Mechanical Equipment Apprenticeship Training Program

The scope of work for the Mechanical Equipment Serviceman (MES), also called Refrigeration Pipefitter, encompasses mechanical service and maintenance of commercial air conditioning, refrigeration, ventilation, and heating equipment. This includes electric, gas-fired and oil-fired hydronic and forced air heating equipment and associated combustion controls, temperature and humidification controls. The trade also includes repair, overhaul and replacement of refrigeration compressors, condensers, evaporators, metering devices and cooling towers. Building automation equipment service (a.k.a. energy management system service) is also the work of the MES. Typically, the MES is provided with a company vehicle, provided by the contractor, to carry tools and equipment and other related equipment necessary to perform the work of the trade.

Terms Of Apprenticeship

Apprentices serve a five year working apprenticeship. Each training year is divided into two periods. Apprentices attend formal training classes one day (8 hours) every two weeks, for eleven class days each training period. Apprentices must meet training class attendance requirements and attain passing grades established by the Training Committee to be promoted to each successive training period.


Beginning apprentices receive 40% of the MES hourly rate of pay and receive incremental pay increases as they progress through ten six month training periods of apprenticeship.


Health care benefits including vision, dental, prescription and major medical commences after the required initial enrollment eligibility period.

Recommended Preparatory Courses

English Comprehension, Math, Science, four (4) years


In addition to being a self starter, who is eager to learn and be a willing worker, applicants should possess a strong desire to perform the physical work of the trade and be prepared to learn to work alone and in remote areas. Some Mechanical Equipment Service work is located outdoors and requires that the MES work in alternately hot or cold and, occasionally, dirty environments. Successful applicants will be expected to maintain a personnel appearance which is consistent with the requirements of daily customer relations and have a high degree of interpersonal and communication skills. Computer literacy is also desirable.

Application Process

The application period extends throughout the year and classes start in February and August.  Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the first day of class (February 1st/August 1st), must possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and have a valid state issued driver's license.  Applicants must apply in person with  their valid state issued driver's license, at the Steamfitters' Training School, 14420 Townsend Road, Suite C, Philadelphia, PA 19154, Monday through Friday, during the application period between the hours of 7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Applicants will be given a detailed set of instructions on how to complete the application process when they apply. For more information you may call 267-350-2610 during normal working hours any weekday.  Prior work experience and or technical schooling is helpful but not necessary for acceptance.

Requirements for a Complete Application

The following documentation is required for the submission of a COMPLETE application:  

- Application Form:  pages one and two completed, signed, and original application returned

- Application Fee:  a $25.00 non-refundable MONEY ORDER or CERTIFIED BANK CHECK made payable to "Steamfitters LU 420 Training Fund"; cash and personal checks will not be accepted

- COPY of Birth Certificate

- COPY of Driver's License; must be valid, state issued with photograph

- COPY of High School Diploma

- OFFICIAL High School Transcripts, from any and all high schools attended:  A transcript release form is provided in the application packet for your convenience or please follow the applicable request procedure of the issuing school. An official transcript is one that has been received directly from the issuing institution in a sealed institutional envelope, on official paper, with the institution's seal, affixed with official signature and date of issuance.  A photocopy or facsimile transmission is not a valid official transcript.

- High School Equivalency Graduate (GED) requirements (3):
1.  COPY of GED Certificate
2.  OFFICIAL GED Test Results
3.  OFFICIAL High School Transcripts, from any and all high schools attended

COMPLETED AND SIGNED Drug and Alcohol Policy Form:  this form is included in the application packet; the witness signature indicated on the form can be signed by friend or family

- COPY of Military Form DD-214 Discharge Separation Form (if applicable)

- COMPLETED SECTION 1 of Employment Verification  I9 Form:  this form is included in the application packet

All of the above documentation is required for a COMPLETED application.  COMPLETE APPLICATIONS, including all documentation & official transcripts are required to be delivered or post marked by:  February Class deadline is the last Friday in October; August Class deadline is last Friday in April.  

Applicants for the August Class who are current high school seniors with an expected June graduation date, must submit final official high school transcripts and copy of high school diploma by June 30th of the application year.  All other required documentation must be submitted by stated deadline.

Applicants with COMPLETED applications that are submitted by the deadline dates, will be notified for an aptitude test and are required to attend the scheduled date and time (no exceptions will be offered).  Upon completion of the testing phase, all eligible applicants will be notified for a mandatory interview and are required to attend the scheduled date and time (no exceptions will be offered). The scores from the application process, test/interview will determine acceptance into the apprenticeship training program and acceptance letters will be forwarded. PLEASE NOTE: Notifications to applicants will be forwarded via USPS Certified Mail and a PO Box address is invalid.

The recruitment, selection, employment, and training of apprentices shall be without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.  The JATC will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate this apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, as amended, and any applicable State Regulations.

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February 2025 Apprenticeship Applications
Fri, Apr 26, to Fri, Oct 25, 2024

Please click on the headline above for more information on applying to the Steamfitter and Mechanical Equipment Service apprenticeships.