Welding Apprentice Program

JWF Industries is committed to providing education and training opportunities for our employees and trade skill students looking to expand their experience. The program can change at any time at the discretion of JWF. All changes will be communicated.

Program Progression

Click links to access program-specific information:
Production Welder
Fabrication Welder
Lead Welder

Employee Benefit

  • Scheduled wage increases
  • Finishing the entire program through Lead Welder earns employee Journeypersons Papers from the State of Pennsylvania and the Department of Labor. Employee owns these papers and keep them even if the employee would leave JWF.

Enrollment Process

All new hires seeking to hold the title of Welder or Machinist, effective January 1, 2017, may enroll in the JWF Apprenticeship program which will begin after the employee has completed the 90 day introductory period and has been voted into the company.

The candidate must sign a Tuition Reimbursement Contract and an Apprenticeship Agreement. The duration of the apprenticeship will be determined by a diagnostic pre-test at the level deemed appropriate to their current skill level by the Weld School Instructor, Workforce Development Coordinator or Production Leader. See Human Resources for complete details.

Diagnostic Pre-Test

All applicants take a diagnostic test before enrolling in the welding apprenticeship program so applicants know the expectations, including number of lessons.

Participants in the program can test out of some lessons based on current knowledge and experience. The remaining lessons will need to be completed, as well as remaining requirements specific to the level.

Some applicants are still undecided about continuing the program after completion of their diagnostic test. If the employee is required to complete ten or more lessons, we recommend completing three lessons before decided to commit to the program.

Assistance with Classes

Apprentice participants are required to complete, on average, two online lessons each month. If experiencing difficulty on a certain topic, the employee may request a tutor from Penn Foster. The welding instructor and other participants in the program can also offer assistance to help the employee succeed. Penn Foster is subcontracted by JWF Industries to provide the apprenticeship modules and majority of the academic requirement component of the apprenticeship program.

Hours Counted and Program Completion

Hours worked since the employee’s vote-in date will count towards the total required hours for the program.

If an employee enrolls in a Level (production, fabrication, lead) of the program, he / she is expected to complete that level according to the terms set forth in the signed program agreement.

Welding Certifications

Weld certifications issued by JWF, and expressly included in the program, will count towards completion of the requirements.

Wage Increase

Each apprentice will be given his / her own individual Apprentice Scope and Sequence. This document shows each stage of the program, along with each wage increase associated with each step.

Employee expectations are the same, so raises can be deferred for attendance, attitude, or safety issues. Employees can also be terminated for unsatisfactory performance even if an apprentice.

If an employee discontinues the program, they will retain their current wage rate.

Program-Specific Details

Production Welder
  • 2,000 on-the-job hours (25%)
  • Online training progress (25%)
  • Certifications (25%)
    • FCAW (steel) or GMAW (aluminum) – 1G – 1/8 to unlimited – fixture
    • GMAW – 1G – 1/8 to 3/4 – fixture
  • Progression Tests (25%)
    • Proctored level test
    • Practical test – with a drawing, material, machine, and specification; must weld to acceptance criteria

Fabrication Welder
  • 4,000 on-the-job hours (20%)
  • Online training progress (20%)
  • Certifications (20%)
    • FCAW – 3G – 1/8 to unlimited – fit / weld
    • GMAW – 3G – 1/8 to 3/4 – fit / weld
    • GTAW – 3G – fit / weld (S, A, SS)
    • ASME and Aluminum – fit / weld (listed on job description)
  • Complete a course on critical thinking (20%)
  • Complete blueprint reading training program / course
  • Progression tests (20%)
    • Proctored level test
    • Practical test – with a drawing, material, machine, and specification; must fit-up and weld to a QC CTQ requirement; must be able to inspect own welds

Lead Welder
  • 1,000 on-the-job hours (25%)
  • Online training progress (10%)
  • Successful interview (5%)
  • Certifications (15%)
    • Same certifications at fabrication PLUS
    • 6G – FCAW, GMAW, and GTAW with steel, aluminum and stainless
    • Other certifications as required (e.g.: ASME, K-joint)
  • Complete required classes on leadership, development, and 40 hours of mentoring (20%)
  • Apply for associates degree and complete courses on CAD, supply chain, and emotional intelligence
  • Progression tests (25%)
    • Proctored level test
    • Practical test – shown an object; must dimension; create print; develop BOM; and create a replica