Earning more money as you level up through your education or certification program is good news. Check the compensation ranges for an apprentice electrician to get a better feel for the range of possible earnings. Before dedicating years of your life to studying the skill, it’s smart to be sure you’re a good fit for the job.
Can you tell me if you’re someone who thrives on change? Doing manual labor and working with your hands? I’m counting on a positive response! As you research the time commitment of an IBEW apprenticeship, you may find it useful to review the job description of a certified electrician.
Apprenticeship programs with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are a good starting point for anyone interested in a career in electrical work. Keep reading to find out why this isn’t your sole job option and why going to a recognized trade school can be more sensible.
What Does IBEW Stand For?
About 775,000 people in the United States are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), a labor union. Their apprenticeship program combines classroom learning with practical experience.
This seemingly uncomplicated path to a well-paying profession may actually have more drawbacks than positives.
Apprenticeship in the Electrical Trade: What Does That Mean?
Apprenticeships are long-term forms of education and development. These are typically managed by groups whose mission is to educate and train professionals. To finish the apprenticeship, you will need to put in a certain number of hours of both theoretical study and practical application.
The typical duration of an apprenticeship is 4-1/2 years. Those of you who are interested in finishing an apprenticeship can do one of two things:
- Join an organization for your field of expertise only after applying and being accepted.
- Get formal education as an electrical assistant in a classroom and on the job, and then qualify for an apprenticeship by enrolling in an electrician school.
InterCoast College’s Hybrid Electrical Training Program combines in-class lectures with laboratory exercises, simulated projects, and homework that may be done in the comfort of your own home. Plus, once a week, you’ll get some hands-on experience in the classroom laboratories. You get a complete education from this.
Each participating student receives an Electrical Training Card (ET). You can now balance your academic and employment obligations. You’ll be done with school in under a year.
The Structure of Training Programs
Local JATCs tailor their courses to the specific electrician training needs of their communities, as mandated by state and federal legislation and licensing rules. These programs typically take four to six years to finish and include:
- Eight thousand to ten thousand hours of training and/or experience
- About 576 to 1000 Hours of Classroom Time
Once accepted, you’ll begin formal and informal training immediately. You may need to take a certain number of hours of classroom instruction on topics like electrical safety and theory before being accepted into an apprenticeship program.
Most apprenticeship programs require students to attend classes on specified days of the week for the duration of their program. Training for JATC apprenticeships will include time spent in the classroom, with courses typically meeting at a nearby JATC office.
Is This What You’ll Learn About Electricity in Your Apprenticeship and Training Program?
It’s thrilling to be on the verge of making the leap from student to working professional. You can anticipate beginning your on-the-job training with the fundamentals. Stripping wiring and bending conduit are two skills you can master by the end of the first week. Don’t give up on it; the discussion will soon get much more technical.
Learn a wide variety of skills on the job through an apprenticeship and training program, such as:
- Putting in place electrical wiring for homes, businesses, and factories
- Learning to read and interpret schematics and blueprints
- Using equipment that has varying voltages
- Servicing and setting up new electrical equipment
- Instruments such as ammeters, voltmeters, harmonic testers, and ohmmeters
- Setting up fuses and breakers
- Gaining experience inspecting finished electrical installations
- Putting in new circuit breakers
The context in which you receive your on-the-job training will have a major impact on the skills you acquire. Various places include the following:
- Those in charge of municipal services
- The Airline Industry
- Military contractors
- Workshops that make things
- Venues such as arenas and coliseums
- The Building Industry
- Telecommunications and Internet Providers
- Generation facilities, such as solar
- Institutions such as hospitals, universities, and jail
- Administration buildings
As the months and weeks go by in your apprenticeship, you’ll acquire more advanced and technical skills that expand on those you’ve already acquired.
Training in both the classroom and on the job will be broken down into manageable chunks that will ultimately provide you with a thorough grounding in everything you’ll need to know to pass the apprentice exam.
Take Part in the IBEW Apprenticeship Program
Determine Which Course of Action Is Best for You
The first step is to investigate available apprenticeships with the IBEW.
You can choose to become:
- Technician (Sound & Communication).
- Worker specializing in electrical wiring in private homes.
- Backstage at Wireman.
- Position on the offensive or defensive line.
The Puget Sound Electrical JATC in Renton, Washington, for instance, offers the following courses: Residential, Sound and Comm (technician), and Construction Apprentice (inside wireman).
