City of Philadelphia Councilmember At-Large Katherine Gilmore Richardson has released her office’s second Apprenticeship Guidebook for the region. Developed with support from local unions, many of the programs featured in the guide are in the construction industry.



The average starting salary for an apprentice is $60,000 per year, roughly $20,000 higher than the average salary in Philadelphia. Additionally, workers who start in apprenticeship programs make, on average, $300,000 more over the span of their careers. Unionized workers also make on average $191/week more than non-unionized workers, and they are significantly more likely to have high-quality health insurance and retirement benefits.

From Philly Voice:

Richardson published the first edition last year and plans to update it annually going forward.

She said many Philadelphians who could stand to benefit from these programs simply aren’t aware that they exist.

“With better access to this information, a more diverse range of Philadelphians can learn about … unions and skilled trades,” Richardson said, which she described as “the backbones of the middle class.”

Many researchers have identified a close relationship between union membership and middle class wages, including the Center for American Progress.