What does an apprentice do?

The apprentice will learn the Trade by doing the work under the watchful eyes of skilled and experienced Journeymen. The work itself may be almost anything you can imagine. Electricians work in the mud and dust of the construction project, in all kinds of weather, inside and outside. You may be digging a ditch, handling heavy conduit or appliances, pulling heavy cable, wading in mud or climbing in the steel. You may be running small conduit and pulling small wire for lights and receptacles, or trying to find out why a motor doesn’t run when the start button is pushed. You may be working in a controlled environment, making connections to a computer, networking and using this equipment to perform job functions, or freezing in a steady downpour to unload a heavy piece of gear. You will be installing and terminating fiber optics cable and installing and wiring programmable controls. The variety of work you may be expected to perform, and the weather and other conditions under which you may be expected to perform it, are almost limitless. The work is usually physical, often dirty, and it usually requires that you use your mind at the same time. You will work in one of the world’s most dangerous environments…the construction job. It may be a new building just going up or a job within an existing building or facility. In any case, the job will cause you to be around moving machinery, noise, dirt, poor footing, falling objects, construction debris, and any number of other hazards. You will learn to cope with all of these things, and still do a productive day’s work.

What is the General Aptitude Test Battery?

The General Aptitude Test Battery is a 3-hour test that measures the applicants abilities in Algebra and Reading Comprehension which are essential to perform well as an electrician. Extensive research and actual Journeyman experience data was employed into the development of this test which is sanctioned by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The test is administered at the J.A.T.C. training center. A test processing fee of $30 is required to be paid on the day of the General Aptitude Test Battery.

Click here to view examples of the aptitude test questions.

How much does an apprentice electrician earn?

A commercial/industrial apprentice is paid a percentage of what a Journeyman Electrician earns, with the percentage determined by the apprentice’s progress in training. You will start at 40% of Journeyman scale. The pay will increase to 45% of Journeyman scale at 1000 hours of work, and 50% at 2000 work hours plus satisfactory completion of the 1st year of school. Pay increases are not automatic, but are dependent upon progress and cooperation in training. Raises will be at 3500 hours, 5000 hours, 6500 hours, & 8000 hours, plus satisfactory completion of school each year.

A Residential apprentice is paid a percentage of what a Residential Wireman earns, with the percentage determined by the apprentice’s progress in training. You will start at 55% of Residential Wireman scale. The pay will increase to 65% after 1 year and the satisfactory completion of the first year of school. Pay increases are not automatic but are dependent upon progress and cooperation in training. Raises will be at 2 years and 3 years plus satisfactory completion of the respective year of schooling.

When should I apply for the apprenticeship?

The Inside program applications are available online.  Paper applications for the Inside and Residential programs are available from 8:00 am until 11:30 am and 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm on each business day except those days which fall on recognized holidays.

Can you describe the school curriculum that I will receive?

Apprentices complete a 4-year Residential or 5-year Inside apprenticeship program which is registered, in compliance, and approved by the Bureau of Apprenticeship (U.S. Dept. of Labor). The program covers the entire spectrum of residential, commercial, and industrial electrical installations. The curriculum includes a wide range of education in areas such as Electrical Theory, Lighting and Power Distribution, Industrial Controls, Communication Equipment, Testing Equipment, High Voltage Distribution, and The National Electrical Code. Apprentices also cover specialized areas such as: Instrumentation, Communications (Networks), Programmable Logic Controllers, Computers, Fire Alarm Systems, Welding, and Job Site Management & Supervision. The five years of school also includes: First Aid, CPR, and OSHA Training—this allows the apprentice to be aware of safety concerns and to have the ability to act accordingly in an emergency situation.
The curriculum is fully developed and constantly updated by a full-time staff at the electrical training ALLIANCE. Each section of the curriculum is written and monitored by personnel with actual experience and expertise in that particular field and they are in constant contact with all the local electrical apprenticeship programs throughout the United States & Canada in order to maintain and continue to improve the curriculum.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is the method most skilled trades use to train new workers for a particular craft. The apprentice and the sponsoring parties sign an agreement, called an indenture, which sets forth the duration of the apprenticeship and responsibilities of each to the other. The electrical apprenticeship will consist of a minimum of 8000 hours on the job training for the commercial/industrial apprenticeship or 4800 hours on the job training for the residential apprenticeship. In addition to the work hours, a minimum of 180 hours per year in the classroom for five years for commercial/industrial or four years for residential. The training will be conducted in accordance with Standards registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor.

