Become an Apprentice

An IUPAT apprenticeship is where careers in the finishing trades start.

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and its employers established the iFTI to provide ongoing education and training for all of our union members. An IUPAT apprenticeship is where careers in the finishing trades start. 

Apprenticeship programs are designed to give you the advanced practical skills and knowledge you need to achieve success. During your apprenticeship, you’ll learn through an approach that combines classroom instruction and on-the-job learning. You’ll complete a minimum of 144 hours of classroom instruction as well as the required minimum on-the-job hours per year of apprenticeship as mandated by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Your curriculum will include an introduction to our union and the finishing trades; health and safety; and leadership and professional development. All apprentices are assessed on their knowledge, skills, and abilities in both the core and trade-specific curriculum through hands-on and written tests, as well as how they perform tasks on the job.

You’ll also have instant access to all training materials through the Finishing Trades Institute’s Learning Management System (LMS). This is a secure, web-based learning portal designed for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs and training content. 

The FTI curriculum and training centers constantly evolve to remain at the cutting edge of each of our trades. And while a typical apprenticeship lasts three years, if you have experience in a craft, it can be much shorter.

Finishing Trades

  • Commercial Painter

    Commercial Painter

    As a painter, you’ll make surfaces come alive with beautiful finishes.

  • Drywall Finisher

    Drywall Finisher

    As a drywall finisher, you’ll expertly prepare unfinished drywall panels.

  • Floor Coverer

    Floor Coverer

    As a floor covererer, you’ll install high-quality floors in different finishes.

  • Glazier


    As a glazier, you’ll select, cut and install all types of glass.

  • Industrial Painter

    Industrial Painter

    As an industrial painter, you will apply coatings to protect vital structures.

  • Sign & Display Worker

    Sign & Display Worker

    As a sign and display worker, you’ll create projects from window lettering to neon.

  • Trade Show Worker

    Trade Show Worker

    As a trade show worker, you’ll set up and dismantle exhibits.

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