and stay with a single employer who has on-going projects or may have multiple employers working on various projects. Our Union professionals are highly trained by the Union and have a great safety record that drives demand for Union skilled men and women on the job.
    Q: What other questions should I ask?
    A: When you look through the list of Building Trades and see jobs that interest you, your next step will be to contact the unions that are affiliated with those jobs. You should ask the union representative several questions, including:
    • How do I determine which trade is best for me?
    • What is a typical day like for people who work in this trade?
    • Are these jobs year-round?
    • How much is the average pay?
    • What are the benefits? For example, will I be offered health insurance for me and my family?
    • Do I work as a contractor or an employee?
    • How do I get into the apprenticeship program?
    • How long will it take me to be fully trained?
    • After I become a full-fledged member of the trade, what kinds of additional training can I receive that will enable me to advance further in my career?
    Of course, you probably have questions of your own that we haven't covered here, and veteran trade representatives will be glad to answer them.

    Today’s lean, productive, technologically savvy trades are looking to teach world-smart young men and women like you a lifetime skill.

    The bottom line: We’re offering you a chance to be the best, to BE YOUnion!