Apprenticeship… A Proud, But Tarnished, Early History
For centuries, apprenticeship has been the path of education for countless individuals to learn skilled trades. Ben Franklin, one of the America’s most celebrated and influential citizens was an apprentice, although there exists quite a story in his case. Unfortunately, for many, apprenticeships of yore were much different than the apprenticeship programs of today. Back then, apprenticeship was essentially indentured servitude; many children were signed over to masters as apprentices because their parents could no longer care for them. They were poorly paid (if at all), and given nothing but the bare necessities for a span of 5 to 8 years. The groundwork for modern apprenticeship legislation earnestly began in 1937 with the National Apprenticeship Act (The Fitzgerald Act) and saw to it that apprenticeship programs would safeguard apprentices from the abuses faced by many of their forebearers.
From Apprentice to Journeymen
The most obvious departure from the past is that apprentices of today are free to live their own lives while training. Modern apprentices typically receive 8000 on-the-job training hours in addition to receiving classroom instruction, and they are entitled to tiered wages as they progress through their respective programs. Once an apprentice completes his or her course of study, that individual is considered a journeyman. This refers to individuals who have completed their apprenticeship training, and are fully educated in their trade or craft, but are not yet considered a master.
From Journeyman to Master
After spending upwards of three years as a journeyman, that individual has the option of taking their Master’s exam. Upon completion, it earns that person the title, salary, and privileges that come with being considered a master by their peers. However, expectations and responsibilities are at their greatest because a master is expected to know all facets of their trade along with being tasked to train and supervise newer, less experienced workers.
Along the Way, There’s NITC
Make no mistake, the road from apprentice to master is an arduous one for many. One must take into consideration the amount of training, preparation, and certification deserving individuals endure in the pursuit of mastery within their respective trades. As these hard working men and women progress along the way, there’s National ITC (NITC). We proudly offer Journey Level and Master Level certifications for the plumbing, pipefitting, sprinklerfitting, and HVAC trades.
Journeymen are offered the following certification tests:
Masters are offered the following certification tests:
- – STAR Steamfitting-Pipefitting Mastery
- – STAR Fire Sprinklerfitting Mastery
- – STAR Plumbing Mastery
- – STAR HVACR Mastery
Whether you’re a training director, association representative, employer representative, or an individual applicant, NITC can help you find the right certification and testing program for your trade. Contact NITC via our website or call us at (877) 457-6482 to learn more about how we help prepare the best, most reliable, and safest trade professionals possible while helping you exceed customer expectations in the process. Have your personnel certified with the certification company, National ITC.