St. Paul Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee


Saint Paul, Minnesota

Bill Lombard,
Training Coordinator
Kathleen "Kiki" Zusan,
Administrative Assistant
Phone 651-455-JATC (5282)



JATClogoSt. Paul Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training
Pipefitters install, maintain, and repair high and low-pressure steam systems, high and low-pressure hot water systems, snow-melting systems, refrigeration systems, heating, gas and oil piping, pneumatic, electronic controls, air conditioning, and also provide instrumentation and valve repair.   These skills are used working in residential, commercial, and industrial installations, maintenance, and repair and in all types of weather conditions.
Pipefitters, Steamfitters, and HVACR Technicians work in all aspects of the heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and temperature control fields.  We are employed at oil refineries, chemical plants, food processing facilities, manufacturing plants, retail and wholesale food stores, and ice rinks.
We also have maintenance pipefitters working at the University of Minnesota, Saint Paul School District, Metropolitan Council, Imation, Saint Paul Government Center, and Energy Park.
We have pipefitters installing and maintaining refrigeration trucks, trailers, and buses at Thermo King Sales and Service.
Steamfitters Pipefitters have jurisdiction in the following counties:













Portions of Goodhue






Blue Earth






Applicants must be high school graduates or the equivalent and should enjoy working in a demanding trade that requires both mental alertness and physical stamina.  Pipefitters do a lot of heavy lifting and are required to work both indoors and outside, often times in confined spaces.
A career as a Pipefitter/Steamfitter begins with training in a pre-apprentice program.  Pipefitting is a full-time (40 credits), day-school program for two semesters starting fall and continuing through spring semester at Saint Paul College—A Community & Technical College located near downtown Saint Paul at 235 Marshall Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  All tuition, books, and fees are the responsibility of the student for the duration of the program.  Tuition is regulated by and paid to Saint Paul College.  The current tuition rate is approximately $173.27-$273.27 per credit. 
In order to be considered for the Pipefitting (pre-apprentice) program, applicants must take the Accuplacer assessment used at Saint Paul College to assess skills in reading, math, and spatial (mechanical) aptitude.  ACCUPLACER Assessments are available on a walk-in basis in the Assessment Center during the hours listed. No appointment is necessary. It takes approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete these assessments.  After September 1, 2019, you may apply for the fall 2020 Pipefitting Diploma program.
Assessments are NOT available during holidays nor when the College is closed.

ACCUPLACER Assessment 


9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.


9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.



All hours are subject to change.  Check for most current information.
The Assessment Center will be closed on the following days and holidays:
New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following, Christmas Day.

For more information on the assessment process, you may visit the College’s website at  Applicants with qualifying scores will be referred to the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC). 
To qualify for the Pipefitting Diploma program, minimum assessment scores are 72 on arithmetic, 85 on reading comprehension, and 70% on spatial aptitude.  The assessment and application must be completed by April 17, 2020, for consideration for fall semester 2020.  The JATC will select the students by an interview process.  Qualified applicants will receive a letter from the JATC with times and dates to schedule interviews.  Students accepted to the Pipefitting program will be notified by the College and scheduled for a College orientation. 
Students successfully completing the Pipefitting program will achieve their apprentice status and will be on a six-month probation period.  After this probation, he will proceed to the five-year, apprenticeship program.  Wages start at 50% of Journeyman rates with 100% of the non-taxable benefit package.  (The current Journeyman wage is approximately $44 per hour with a fringe benefit package equal to about $25 per hour.) Wages increase by 10% as the student successfully completes each year of the apprenticeship. 
Wages and percentages for all Zone 1 apprentices as of May 1, 2018:
1st 11 months (=1st Year Apprentice)    $23.52
2nd 12 months (=2nd Year Apprentice) $28.22
3rd 12 months (=3rd Year Apprentice)  $32.93
4th 12 months (=4th Year Apprentice)   $37.63
5th 12 months (=5th Year Apprentice)   $42.34
The taxable wage rate for Zone 1 St. Paul Journeyman as of May 1, 2018, is $47.04.
Applicants may be considered for direct entry into the Apprenticeship Program with qualifying education and experience in HVAC-R, welding, or pipefitting-related field.  You may contact the JATC office for more information.
The five-year Apprenticeship Program consists of two nights a week during the regular school year, from early September to mid-May.  Apprentices are responsible for paying their own tuition ($780/semester).  Minimum GPA and attendance requirements must be met for completion of each year of the Apprenticeship Program. 
The Apprenticeship Program consists of aggressive training in a wide variety of areas necessary to become a successful Journeyman Pipefitter.  Building Trades training involves welding, blueprint reading, OSHA training, rigging, industrial refrigeration, high and low pressure steam, hot water heating, and basic electricity to name a few.  The Service training includes extensive electrical training, refrigeration, OSHA, computer, digital controls, and a variety of boiler training among many others. 
The first four years of the Apprenticeship Program are a combination of information and hands-on training to prepare for the fifth and final year of the program.  The fifth year of the program is preparation and testing for city and state licenses required to perform the work of a Pipefitter in this area.  Upon successful completion of the five-year, apprenticeship program, Journeyman status is achieved. 
For more information, please call the St. Paul Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training office at 651‑455-JATC (5282). 

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