Apprenticeship training

FTI opens you to the varied and growing Finishing Trades industries with apprenticeship training.

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The following FTI Apprenticeship Programs are all registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor and North Dakota Department of Labor where applicable.  Each of them require three (3) years of training that consists of 432 Related Training hours and at least 6,000 On-the-Job Training Hours.  Please contact the FTI Office regarding the current Tuition prices per semester.

To qualify for apprenticeship training programs, you must:

–  Be at least 18 years of age

–  Have a high school diploma or GED

–  Be physically able to work in the selected trade

–  Have reliable transportation

Painting + Wallcovering Programs

Painters and wallcovering professionals work in a wide variety of commercial and industrial environments on projects that last from a few days to several months. Painting and wallcovering apprentices learn blueprint reading, surface preparation, color harmony, wood finishing, use and care of state-of-the-art tools and equipment, spray painting, decorative finishing wallcovers, and health and safety regulations.

Drywall Finishing Program

Drywall finishers, also known as tapers, begin their work once drywall installation is complete. Finishers tape and apply joint compound to prepare walls for paint, wallcovering, or other finishes. Apprentices learn blueprint reading, surface preparation, drywall finishing, use and care of state-of-the-art tools and equipment, and health and safety regulations.

Glazier + Glassworker Program

Glaziers are skilled craftspeople who install and repair glass-related products in commercial and residential buildings. Glaziers work with glass, mirrors, architectural aluminum window and door framing, shower and bath enclosures, automatic doors, plastics, exterior panels, sealants, and other related products.

Glassworkers are also skilled craftspeople who custom fabricate glass, mirrors, shower and bath enclosures, and architectural aluminum. Their finished products are installed by glaziers in residential and commercial settings. Glassworkers are typically employed in production or fabricating facilities working with glass and metal equipment.

Sign, Display, + Screen Process Programs

Sign and display craftspeople design, construct, paint and erect signage and trade show exhibits composed of metal, vinyl, glass, wood, neon, and plastic. These products are widely used in commercial settings. Apprentices specialize in a particular segment of this industry (e.g., graphic design, fabrication, silk screening, etc.). Apprentices learn blueprint reading, surface preparation, use and care of state-of-the-art equipment, and health and safety regulations.

Tradeshow + Convention Worker Programs

Tradeshow workers will transform any empty facility into a full show presentation in a relatively short span of time. Tradeshow workers move and handle freight, rig equipment, and set up and dismantle exhibits and modular systems. Typical job tasks include rigging and hanging signs, installing and removing carpet, as well as installing and fulfilling the general decorating requirement of the exhibitors. Work is normally found in convention centers and hotels where tradeshows take place.

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FTI Testimonials

“These are some of the best trained skilled crafts people in the industry, not only have they worked in the crafts and out in the field on job sites but they engage with the union family and union membership.”

- Terry Nelson, District Council 82

“FTI instructors provide us with skilled quality workers and not only do those instructors have the book smarts needed to teach proper technique but they also have direct experience in the field.”

- Clark Anderson, CFO - Swanson Youngdale

“The instructors are great, they get down to a personal level. They take their knowledge and implement it into the classroom and hands-on training.”

- Kyle Paulson, Glazier Apprentice

A Rewarding, Hands-On Career Awaits

Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest is an educational institute dedicated to developing professional tradespeople, advancing their skills and certifying their qualifications in the Upper Midwest. Our learners include Commercial and Industrial Painters, Drywall Finishers, Glaziers, Glassworkers, Sign and Display Technicians, and Tradeshow Workers.

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ATTN: The FTIUM is applying for a reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission of the C.O.E.

The Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest is applying for a reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. If a person wishes to make comments about this reaffirmation, please write to:


Executive Director of the Commission

Council on Occupational Education

7840 Roswell Road, Business 300, Suite 325

Atlanta, Georgia 30350


(Persons making comments must provide their names and mailing addresses.)