January 8, 2001
APPRENTICESHIP RATIOS FOR ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS AND HEATING AND COOLING WORKERS IN CONNECTICUT'S NEIGHBORING STATES
By: Paul Frisman, Research Analyst
You asked what the apprentice to journeyman ratio is for electrical workers, plumbers, and heating and cooling workers in Connecticut's neighboring states, and whether any of these states have more “liberal” ratio rules, that is, require fewer journeymen per apprentice than does Connecticut
We surveyed the states of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont. For the most part, Vermont and Rhode Island have a more liberal policy than Connecticut for electrical workers. Maine, Massachusetts and New York have stricter policies.
Vermont and Rhode Island also have a more liberal policy than Connecticut for plumbing contractors in most cases. New York, Maine and Massachusetts generally have the same ratio as Connecticut, although Massachusetts' ratio varies by region.
The ratios for heating and cooling workers are the same for all states.
Apprenticeship ratios refer to the number of journeymen who must be employed for each apprentice hired. Ratios are set to assure proper supervision and training. In some cases, there is one ratio for the first apprentice and a different ratio for additional apprentices. The first number in a ratio refers to the number of apprentices and the second the number of journeymen. A ratio of “1:1, then 1:3,” means that one journeyman must be on hand for the first apprentice in a program and three more journeymen must be employed for each additional apprentice. Programs in states with a 1:1, 1:3 ratio, therefore, may have one apprentice and one journeyman; two apprentices and four journeymen; three apprentices and seven journeymen, and so on.
Several factors may alter those numbers in particular situations. For example, many states have a job site ratio of 1:1. This means there must be one journeyman for each apprentice on a job site.
The ratios employed by non-union contractors in a particular state also may differ from those that operate according to union contracts, or on public works projects that fall under the Davis-Bacon (prevailing wage) Act. States also may grant waivers to program sponsors if a sponsor only has a single journeyman or licensee, or because of a shortage of skilled workers. In some states, ratios vary by region or city.
RATIOS OF CONNECTICUT AND NEIGHBORING STATES
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection regulations set the apprenticeship ratios for electrical workers, plumbers, and heating and cooling workers in Connecticut (Conn. Agencies Reg. § 20-332-15a(e)(1), (2) and (3)).
A licensed electrical contractor in Connecticut may hire one apprentice, and may hire a second apprentice for the first licensed electrical journeyman he employs. An electrical contractor employing more than one journeyman may hire an additional apprentice for each additional three journeymen employed. Connecticut's apprenticeship ratio for electrical workers, therefore, is 1:1 for the first two apprentices, then 1:3.
Maine and New York have a stricter ratio than Connecticut, requiring one journeyman for the first apprentice and three journeymen for each additional apprentice (1:1, then 1:3). Massachusetts also is more strict, requiring three journeymen for each apprentice hired (1:3).
Rhode Island is more liberal with regard to private sector work, requiring one journeyman for each apprentice (1:1). But Rhode Island is stricter on contracts involving state and federal work, requiring five journeymen for each apprentice. Vermont also is more liberal, requiring one journeyman for each of the first four apprentices, then three journeymen for each additional apprentice (1:1 for the first four apprentices, then 1:3).
In Connecticut a licensed plumber may hire one apprentice, and an additional apprentice for each three additional journeymen, or 1:1, then 1:3. New York and Maine have the same ratio as Connecticut. Massachusetts also has the same ratio, but it also may vary by region according to union contract. In central and western Massachusetts the ratio is stricter than that of Connecticut. In the Worcester area, for example, the ratio is three journeymen for each apprentice (including the first apprentice hired); in the Springfield area, five journeymen to each apprentice. In the Boston area, either one or two journeymen are required for the first apprentice, three journeymen are required for the second apprentice, and either four, five or six journeymen for the third apprentice.
Rhode Island is more liberal with regard to private sector projects, requiring one journeyman for each apprentice (1:1). But Rhode Island is stricter on state and federal work, requiring five journeymen for each apprentice. Vermont also is more liberal than Connecticut, requiring one journeyman for each of the first four apprentices, then three journeymen for each additional apprentice (1:1 for the first four apprentices, then 1:3).
Heating and Cooling Workers
In Connecticut, a licensed heating, cooling and piping contractor may hire one apprentice, and one additional apprentice for each additional three journeymen (1:1, then 1:3). Each of the other states has the same ratio for these workers.