Life is Too Short Not

 to Love What You Do

Construction is one of the largest industries in the world. Construction workers build our bridges and roads, our places of employment and entertainment, our schools, and our homes. More than ever, we need skilled, trained and dedicated workers to maintain the high-level of quality that goes into every Better Built construction project.

Careers in union construction not only provide a good living, but also an opportunity to work in a hands-on, diverse environment. Construction careers require comprehensive training in an apprenticeship program or through college as well as ongoing training and certification.

Better Built Members have extensive training and experience that allows them to provide clients the best construction experience possible and to provide their families a good quality of life–and the best part, they love what they do!

Learn more about construction careers by choosing a topic from the menu at left.

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Building Trades

Building trades (or crafts) workers are the backbone of the unionized construction industry, bringing expert craftsmanship, high-tech skills and hands-on experience to each Better Built project.

Building trades workers specialize in one of many trades listed below. To learn more about each trade, click on the trade below, see Building Trades in the Member Directory, or download the Building Trades Apprenticeship Booklet.

Experienced trades workers may advance to become job-site foremen or superintendents. They may also choose to become representatives for their unions or instructors for their apprenticeship training programs.

Trades workers may work out of their union local (or “hall”), getting called to work for a variety of contractors and jobs, or they may work directly for a contractor. Hours worked annually can fluctuate with the construction economy and weather conditions. Trades workers must learn how to budget their annual income to allow for these fluctuations.

For more information about local building trades, also go to West Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council (WCIBCTC).

Good Wages and Benefits

Each trades worker receives scale wages and benefits as negotiated by trade unions and area contractors. These benefit packages allow trades workers to draw a good salary, prepare for retirement, take care of family health needs, and contribute to the local economy.

Contact each trade above or download the Building Trades Apprenticeship Booklet for current wage rates and benefit packages.

Apprenticeship – Earn While You Learn

Individuals interested in becoming building trades workers must apply for and complete a comprehensive apprenticeship training program. Each trade operates its own apprenticeship training program that adheres to the highest and strictest standards monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship training programs typically last three to five years and include on-the-job and classroom training. Apprentices receive a percentage of scale wages as well as benefits while learning on the job. As apprentices move through their training programs, that percentage typically increases.

An apprentice who completes the training program is recognized and awarded “Journeyman” status and receives scale wages and benefits. A Journeyman has the qualifications and ability to travel to different areas around the world to pursue work in his or her trade.

Apprenticeship programs take new classes of apprentices according to the demand for construction work. Some programs take applications year-round, while others only take applications during certain times.

To apply for an apprenticeship program, interested individuals should contact the training director or representative for the trade. Download the Building Trades Apprenticeship Booklet for more details, contact information, and application dates.

Entry requirements for each apprenticeship program vary but may include the following:

  • Be age 18 or older
  • Hold valid driver’s license
  • Pass drug screen
  • Pass aptitude test, including math skills
  • Interview with trade representatives
  • Complete an application and/or submit a resume
  • Pay an application fee
  • Provide high school (and college) transcripts
  • Be able to perform the duties of the trade

Typical Work Day – Love What You Do

Building trades workers work in a variety of conditions–wet, cold, hot, high, or even underground. They use a variety of tools and work at many types of job sites from commercial and industrial to institutional and residential.

On a job site, trades workers must be prepared for any type of weather or condition, use math and communication skills frequently, and use a variety of tools. They must adhere to strict safety standards and work with a level of professionalism that gets the job done on time, in budget, and with the highest quality.

Trades workers may work year-round or may have periods of time when work is limited or unavailable due to the economy or weather. It is important for them to budget for these fluctuations.

When asked what they love most about their jobs, pride and satisfaction top the list. They see the results of their hard work and craftsmanship in completed projects in their communities.

Safety and Health

Safety is a priority in union construction. Building trades and contractors work together to ensure the safety of each worker, adhering to strict safety standards set and monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Trades workers must use appropriate safety equipment and complete regular safety and health training and certification.

Ongoing Training and Certification

Building trades workers must regularly update their skills. This means they must go through additional training and certification in a number of areas, especially related to their trade and including safety and health.


Contractors are companies hired by owners to complete building projects. They provide management, coordination, equipment and supplies, as well as hire labor (building trades) to complete each Better Built project with the highest quality, on time and in budget.

Examples of management careers:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) / President / Owner
  • Division Manager / Officer
  • Estimator
  • Project Manager
  • Engineer / Architect
  • Design-Build Director
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Safety Director
  • Business Development Director / Sales Associate
  • Marketing Director
  • Information Technology (IT) Director
  • Office Manager
  • Job Superintendent
  • Job Foreman

For a list of area contractors who hire union building trades, go to the Member Directory.

For more information about local contractors, also visit Greater Peoria Contractors and Suppliers Association (GPCSA).

Good Wages and Benefits

Workers in management careers negotiate wages and benefits on an individual basis with their employers. They generally draw good salaries and have benefit packages that allow them to prepare for retirement, take care of family health needs, and contribute to the local economy.

Training and Entry Requirements

Management careers often require a Bachelor’s degree in project management, business, architecture, and/or engineering. Many workers in management positions began in the trades and gradually moved into supervisory or management roles.

