Certificate of Apprenticeship Programs

FTI offers programs for students seeking a certificate of apprenticeship.

Certificate Programs

Recognized and registered with the Department of Labor, students completing these programs will receive a Certificate of Apprenticeship in one of the following areas – Glazier, Glassworker, Coating Application Specialist, Drywall Finisher, or Commercial Painter.


A Glazier is responsible for selecting, installing, replacing, and removing all types of glass. Work in the glazing field can involve both residential and commercial projects. Residential projects may include replacing a home’s window glass to improve energy efficiency, installing glass mirrors, shower doors and fitting glass for tabletops and display cases. Commercial interior glazing projects include installing items such as heavy, decorative room dividers or security windows. Other glazing projects may involve replacing storefront windows for establishments such as supermarkets, auto dealerships or banks. In the construction of large commercial buildings, glaziers build metal framework extrusions and install glass panels or curtain walls.


Program Requirements


Glassworkers fabricate aluminum doors and manufacture insulated glass units, show doors, mirrors and glass tabletops. Custom fabricate glass, mirror, shower and bath enclosures and architectural aluminum. These finished products are shipped to residential and commercial buildings for installation by the glaziers. Typically glassworkers work in a production or fabricating and manufacturing facility environment working with glass and metal CNC equipment. This program allows an apprentice to develop his/her skills to cut, edge, polish, bevel, and notch glass and mirror. Skills needed to become a Glassworker include manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, physical fitness and the ability to solve arithmetic problems quickly and accurately also is required.


Program Requirements

Coating Application Specialist

Coating Application Specialists apply techniques to prepare substrates for coating and lining application. Techniques may include removal of rust, mill scale and previously applied hazardous coatings utilizing industry‐specific tools and techniques. Industrial Specialists apply/install protective coatings and linings to steel and concrete on complex structures, such as bridges and towers; waterfront structures, such as locks and dam, metal and manufacturing facilities.

Students will learn to apply their theoretical knowledge and skills to the corrosion protection of steel and concrete on complex industrial structures through course work in Health and Safety Awareness for Application Specialists, surface preparation and coating materials properties, and application.


Program Requirements

Drywall Finisher

Drywall finishers (or tapers) prepare unfinished interior drywall panels for painting by taping and finishing joints and imperfections. Drywall finishers also use joint compound to give many decorative finishes to ceilings, textured walls through spray application. Drywall consists of a thin layer of gypsum between two layers of heavy paper; it is used on walls and ceilings in most buildings today because it is faster to apply than plaster and gives a professional finish when completed. Good math and communication skills are needed for these types of jobs.


Program Requirements

Commercial Painter

Painters apply decorative and protective finishes in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial settings. They prepare a variety of surfaces (wood, masonry, drywall, plaster, concrete, synthetics, stucco and metal) prior to the application of materials such as paint, high performance coatings, waterproofing, fireproofing, varnish, shellac, wall coverings and special decorative finishes.Painters must have an eye for detail, the ability to plan work, and knowledge of many types of finishes, their properties and their applications. They must be able to calculate areas and relate such calculations to required material. Good communication and customer service skills are required by Painters who often interact with home/business owners, contractors, interior designers and architects.


Program Requirements

Options for everyone

The right career training for you.

FTI offers a variety of course options including 2-year and 3-year programs to prepare students for future careers in the Finishing Trades industry.

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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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