Trade show carpenters earn excellent salaries and enjoy a premier benefits package that includes full medical, dental and vision care with no paycheck contributions, with family plans available in addition to individual plans. Our members also enjoy pay increases twice a year.

Wages start at $23.80 per hour for first-year apprentices as part of the union’s earn-while-you-learn approach to building a stable, rewarding, long-term career.

Apprentices spend 160 hours per year in the classroom learning the trade. Unlike when attending a traditional college, apprentices do not accumulate debt during what is typically a 3-year program, and they enjoy full union membership benefits.

Upon completion of the program, members become certified journeyperson carpenters and can earn a contract-guaranteed $34 per hour. Specialty roles – riggers, foremen and forewomen – earn even more. Contractor partners of Local 491 also look to union members first to fill leadership positions, including forepersons and stewards, so opportunities for advancement are plentiful. Overtime is based on time worked over a regular 8-hour daily shift, and weekend work is automatically overtime, at 1.5 times the hourly rate. Annual pay can range from $75,000 to $100,000.