Skills necessary to enter management careers include good communication, math, organization, computer knowledge, and good work ethic (i.e., cooperative attitude, showing up on time).

Those individuals interested in contracting or management careers can explore construction programs at many colleges and universities, including the following local schools:

Some contractors offer internship and/or job shadow opportunities for those interested in management careers.

Typical Work Day–Love What You Do

Those in management careers work in a variety of settings. They may work in an office environment and/or may need to visit construction job sites. Management workers may spend time meeting with project owners, architects, potential clients, and labor representatives.

When management workers spend time on job sites, they must be prepared for various weather conditions and adhere to strict safety rules, including wearing proper protective equipment.

Cooperation and good communication with co-workers, employees, labor, and clients is critical for construction projects to be completed on time, in budget, and with the highest quality. Management workers also use math and organizational skills frequently to complete their work.

Just like building trades workers, when asked what they love most about their jobs, pride and satisfaction top the list. They see the results of their hard work and skill in completed projects in their communities.  

Safety and Health

Safety is a priority in union construction. Contractors and building trades work together to ensure the safety of each worker, adhering to strict safety standards set and monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

All construction workers, labor and management, must use appropriate safety equipment on job sites and complete regular safety and health training and certification.

Ongoing Training and Certification

Management workers must regularly update their skills. This means they must go through additional training and certification in a number of areas, especially related to their specialty and including safety and health.

Other Construction Careers Provide Support

Construction on a job site cannot happen without additional support and guidance. Each of the following careers has its own, specific training requirements, including Bachelor’s, Associate’s, and/or technical degrees.

  • Supplier (construction materials, safety equipment, etc.)
  • Accountant / Bookkeeper
  • Administrative Assistant / Clerical Staff
  • Engineer /Architect
  • Interior Designer
  • Owner’s Representative / Construction Manager
  • Information Technology Systems Specialist
  • Trucking Company Owner / Transportation Coordinator
  • Marketing Agent
  • Trainer / Instructor
  • Negotiations Facilitator / Arbitrator
  • Director of Industry Association


Meet the People of Better Built

They’ve built countless buildings and endless trust. Meet the people of Better Built.







Director of Business Development for Better-Built

Better Built ( is seeking a leader to function as the Director of Business Development (Director), who shall create and facilitate a professional sales program designed to create new business opportunities and relationships for Better Built, its affiliated organizations and signatory employers.

The Director is responsible for developing a sales and marketing strategy within the market place. This would include such activities as the implementation and introduction of Better Built, brand building and management, direct marketing, and networking with a variety of end users. The primary responsibility of the Director of Business Development will be the creation and effective implementation of Better Built.

The person applying would be a college graduate, or have an advanced degree, or experience with an emphasis in business administration or sales and/or marketing.

Competitive Salary & Benefits

Resumes will be received up to December 29, 2017, at the end of the business day.

Please send resumes to, attn.: Better Built

Deadline to apply is December 29, 2017

Apprenticeship Openings

The following apprenticeship programs are taking applications. Please contact them directly for details.

Illinois Laborers’ & Contractors Program
Construction Craft Laborers Apprenticeship Program

Applications are available the 1st Tuesday of Each Month ONLY.

   Peoria Local Union #165     Applications Open MARCH 2017, 10AM – 12 NOON
   Pekin Local Union #231      Applications Open APRIL 2017, 10AM – 12 NOON

Basic Qualifications:

  • Applicant must apply in person
  • Must be 18 years of age
  • High School Graduate or GED Cert.
  • Physically able to perform work of trade
  • Possess a valid Driver’s License.
  • A reading, understanding, writing and communicating ability, that would enable applicant to perform the tasks of the CCL in a safe manner and comprehend the subject matter taught, in English only, in related traning.

IL Laborers & Contractors Joint Apprenticeship & Training Program will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older.  IL Laborers & Contractors Joint Apprenticeship & Training Program will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30.
U.A. Plumbers Local #63 Joint Apprenticeship Committee accepting applications

Stop by Plumbers Local Union #63 office at 116 Harvey Ct., East Peoria, Illinois between  9:00 am – 1:00 pm, Monday – Friday on  April 18, 2016 – April 22, 2016 & April 25, 2016 – April 30, 2016 to complete apprenticeship application.

There is a $30 (cash or money order.  NO CHECKS), non-refundable administrative fee due at time of application.

Basic Requirements:

  • 18 years of age by June 1, 2016
  • Valid Driver’s license
  • H.S. Education (12 years completed) – diploma and H.S. transcripts required; although H.S. Equivalency G.E.D. certificate and transcripts of grades acceptable
  • Applicants graduating in May 2016 permitted to apply
  • Legal resident 1 year prior to application in U.A. Plumbers Local Union #63 jurisdictional area (Peoria, Fulton, McDonough, Stark & Tazewell counties and portions of Hancock, Marshall, Mason, Schuyler & Woodford counties)
  • Military transfer or discharge Form DD214 (if applicable)
  • Availability for testing and interview
  • Women and minorities encouraged to apply
  • Upon invitation, formal acceptance dependent upon passing chemical and substance abuse test.

