There are several ways to pursue a career as a carpenter and one of them is by joining a carpenters union in Arkansas. Joining a union is what most people prefer to do because of its advantage.
And like any other profession, there are some prerequisites you need to have and steps you need to do in order to accomplish your objective. In this article, we will be discussing these guides to help you through the process.
Experienced individuals can join the carpenters union as a journeyman and a beginner may apply as an apprentice. Whatever your skill level might be, Here are the steps you need to do:
- Make sure that you have the requirements prior to submitting your application; there is no point in applying if you do not have the basic requirements, so make sure you have them. To know what you need to have, see the below requirements. You may need to contact your union to inquire about other requirements to make you ready.
- Find a union where you want to work as a carpenter. See below. Once you picked one, it would be helpful to contact the union first to make an inquiry for openings. If openings are available, you can now do the actual application.
- To apply, there are a few ways to do this through in-person and online applications. Drop by at the union office if you’re close to it to talk to a representative. Otherwise, you can visit the union website, where you will find an online form where you can do this.
- Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a call informing you about your interview. Joining a union is basically the same as applying for a job – you need to sell yourself. An important thing to take note of: talk about your experience as a carpenter and you will be good to go.
- Wait for several days to receive your acceptance notification via email or snail mail or phone call. Once you receive the notification, congratulations, you’re hired.
- Once you have been selected, all that is left for you to do is complete the required number of on-the-job and classroom hours, if you’re apprenticing. You may be required to finish 1,000-1,300 OJT hours, depending on the union. Different locals have different rules, so be sure to know this. If you’re already experienced, you will be put on the potential list of candidates upon approval of the application.
In case you’re asking what are the carpenters unions in Arkansas where you can apply, here are the unions:
- Arkansas/Oklahoma Carpenters/Millwright Training Center – Russellville
1407 S. Knoxville Ave. Russellville, AR, 72802, US
Phone: (479) 967-4240; Fax: (479) 280-1901
- Carpenters Local 690
3920 Wall St., Little Rock, AR, 72209, US
Phone: (413) 967-4240; Fax: (479) 280-1901
PO Box 846 Little Rock, AR 72203
- Local Union 71
5215 Kelley Highway, Fort Smith, AR 72904-5129
(479) 783-4139 Phone, (479) 783-0438 Fax
More About Becoming an Apprentice
The apprenticeship training program takes about four (4) long years to complete. An apprentice carpenter must complete 650 hours of classroom time and 1350 hours of on-the-job training each year.
We all know that being an apprentice you don’t get the pay as much as a journeyman. As a beginner, you will receive 60% of the journeyman’s salary. And as you go along and progress you become eligible for a pay increase.
Apprentices receive benefits such as pension and health benefits, aside from the protection by being under the CBA agreement.
Pay and benefits increase as you complete each inch toward becoming a journeyman.
Being an apprentice is a paid occupation. You make money while learning the trade.
Requirements You Need to Join a Carpenters Union
- The first thing that will be asked from you upon application is the high school diploma; if you do not have this credential, a GED certificate will do as its equivalent.
- An experience working as a carpenter will surely make your application stands out amongst others. If you can submit an employment certificate stating that you had performed the same function will make definitely make you ripe for the picking.
- Aside from previous experience, completion of a pre-apprenticeship program that is related to the field will make your application also stands out.
- Age is important; you need to be at least 18 years old to be accepted in the carpenters union.
- Proof of residency or legal employable status in the US is important. The union just wants to be sure that they are employing individuals who have legal status to be employed as a carpenter in the country.
- Since the nature of the job is physically demanding, one must be in good physical health; a medical certificate may be required.
- You may be required to undergo a substance abuse test and submit the result. The test will be conducted prior to joining the union and while still employed.
- A valid government-issued ID, and social security card.
Carpentry Schools in Arkansas
If joining a union in Arkansas is not the path you want to pursue, and you’re still wanting to take carpenter training, here are the trade schools and institutes where you can register in:
- Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
4421 W 61st St, Little Rock, AR 72209
Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute
1620 New Castle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72335
- Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
183 College Dr, De Queen, AR 71832
- National Park Community College
101 College Drive Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 71913
(501) 760-4222; Toll free number: 1-844-806-8752
- North Arkansas College
South Campus 1515 Pioneer Drive Harrison, AR 72601
- University of Arkansas At Little Rock
2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204
- University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College
3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118
- Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
4421 West 61st Street Little Rock, AR 72209
(800) 240-2730; (501) 372-1590
FAX: (501) 372-2879
- NABHOLZ UNIVERSITY
612 Garland Street Conway, AR 72032
Toll Free: 1.877.NABHOLZ Call: 1.877.NABHOLZ
- Construction Little Rock
1718 Aldersgate Road Little Rock, AR 72205
- Jonesboro AR
300 S. Church Street Jonesboro, AR 72401
- Arkansas Construction Education Foundation (ACEF)
4421 W. 61 Street Little Rock, AR
- East Arkansas Community College
1700 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335
Phone: 870-633-4480, Toll-Free: 877-797-3222
You can complete a short course, a diploma, or a degree by taking the training at the school or institution which is another great way to gain practical experience and theoretical knowledge. It does involve some amount of money which ranges from $3,000-$12,000 depending on the curriculum you are taking.
And unlike being an apprentice, you will not make money while on OJT.
How Much Does It Cost to Joining a Union
You don’t have to pay any amount in joining a union except for the administration fee which is very minimal (and not all unions require this). The other expenses you have to shoulder are tools, PPEs and textbooks and related training mateials.
As a union member, you need to pay dues. Dues vary depending on your skill level. If you’re an apprentice, it ranges between $20-22 per month; if you’re a journeyman, the dues range between $23-25. Union dues can be settled monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your preference.
Salary of Carpenters in Arkansas
As a carpenter working in Arkansas, expect to make an average annual salary of $56,254. But depending on your qualifications and experience, the salary ranges between $48,613 and $65,137. These figures are based on the July 25, 2023 report of Salary.com. If you will work in Mississippi, the salary is little lower.
The big factors that affect how much you are going to make are the work location, length of experience, and certifications.
If you are an apprentice carpenter don’t expect to make that much as a journeyman. As a starter, you make just 60% of the salary of the journeyman. But as you gain experience, your salary increases as well.
To Make a Conclusion
The carpenters union in Arkansas is always in search of talented and interested individuals who like to join their membership. Depending on the demand, they may hire a great number of qualified carpenters to join their team.
To be accepted, you just have to present yourself professionally and exhibit your interest and experience in this field. It isn’t hard to join a union and be a carpenter. You just have to exhaust some effort and spend a little time. You will see you reap the fruit of your labor in the end.
We would like to congratulate you on your chosen career.