The UA has announced that HVACR service technicians who become UA S.T.A.R. certified will be awarded 30 college credits for successful completion of the most stringent training and certification process in the industry to date—and they get paid to do it. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinklerfitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), developed its S.T.A.R. Certification program with Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI. The program offers substantial benefits for service technicians, contractors and their end-users. According to UA Director of Training George Bliss, instead of spending $25,000 or more to attend a university, apprentices will begin earning about $31,000 (U.S. National Average) while they learn their trade. After their fifth year and successful UA S.T.A.R. Certification, service technicians can earn as much as $77,500 (U.S. National Average) per year and earn 30 credits toward an associates degree in HVACR or construction supervision. Those who want to complete their associates degree can earn the additional 30 to 35 credits through the UA’s regional training system. The UA S.T.A.R. Certification examination, administered by a representative of the National Inspection-Testing-Certification Corporation, consists of 199 questions that test applicants’ expertise in mechanical systems, ventilation systems, electrical, piping, controls, lifting equipment, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration, safety, heating, mathematics, steam systems, and customer service. Apprentices will prepare for the UA S.T.A.R. Certification exam throughout their five-year training program. “The significance of this new program lies not only in the benefits it provides for service technicians. It also gives contractors a marketing edge and provides end users with a better-trained and highly educated workforce. Now, more than ever before, the UA can stake its claim as the premier provider of training for the piping industry,” says UA General President Martin Maddaloni. UA S.T.A.R. was established by the United Association of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinklerfitting Industry of the United States and Canada. The UA, founded in 1889, is a multi-craft union representing pipefitters, sprinklerfitters, service technicians and plumbers. Members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of all piping systems. There more than 300,000 UA members in over 400 local unions across North America. UA S.T.A.R. is endorsed by the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), a national trade association representing over 1,100 firms involved in the service, maintenance, retrofit and repair of all types of comfort systems, including heating, air conditioning, ventilating, refrigeration and plumbing, in commercial and industrial facilities. For more information about the UA S.T.A.R program, visit