Unfortunately, not every apprenticeship offers such courses. The apprenticeship program for outside linemen is only available at specialized schools. Apprentices are compensated at a rate that is a fraction of that of journeymen.
Around half of a journeyman’s annual salary is possible in the first year. However, there is the potential for a raise every 6-12 months, or after working 1000 hours.
Pay varies not just between individual IBEW apprenticeships but also between unions, municipalities, and states. The wages of apprentices are higher in the northern and western parts of the United States than in the southern regions. But remember that the cost of living is higher in certain areas.
Applications for IBEW Apprenticeships
Unfortunately, just a small fraction of apprenticeships offer online applications, so you’ll need to fill out physical forms instead.
You’ll need to dig up your transcripts from college or high school and recall your past four addresses. Everything need your completion. Be sure to use legible handwriting throughout the entire form. Have someone else fill it out if your handwriting is poor. Please fill out all fields.
Contact the training facility for advice if you know for sure that you have to skip a section. It’s a good idea to verify this information with the people who will be processing your application. Here are some of the prerequisites for applications:
- Required age: 18+.
- A certificate, diploma, or degree of at least the associate level is required.
- Successfully completed an algebra course in high school or beyond and received a passing mark.
- Submit a GED record in addition to your high school diploma or transcript.
There could be supplementary needs for specific programs.
How to Pass the IBEW Apprenticeship Aptitude Test
You should now give it your all in an effort to achieve a good score. Those applicants with the highest rankings will be contacted for an interview before those with lower rankings.
Reading comprehension and algebra-functional analysis are the two main areas tested in the aptitude exam. Taking the exam will take about 2.5 hours of your time. The two sections are separated by a pause.
Hoping For A Job Interview
This is often the most stressful and time-consuming component. Just once or twice a year do many apprenticeships accept new applicants. Therefore, it may take a few weeks before you find out if you were accepted.
Don’t freak out if you haven’t heard back from the apprenticeship office right away. You need to hold out for the best. If you were chosen for an interview, you would receive notification of this.
On the interview panel are representatives from the NECA local office. One of the directors of the apprenticeship program might also be present. The following are some examples of questions you might be asked during the interview:
- Explain why you think you’d be a good fit for this program.
- Which, working alone or in a group, best describes your preferred working style? Why?
- Specifically, what sort of background do you have in working with electricity?
- Tell us about a time when you had to resolve a quarrel and what steps you took to do so.
- Give an example of a time when you were working on a project but were missing key resources.
- Talk about a time when you handled a task all the way through.
Advice for acing the interview:
- Just be honest when answering their queries.
- Try to stay on topic and cut down on filler words like “um,” “uh,” etc.
- Don’t get your arms crossed.
- Please keep your hands clasped and remain still.
- Please think carefully about your comment before you respond.
- Keep a good disposition.
- Continue acting in a businesslike manner.
- Dress for success by sporting a sharp pair of trousers, a button-down shirt (not a T-shirt), shiny shoes, a neatly trimmed beard, and a clean shave.
- Tell them the truth about what you’re searching for and why you’d be a good fit for the position; demonstrate your sincerity by highlighting your commitment, curiosity, and integrity.
- Keep your gaze fixed directly on the person speaking to you and respond thoughtfully to their questions or comments.
- The interviewees should be given a solid handshake.
- Avoid lingering cigarette and booze odors.
- Rest well tonight.
- Apprentices should always remember that they are at the bottom of the food chain.
Meaning you’ll be assigned tasks based on your level of physical labor rather than your ability to solve problems. You might have to erect scaffolding and platforms, dig trenches, move equipment, and even crawl through slimy, dark spaces. Keep in mind that safety is of paramount importance when responding to queries. One possible response is “whatever it takes to get the work done safely.”
When Finishing an Interview
If you pass the interview, you’ll be added to a list of potential candidates that stays active for two years.
If there are positions open in the IBEW apprenticeship program, we will compile a list of applicants in the order in which they scored.
You must reapply after two years if you have not been offered an apprenticeship.
Learn the Basics of Electricity and Get Started on Your Career Path Today.
InterCoast College offers electrical training for high school students, so if you haven’t graduated yet, you may find out how to get started on your career path while still in school. If you want to become an electrician, you can get a head start by studying relevant subjects in high school. Additional math, shop, and mechanical drawing are all part of this.
You can continue your education toward your goal of becoming an electrician by enrolling in a college program after you graduate from high school. There, you can get the training you need for your future profession as well as valuable hands-on experience. During your time as a registered student, you will be issued an ET card, allowing you to immediately begin gaining valuable work experience.