Roofers Apprenticeship Program

Roofers Local 69 & the JATC

Basic Requirements are:

    1. Applicant must be 18 years of age.
    2. Be a high school graduate or GED.  Have a copy of your diploma or certificate when applying.
    3. Must be a legal resident of the US.
    4. Must be physically capable of performing the trades needs.
    5. Must show proof of a valid drivers license.
    6. An administration fee of $10 (cash only) is required.

Applicants who meet “the selection requirements” may be required to take physical and drug tests.  We administer and notify “Affirmative Action” programs.

Bricklayers Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee
661 Southrock Drive
Rockford IL  61102
phone: (815) 963-5336 (Wednesdays only)


  • Completed JATC Application
  • Copy of a photo ID
  • Copy of a Birth Certificate
  • Minimum of 18 years old
  • application fee of $20
  • Apprentice applicants may be requested to appear before the JATC for an interview.


The Apprenticeship office is open on Wednesdays only from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  This time is set aside for applicants and questions about the program. The Local #6 office will not answer questions about the apprenticeship program.

(Information received from JATC coordinator, Oct. 2012)

Iron Workers Local #112

Requirements to Apply

Must be 18 years old, must be a U.S. citizen (copy of birth certificate required) and live within a 50-mile radius of Peoria, must have a high school diploma (must present high school transcript) or G.E.D. equivalent; must have a valid driver?s license; and must pass a physical exam and drug test.The apprenticeship program runs for three years, two nights per week of classroom and shop instruction. Apprentices work at trade during normal working hours. Benefits include: health and welfare and pension.


Apprentices start at 60 percent of scale. See wage scales in back of this booklet.


Mathematics, science, drafting and industrial technology classes.


Structural and reinforcing iron workers usually work outside in all kinds of weather. However, those who work at great heights do not work when it is wet, icy or extremely windy. Because the danger of injuries due to falls is so great, iron workers use safety devices such as safety belts, scaffolding and nets to reduce the risk.


Must be able to think under pressure; must be able to work at great heights; and must be in good physical condition


Jason Emerick, Apprenticeship Coordinator

3003 N Main St., East Peoria, IL 61611

(309) 699-6489

$20 fee at time of application.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Applications taken May 4, 2015- May 20, 2015              Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here for 2015 Apprenticeship application data sheet.


Iron Workers perform the following steel work: structural, ornamental, reinforcing, and machinery moving and rigging. Iron, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, precast concrete, brass, and bronze are important materials in buildings, bridges, and other structures. Structural and reinforcing iron workers fabricate, assemble and install these products. They also repair, renovate and maintain older buildings and structures such as steel mills, utility plants, automobile factories, highways and bridges. Iron workers must erect the steel frames and assemble the cranes and derricks that move structural steel, reinforcing bars, buckets of concrete, lumber, and other materials and equipment around the construction site. This equipment arrives at the construction site in sections. Iron workers then connect the sections and set the cables to do the hoisting. Structural iron workers begin to connect steel columns, beams and girders according to blueprints and instructions from supervisors and superintendents. Structural steel, reinforcing rods and ornamental iron general come to the construction site ready for erection. Reinforcing iron workers set the bars in the forms that hold concrete, following blueprints showing the location, size and number of reinforcing bars. They fasten the bars together by tying wire around them with pliers. When reinforcing floors, workers place blocks under the reinforcing bars to hold them off the deck.

Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 1 Accepting Apprenticeship Applications NOW

Great Lakes Area Boilermakers Apprenticeship Program – Local #60


Applications for Construction Boilermaker Apprentice will be accepted by the Great Lakes Area Boilermakers Joint Apprenticeship Committee at the following locations, dates and times:

Local 60 — 425 W. Edgewood Court, Morton, Illinois

Thursday, April 25, 2013……….8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursday, May 30, 2013………..8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursday, June 27, 2013………..8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursday, July 25, 2013…………8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursday, August 29, 2013…….8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursday, September 26, 20138 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The Last Thursday of the month.

The recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship, shall be without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.Every applicant must supply a copy of their BIRTH CERTIFICATE and HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA/GED that the Committee can keep at the time of filing application for apprenticeship.

WELDING QUALIFICATION:Applicants that have a welding certification or weld training qualifications will have priority selection over applicants with no welding qualifications.Applicants must provide a copy and proof of welding certification or weld training qualification at time of application.          ===============================================================

Steamfitters Local #353                                                                          Accepting Apprenticeship Applications.          June 1, 2015 – June 12, 2015                                                                                                                                            Applications must be completed at Steamfitter U.A. Local #353 Trade School, located at 6304 W. Development Dr., Peoria, IL during following hours.                                  Monday, Wednesday, Friday      9:00 am – 1:00 pm                                                         Tuesday, Thursday                      9:00 am – 1:00 pm / 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm                       Saturday, June 6, 2015                8:00 am – 12:00 pm / 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm                                                                                                                                                       Click here for application data sheet and Requirements                                                                                                                                                                                            Visit Steamfitter 353 website for more information about apprenticeship program.