Joining the HVAC union is a wise decision, time and time again we hear “I wish I’d joined sooner.”
In the United States there are more than 14 million workers who are a part of 60 unions, including HVAC technicians, electricians and plumbers, to give a few examples.
Between 2016 and 2020, the HVAC industry is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, reaching an opportunity worth $130.7 billion.
Those that have joined after years in the private sector all list the same features that convinced them to join. Here are some of the top benefits our members say motivated them to join the HVAC union:
The union offers wages higher than the private sector. The minimum hourly wage is $37.48, and benefits are included, so paychecks reflect the minimum hourly wage.
All members of the union start at this wage and when moving employers never have to worry about negotiating their salary and benefits, the union takes care of that for them.
Being a part of the union assures apprentices and journeymen that they will have good health care benefits for themselves and their families. Benefits are funded by the union, so members never have to worry about the rising cost of health care for their family.
Healthcare includes 100 percent coverage for the member and their entire family with no pre-existing conditions clause and a prescription card. Coverage includes everything from well-baby visits to chiropractic care.
Dental care includes orthodontia coverage for the family. The vision plan includes eye exams, glasses or contacts. It also includes coverage for radial keratotomy and surgical procedures to correct myopia or hyperopia, which many private sector plans do not offer.
Apprentices receive up to five years of training from the union. Apprentices with prior experience are placed in the education program based on their knowledge. New apprentices start at the beginning of the program.
The program is up to 9,000 hours of training in the classroom and in the field. Apprentices work with experienced HVAC technicians called journeymen throughout their training.
Life in the union offers a work-life balance not found in the private sector. In the union, apprentices and journeyman are expected to work regular hours, paid for overtime, regular work weeks and holidays.
Research shows that work-life balance is a top priority for many, especially those aged 18-44.
In the union, retirement is an achievable dream. Apprentices are vested in the pension after five years-so after a new apprentice enters school, they are vested in the pension plan when they graduate! Where in the private sector can you find that?
The union also offers a tax-deferred annuity plan for retirees.
All members talk about the brotherhood of the union and how special it is. Union members, no matter how long they have been a member, share a special bond. This bond begins the moment they walk in the door and continues throughout the career.