What Is Prevailing Wage Training and How It Helps With Compliance

Federal funds are used to improve or construct public infrastructure. The work must be performed under prevailing wage conditions. That is wages that an industry-wide collective bargaining agreement has set. Because of this, it is important for all contractors and subcontractors working on projects within federally designated areas to comply with state prevailing wage laws and regulations. To adequately understand these compliance requirements and thrive within the construction industry, organizations should provide pre-employment training programs related to prevailing wage issues for their employees.

Some states require on-the-job training before a worker can receive certification as a journeyman to begin working independently. This training provides new hires with instruction specific to the state and industry. In some cases, this training may be provided by an outside organization or institution.

What Is Prevailing Wage Training?

Pre-employment prevailing wage training refers to education programs designed to teach workers about prevailing wage regulations before working on a public project. These programs are usually available online through community colleges or private businesses specializing in construction trade courses. Some states require pre-training for certain types of projects, but it is generally not necessary for employees who have already received it within the past year.

To receive certification for their services from public agencies under wage laws, workers must show that they have undergone training specific to the prevailing wage in their area. Experience working in a certain trade or industry may also be considered proof of training, however.

Prevailing wages are based on geographic location and job type. For example, construction workers employed to build new roads and bridges typically earn more than those who work on affordable housing projects because of the different skill sets required for tasks such as welding versus carpentry. It is important to consider prevailing wages when making bids for projects because they could affect the outcome of an entire project budget, which may vary depending on whether or not they are met.

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