Continuing Education

As equipment, codes and related technologies change in the pipe trades across the UA’s jurisdiction, journeyworkers must stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive in the industry. In fact, UA members are very serious about pursuing lifelong training and most of them take advantage of the many opportunities they have to update and expand their skills. Those skill upgrades are in areas such as Foremanship training, continuing education in safety training, rigging, welding, soldering, brazing, code changes in the various pipe trades to name a few. Most importantly the UA’s journeyworker membership continues to expand their knowledge with the ever-changing industry. 


Once a UA member completes their apprenticeship they become a journeyworker. However, their education and training in the pipe trades is by no means over. The UA offers its membership continued education opportunities through their respective training programs, including journeyworker training and certifications in specialized areas of their trade. With the increasingly complex nature of the UA’s work, it is almost required that journeyworkers seek some form of validation of their skills.  


To that end the UA offers these specialized pipe trade certification programs. 

  1. UA Welder Certification – within this certification there are currently 84 different UA Weld Tests.
  2. UA/NCCCO Crane Signalperson Certification
  3. UA Green Professional Building Skills Certificate Program (GPRO-UA)
  4. UA/MCAA Foreman Certification
  5. UA/EPRI Industrial Rigging Certification
  6. UA/EPRI Valve Technician Certification Program
  7. UA/EPRI Instrumentation Technician Certification Program
  8. AWS Certified Welding Inspector
  9. UA Energy Audit Certification
  10. UA/ASSE Backflow Certification
  11. UA OSHA Certification
  12. UA Medical Gas Technician Certification Program
  13. EPA Section 608 Technician Certification Program
  14. UA Nuclear Mechanic Program
  15. Authorized Testing Representative
  16. UA Plastic Piping Installer
  17. UA Non Destructive Testing
    1. MT-Magnetic Particle Testing
    2. PT-Liquid Penetrant Testing
    3. UT-Thickness Measurement Testing
  18. UA STAR Certification
    1. HVACR Service Technicians
    2. Plumbers
    3. Pipefitters
    4. Sprinkler fitters 

Accelerated Training Programs

The United Association has established programs to create an influx of skilled workers to meet the manpower requests for the future. The UA has developed the Accelerated Welding Program and the Veterans in Piping Program to meet the growing needs in our industry.

The UA Accelerated Welder Training Program is competency based, allowing for each student to progress at his or her own rate of speed. Training is provided to students at no cost. The program runs for 18 weeks in duration, consisting of 720 hours of total instruction time. Classes are administered by local union welding instructors at designated training facilities.

Instructor Training Program

The International Training Fund also offers regional programs for local unions to provide educational resources that expand the techniques, skills and knowledge of both apprentices and journeyworkers within their trade.

The United Association has developed a well-respected and highly effective college accredited program of instructor education consisting of five one-week sessions over a period of five years. The main goals of this program are to:

  • Increase UA instructor proficiency in the techniques of instructing and in the use of instructional materials.
  • Acquaint instructors with the philosophy and principles of education, especially trade, industrial, and technical education.
  • Provide learning experiences in the principles and fundamentals of applied knowledge subjects such as science, mathematics, drawing and electricity.
  • Broaden and deepen instructor knowledge of the technical aspects of their craft, and provide instructors with information about the latest developments in the piping industry.

The International Training Fund also offers regional training to local union instructors for the purpose of providing educational resources for expanding the techniques, skills and knowledge of United Association apprentices and journeyworkers within their trade. Courses are designed to help UA instructors enhance their teaching or update their certifications.

Mobile Training Trailers

The United Association’s Mobile Training Trailers are fully self-contained trailers that feature the very latest equipment used in the pipe trades industry today. We have a large number of mobile training trailers equipped to train our members at various locations across the United States and Canada. Even if the local union does not have the necessary equipment for a particular program, we can provide those members the training they need to succeed in the field. The UA has found ways to get all of our members trained to the very highest level of their respective profession whether in a large city or in a small remote rural area. The trailers are used throughout the country educating apprentices and journeyworkers and can be moved at a moment’s notice.

We also have a number of state-of-the-art demonstration trailers equipped with the most advanced technology and systems available in today’s industry.  All these trailers were completely designed and built by UA craftsmen and contain different modules specific to the trailers particular trade. The trailers allow the United Association to stay on the leading edge of technology, while preparing our members to adapt to rapidly evolving technology.



UA Training