How does an apprentice attain work experience and the schooling required for the indenture?

The Apprenticeship Committee assigns each indentured apprentice to work for a qualified electrical contractor in the jurisdictional area and provides the schooling the apprentice is required to attend. Each apprentice is under direct supervision of a JW (Journeyman Wireman). The JW is responsible for training the apprentice while on the job site.

What are my chances of being selected for the apprenticeship?

This is almost impossible to answer. There are usually about four applicants for every available position. You may be accepted on your first application, although many apply several years before being accepted. Some try repeatedly and never make it. The number of apprenticeship openings may vary from year to year, and any applicant’s chances are obviously affected by such variations. The only certain thing here is that you cannot be accepted if you don’t apply.

Who can become an apprentice electrician?

Any high school graduate or person with a G.E.D. who is 18 years old, is physically fit and healthy, and has completed one year of high school algebra or equivalent with a grade of C or better, can become eligible for apprenticeship (You may be 17 years of age and a graduate of high school at time of application). All applicants must take the NJATC General Aptitude Test Battery administered by the J.A.T.C. You do not need any prior experience in or references from the electrical field. The Committee shall select for training as an apprentice from those applicants who best qualify under the Standards regardless of race, religion, color, national origin or sex.
Applicant must be a legal resident of IBEW Local #16 jurisdiction which comprises the following counties:
Indiana: Crawford, Davies, DuBois, Gibson, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, & Warrick. Illinois: Wabash. (Applicant will be asked for proof of residency)
Also eligible for an oral interview by the Apprenticeship Committee are those people who can substantiate 2000 hours of on-the-job experience in the electrical construction field and live in IBEW Local #16 jurisdiction.

If accepted for the apprenticeship, when will I be able to start work?

As jobs are available. School starts in September. Classes are mandatory; absenteeism is not tolerated.

How much will schooling and training for the apprenticeship cost?

Prior to the start of each year, you will pay for your books, which you can keep upon completion of the program. You do not pay tuition, class fees, etc. You are paid while you work for the employer who is training you. However, you will not be paid while attending the required classes. There is a mandatory fee for the Vanderburgh County Apprenticeship License, which usually falls between $15 and $20. In addition, you will be required to purchase a set of personal hand tools that are necessary for the trade. You will receive a list of tools that an apprentice will need during your first class session.

How are the apprentices selected among the applicants?

All applications are checked to verify compliance with minimum requirements. Those who qualify and who have submitted the required documents on time are eligible to take the aptitude test. Those who achieve qualifying scores are scheduled for an interview with the Apprenticeship Committee. Once interviewed, applicants will be given an adjusted (interview) score. Their score will be properly recorded in the record book where it shall remain fixed for a period of two full calendar years; unless they are properly ranked and selected at some time prior to the end of the two years. (Note: Or unless, after 90 days from the date of their initial interview, they can show evidence that they have satisfactorily completed (2) trade related education or training courses, or they have gained 450 hours of experience in the electrical construction industry, which may qualify them for an additional interview prior to the end of the two years, with approval of the Committee.)

Where are classes held and who are the instructors?

