College isn’t for everyone: Why a skilled trade is a great career option

Justin Dorsey Plumbing apprentice photoJason Quear was a typical teenager in 2003, a recent graduate from Avon High School and newly enrolled in IUPUI, on his way to earning a four-year degree. Once he started, however, he realized college just wasn’t for him.

“I was miserable,” he explained. “I was in and out of school for several years, trying out different majors, but I just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Jason knew he needed to find another avenue to a career. After doing some online research, he discovered an opportunity for an apprenticeship with Justin Dorsey Plumbing. He said he had always enjoyed building and fixing things, so he thought plumbing would be a good career path with great long-term job security.

He was right. Today, Jason is an apprentice with Justin Dorsey Plumbing, and he’s loving it.

“Nothing is typical about the work we do,” he said. “Every day we have to solve a new problem that we may have never seen before .… I enjoy the classroom learning and the hands-on work that we do in the field.”

How does an apprenticeship work?

An apprenticeship is a unique education opportunity that combines classroom instruction with paid, on-the-job training.

Career Training Base says there are currently more than 1,000 apprenticeship programs in Indiana. To enroll, the individual must have a “program sponsor,” meaning a company where the apprentice works nearly full-time or full-time hours while he or she is learning the trade. Apprenticeships can last anywhere from three to five years, depending on the program.

Consider a Justin Dorsey Plumbing apprenticeship.

Justin Dorsey Plumbing’s apprenticeship is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprentice Training and includes two different divisions — new construction (where a plumber would install plumbing in newly-built buildings) and service (where a plumber would go to existing homes or facilities to repair or maintain the plumbing). It requires 7,600 on-the-job training hours with 576 classroom hours.

It may sound daunting until you consider this: Justin Dorsey Plumbing offers 100 percent tuition reimbursement if an apprentice stays with the company, meaning you can graduate with no college debt! What’s more, while other program sponsors may require union membership, Justin Dorsey Plumbing is a non-union sponsor, offering the same benefits that a union shop offers without the membership dues.

Currently, there are 10 apprentices working through Justin Dorsey Plumbing’s program.

How do I get started?

To get started as an apprentice, interested individuals must:

  • Present a birth certificate
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a personal interview with Justin Dorsey Plumbing (program sponsor)
  • Take an aptitude test
  • Pass a drug test

For more information or to get started with Justin Dorsey Plumbing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (317) 745-4830 or info@justindorseyplumbing.com. We accept apprentices from all over central Indiana, and we are committed to hiring veterans whenever possible.

An apprentice’s advice for others

Now in his second year as a Justin Dorsey Plumbing apprentice, Jason says that an apprenticeship is a great opportunity for undecided individuals to see if that career path is really something they want to do.

“Unlike the traditional college route, I didn’t have to wait through two years of prerequisites before getting to focus on my desired field,” he said. “In the first few days of my apprenticeship, I was out in the field, learning and earning money.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *