Finally, society is recognizing that working in one of our skilled trades means a lucrative, rewarding career, as well as a secure retirement. Individuals who work 1880 hours per year, (40 hours per week with 5 weeks of vacation) will earn over $100,000 in total compensation and benefits. The first step to becoming a journeyman plumber, pipefitter, HVACR technician or boilermaker is being accepted into an apprenticeship program. Once accepted, individuals attend a 4 to 5 year training program that is paid for by employers. During the apprenticeship, individuals work for their employer, thereby using and further developing skills that will result in stable employment. Such work is for those who are physically and intellectually strong. See the list below for the quick view of why apprenticeship makes so much sense.