The classes are held at the NECA-IBEW Electrical JATC Training Center. The instructors are IBEW and NECA members. The instructors actually work on construction job sites as electricians or are in management with electrical contractors. Each year our instructors attend a National Training Institute (NTI) at the University of Michigan. The electrical training ALLIANCE coordinates the use of the University’s facilities and professors. Electrical vendors are present with their latest products. The instructor attends several sessions throughout the week such as: Teaching Methods, Technical Topics, Curriculum Additions and Changes, Code Changes, and New Technologies. Each year 1500-1600 instructors attend the NTI. Therefore, the instructors get to converse with other instructors around the nation in terms of how they deal with training issues. The instructors field experiences along with their formal training proves very valuable in the classroom studies of the program. Not only can the theory be conveyed to the student but the actual field experiences can be presented.

What if I am accepted and indentured but decide that I want to leave the apprenticeship?

The first 2000 hours (approximately one year) of your indenture are probationary – you can quit, or the Committee can cancel your indenture without any more formality than a letter of notice. You may be required to repay a portion of the cost of your education to that date. Each apprentice signs a Scholarship Loan Agreement stating that his or her educational cost shall be paid back to the JATC in the event they should leave the apprenticeship program.

Can I earn college credits through the apprenticeship classes?

Those apprentices who graduate from the commercial/industrial J.A.T.C. Program can earn up to 58 semester hours of college credit. To qualify, you must complete 5 years of inside apprenticeship, which includes a minimum 8,000 on-the-job training hours, and 5 years of classroom curriculum. This accreditation is from the American Council on Education (ACE). Many colleges in the state of Indiana (and throughout the United States) accept these credits.
In addition to the (ACE) accreditation, graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Apprenticeship Technology (emphasis on Electrical) from IVY State College.

Are apprentices eligible for health insurance and retirement pensions?

All apprentices are covered under the same health insurance and retirement pensions as the Journeyman and Residential Wireman (graduate electricians). The health insurance is a comprehensive plan that includes eye & dental and prescription drug co-payments. The retirement pensions include (2) International pensions and (1) Local pension.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Applications are available online for the Inside program or in person at the JATC Training School, 1321 Edgar Street, Evansville, Indiana. You can also request an application by submitting the Apprenticeship Application Request Form. A $30 processing fee is required for each application.

Why would someone want such a difficult and dangerous job?

In addition to the financial rewards, many people find the experience of using head and hands together to be quite fulfilling. Many people find satisfaction and inspiration in watching a building take shape around them, knowing that they have played an important part in its final beauty and utility. Many people like the variety of work a construction electrician is exposed to, and the additional skills that are learned through daily contact. Some are drawn by the open-ended opportunities available within the electrical construction industry; others seek the security of having a skill with a future.

Once I finish the apprenticeship program, are there further educational classes I can attend?

The NECA-IBEW Electrical JATC Training School holds a wide variety of continuing education courses to allow the Journeyman Wireman to brush up on old subjects and to learn new specialized skills. The electrical training ALLIANCE provides many different training packages. Each of these training packages have been approved and earn Continuing Educational Units (CEU). The Evansville Electrical JATC Training School staff have also created other training packages.

Who are the sponsoring parties?

NECA: National Electrical Contractors Association. NECA is the management association for union electrical contractors. There are over 40 NECA contractors working in the local area that guarantee their installations and perform quality work on time and on budget.
IBEW: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The IBEW is the largest electrical union in the world. The IBEW represents workers’ rights in all areas of the electrical industry. The IBEW is truly a union of “Hearts and Minds”.
Both NECA and IBEW members make up the J.A.T.C. (Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee). The J.A.T.C. manages the apprenticeship training program. This unique blend of committee members allow for a wide range of experience and foresight to be utilized in the forecasting of the apprenticeship programs present and future needs.

Does the apprenticeship program enforce a drug free policy?

Yes. All Journeyman Electricians and Electrical Apprentices are required to be tested (both scheduled and random) for substance abuse every year and are subject to stiff penalties if violated.

Can I draw my veteran's benefits for this training?