VIP logo


Veterans In Piping

Career Skills Training Program

Sponsored by Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association

You were trained to protect our country.

Now, the Veterans In Piping Program is training you to build it.

About This Unique Program

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association, the Wisconsin Veterans in Piping (WI-VIP) Career Skills Training Program helps veterans, returning veterans, reservists, and National Guard members obtain the basic skills needed for a rewarding career within the pipe trades.

The original United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program is recognized by the Department of Defense and Department of Labor as the gold standard career skills program. There are currently nine VIP programs operating at seven bases nationwide, serving all branches of the military.

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However, veterans in Wisconsin do not have a nearby VIP-participating base at which to train. That's why the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association is bringing the training to you, our veterans, through their unique VIP Career Skills Training Program.

"I was an infantryman. The training I received was geared toward war fighting. The problem is, when you get out, there isn’t much work for a rifleman in the civilian world."

-Sean Ellis, VIP Participant, US Marines Veteran

"I would consider the VIP Program ‘Pipefitting Bootcamp’. What I’m doing now is just as critical and just as important as when I was in the Navy."

-Chuck Canty, VIP Participant, US Navy Veteran

"You become part of a local and it’s the beginning of your career. It’s not a job, it’s a career. It’s something you plan on doing for many years to come. The VIP Program is like a pre-apprenticeship to the apprenticeship."

-Samantha Metcalf, VIP Participant, US Army Veteran

"VIP participants are an asset to our country and the trade as a whole. We’ve had two VIP participants and they’ve been incredible. If the union calls us that they’ve got a guy who’s just finished the VIP program and needs a job, we’ll find them a place."

-Jaimi Lomas,  VP/General Manager, AO Reed & CO

Program In-Depth: A Career Pathway for Service Members

The Veterans in Piping Program can provide a positive re-entry into civilian life with the opportunity for a long-term lucrative career within the Piping Trades. The UA and Wisconsin Pipe Trades have been training qualified pipe tradesmen longer than anyone else in the piping industry.

For a quick overview .pdf, download our info sheet.

civilian careers for veterans

WI-VIP is an 18-Week Program

First, complete six weeks of job skills instruction at participating union facilities throughout Wisconsin.

Next, complete 12 weeks of on-the-job learning at a specific union jurisdiction.

The First Six Weeks: Job Skills Instruction

The first six weeks of the 18-week job skills training program are dedicated to instruction. Classes are held Monday-Thursday and are taught by accredited WPTA instructors - the same instructors from our apprenticeship programs. Each week you'll be introduced to new subjects, new instructors, new training centers and new jurisdictions that give you maximum exposure and networking.

Some instruction is taught in the classroom while other lessons are held hands-on in workshops.

The curriculum is outlined below.

WEEK 1: UA 118

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UA History/Standard for Excellence

First Aid/CPR

Pipe Trades Related Mathematics

Sturtevant, WI

WEEK 2: UA 75

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Construction Safety/OSHA 30

Use and Care of Tools

Milwaukee, WI

WEEK 3: UA 400


Introduction to Welding and Oxy-Fuel cutting


Kaukauna, WI

WEEK 4: UA 183

sprinklerfitters local union 183 milwaukee wi

Pipe, Fittings, Valves and Supports

Pipe Joining


Menomonie Falls, WI

WEEK 5: UA 434

Plumbers & Steam Fitters in WI

Soldering and Brazing

Tube Bending

Financial Tools for the Trades

Mosinee, WI

WEEK 6: UA 601

Steamfitters 601

Crane Signaling and Basic Rigging

Madison, WI

Download In-Depth Curriculum Packet
to Read More About Course Content

As you can see, the Job Skills Instruction portion of the  WI-VIP program is both thorough and intense. The Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association rewards candidates that are motivated to succeed and show commitment to the long term.

VIP Graduates

You Will Receive: 

240 Hours of Instruction - at No Charge

Hotel Stays Monday - Wednesday Weekly

Continental Breakfast & Lunch Each Day of Class

Necessary PPE and Tools for Workshop Use

A Gift Card Weekly for Dinner & Other Expenses

You Will Be Required to:

Secure Insurable Transportation to Each Location

Sustain a 90%+ Attendance Record

Wear PPE Clothing and Steel-Toed Boots

Maintain A 75% Minimum Score on Tests & Work

Pass A Drug Test Prior to Moving to OJT

Funding for the VIP Program is provided by the UA’s International Training Fund and The Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association. No costs are passed to the participants. However, unlike the second 12 weeks of the program, the first six weeks of classroom training is not paid time. Candidates will not receive a paycheck during this time and must be prepared for this in advance.

The Next 12 Weeks: On-the-Job Training (OJT)

The next 12 weeks of the 18-week career skills training program are dedicated to on-the-job training with a signatory contractor. Here, you will put to use what you've recently learned, working alongside pipe trade professionals. During these three months you may be placed at a site anywhere in Wisconsin, however you will have the opportunity to share your preferred location in the application packet.

Throughout this time, you'll be paid for every hour you work.

Hear from other veterans what their days are like as a VIP participant below.

Your Next Career?

"It's a natural fit. You're working in the elements, you're taking direction and whether you're working with a gang or a foreman, there's a structure in the military just like there's a structure on a job site."

-Mark McManus, UA General President

"A typical day in the military I would wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning and that hasn't changed since I've gotten into the UA - I'm still waking up at 4 o'clock in the morning."

-Cameron Vento, Apprentice, US Airforce Veteran

"Yah, it's physical. Not as physical as the military. It's nothing compared to the Marine Core."

-Gavin Maxwell, Journeyman, US Marines Veteran

"I like seeing different things. We're never at one spot for very long."

-Philip Funderburk, UA Apprentice, US Army Veteran

"I have a retirement plan. I have healthcare for my kids. Every night I go home to my wife and kids and I never have to leave them. It's been nice." 

-Jarrett Montgomery, UA Apprentice, US Army Veteran

Take The Next Steps to Join Wisconsin's V.I.P. Program

Learn about requirements to be considered for this Career Skills Training.


If you have questions or would like more information on this unique program, please contact Corey Gall at