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Per the terms of the apprentice contract, employers must compensate registered apprentices according to a progressively increasing schedule of wages consistent with their acquired skills, competency, and experience.1 The adequacy of an apprentice wage scale is determined by comparison with the current skilled wage rate in the geographical area of the local committee.2 Employers may compensate apprentices above the skilled wage rate and are encouraged to do so.
In the construction sector, if an apprentice is subject to a collective bargaining agreement, the rate specified in the agreement is the skilled wage rate.
For apprentices not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the skilled wage rate is based on the average rate paid to journeyworkers within the geographical area of the local apprenticeship committee.3
To assist in determining the skilled wage rate for non-union construction apprentices, the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) has compiled a series of datasets and maps using state wage data. For more information about this process and how it differs from prior years, reference the skilled wage rate memorandum.
The rates posted in the guidance maps are based on the best available statistical data. These rates are to be used as a benchmark for local programs in setting their own wage rates. BAS will generally not approve a skilled wage rate more than 20% below the posted guidance rate.4
Using the guidance maps, local apprenticeship committees must set a skilled wage rate for the non-union construction apprentices for each occupation within their program through the following process:
In instances where an approved skilled wage rate is lower than the previous skilled wage rate, existing apprentice wages cannot be lowered to the new rate without approval from BAS to amend existing contracts.5 However, BAS approval is not required for employers to increase compensation for apprentices above the skilled wage rate.
Data updated as of: 1/3/2023