Frequently asked Questions

Q. WHAT IS IT THAT ELECTRICIANS DO?
A.
Electricians plan, diagram, install, and repair electrical fixtures, apparatus, and control equipment such as switches, relays, and circuit breaker panels. They measure, cut, bend, thread, assemble, and install electrical conduit (pipe or tubing), and pull wire through conduit. They test continuity of circuits to ensure compatibility and safety of components, using instruments such as the ohmmeter, megger, and other testing equipment.

Electricians assemble, install, and wire electrical systems that operate heating, lighting, power, air conditioning, and refrigeration components; electrical machinery; electronic equipment and controls; and signal and communication systems.

For safety, electricians must also become familiar with the National Electrical Code, designed to protect persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.

Q. WHAT TALENTS DO ELECTRICIANS NEED?
A.
An electrician must have the ability to make ordinary mathematical (algebraic) calculations, read instructions in English and speak the English language with ease.

Beyond that, we will teach you what you need to know.

An electrician must be able to follow directions and be self-directed for long periods of time without supervision. If you have a good work ethic and a good attitude, you will fit in as an electrician.

An electrician must also have mechanical ability. Electricians must have the ability to see through a situation and come up with a way to get done what must get done. If you are a person who likes to work with tools, that is a very good sign.

Q. WHAT IS AN APPRENTICESHIP?
A.
Electrician apprenticeships combine structured on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Apprenticeships provide a complete education in all aspects of the craft, and training extends beyond the specific skills required by any one employer. The term of the apprenticeship is five years and not less than 8,000 hours of on the job training including additional classroom related instruction.

During the hours of required classroom instruction, the apprentice learns how to use, care for, and safely handle the tools and materials used in the trade. Apprentices learn safety techniques needed to protect themselves on the job.

Paid classroom instruction is typically during the day and includes drafting, blueprint-reading, mathematics and applied physics. Additional unpaid classroom instruction is required on the apprentices own time.

Apprentices are employed by a contractor for the term of their apprenticeship. The employer agrees to pay each apprentice for work performed, and to provide supervised structured on-the-job training in the basic skills of the trade. While on the job-site, apprentices learn approved methods of installation. They learn how to install, test, maintain and repair all systems and equipment.

Q. SHOULD YOU CONSIDER AN APPRENTICESHIP?
A.
Compare an apprenticeship to a college education.

  • Unlike college students, apprentices are paid while receiving their education;
  • The cost of an apprenticeship is minimum, especially in comparison to the cost of tuition, books, room and board involved in a college education;
  • At the end of five years, the apprentice’s earning power far exceeds that of most college students;
  • Apprentices graduate with college credits and proven work history, and a good paying job.
Q. WHAT IS THE APPRENTICESHIP CONTRACT?
There is a written agreement between the apprentice, the training committee (apprenticeship sponsor), and the state referred to as an Apprentice Contract. This agreement specifies the length of the training, the related school requirements, an outline of the skills of the trade to be learned, and structured regular wage advancements if successful progress is demonstrated and all obligations are met.
Q. WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY FOR AN INTERVIEW
A.
AGE: Apprentices shall not be less than eighteen (18) years of age. However, applicants having a high school diploma may apply at 17, but must be eighteen (18) at time of placement into an apprenticeship.

EDUCATION: Applicants must be a high school graduate or have attained a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), or high school equivalency certificate before the time of placement as an apprentice.

MINIMUM MATH: Applicants must have completed one (1) full year of high school algebra with a passing grade of “C” or one (1)post high school algebra course with a passing grade of “C” or successful completion of a state approved math course.

APTITUDE TEST: Each applicant must pass an aptitude test, as directed by the Training Committee.

The selection is made impartially by the employers who pay the wages and benefits, and the journey workers who will work with the apprentice, and who, themselves, had been selected and made the grade.

If you are interested in pursuing an electrical apprenticeship and fail to meet the required educational requirements, contact one of the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Field Representatives of the local committees listed in the back of this brochure.

Q. APPRENTICESHIP HAS MANY ADVANTAGES
A.
An apprentice is an employed worker, who earns and receives scheduled wage advancements while receiving an education. While a person is an apprentice:

  • They become self-reliant
  • They will be taught by journey level electricians with varying levels of experience
  • Their education will consist of learning the proper use of modern tools and machinery, up-to-date technology, and working with building materials
  • They will gain respect and recognition from their co-workers as they progress and become productive

The journey worker will work with and give an apprentice close, personal attention while the apprentice is learning. As an example, the journey worker will provide instruction in the proper selection and use of tools and equipment required to install systems in a safe, efficient and productive manner. This type of instruction can be effective only under the unique conditions found on each construction site.

Classroom instructors are carefully selected for their role in related training of apprentices. All instructors are journey workers or master electricians, having expertise in the particular subject matter they are presenting to the apprentice. Apprenticeship is a well-planned and proven system of training. The individual who seriously accepts and successfully applies their apprenticeship training will be regarded as having a solid foundation in the electrical industry, which will provide the skills and confidence required to be successful within the electrical industry. A career in the industry requires both advanced education and hands-on skills. The reasons for these requirements are derived from the demands of the industry, which needs skilled, knowledgeable and productive electricians.

Q. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE APPRENTICE
A.
Applicants must sincerely believe they will make an honest effort to become a skilled and productive electrician. The responsibilities of the apprentice should actually begin long before the formal application is made. Each potential applicant should first make every effort to learn as much about the electrical trade as possible before making the decision to pursue an apprenticeship. In the electrical trades, there is no seniority. Therefore, once an individual becomes an apprentice, the responsibility is two-fold:

  • First, the apprentice must learn as quickly as possible;
  • At the same time, the apprentice must become productive on the job.

While working on the job, the apprentice has a number of obligations. One must be at the job site every day of the work week, ready, willing and able to do a fair share. Apprentices who are routinely absent or late for work, are not living up to their responsibilities, and are not deserving of the opportunities the trades have to offer.

  • The apprentice has an obligation not only to do his or her fair share, but to help others do their fair share. Furthermore, the apprentice has an obligation, both on and off the job, to the industry. The apprentice must remember that the industry has given a great deal, by offering a trade, and financial security for the apprentice and his/her family.
  • In return, the apprentice must strive to become a productive journey worker at the trade in order to work to strengthen the industry and help train new apprentices, who will develop the same strong attitudes and goals.
  • Finally, every applicant should recognize that apprentices are an elite group. For every apprenticeship opening, there is a national average of fifteen (15) applicants. The very fact that an individual is selected to fill one of these openings is an indication of the faith and trust placed in that individual.
  • To be worthy of this selection, apprentices must continually work to prove themselves. The rewards of completion lead to a long, satisfying and secure career.

It is a great honor to receive a scholarship to go to college.
An apprenticeship is as great an honor and better in value!

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