An electrician apprentice is someone who works as an electrician in a limited capacity as he learns the skills of the trade. All work is performed under the supervision of a licensed electrician and is restricted to match the skill levels the apprentice has gained.
If you want to have a career as an electrician, you would most likely choose to become an electrician apprentice in the same way someone else would choose to go to college to learn skills for their career.
While a certain amount of classroom learning is needed for an apprenticeship, the majority of the training is done on the job.
Because you actually work a job when you are an apprentice, you are paid a salary. This is why an apprentice electrician is referred to as ‘earn while you learn’ training. There are many benefits to learning new job skills this way. For one thing, you earn a steady paycheck while undergoing training, and for another, you won’t graduate with a mountain of student debt to pay off.
The ultimate goal of an apprentice electrician is to become licensed to work as an electrician. This means you must follow the regulations in place in your local jurisdiction since requirements for licensure varies. However, many apprenticeship programs are developed and overseen by a national organization or union, so the guidelines are fairly consistent.
In general, you can expect an electrician apprenticeship to last at least four years. During that time you will acquire a specific number of logged work hours and classroom credit hours. When the apprenticeship is over, you are eligible to become licensed as an electrician journeyman. If you want to advance to a master electrician or an electrical contractor, you may first need to work as a journeyman for a year or two before you are eligible for the licensing examination.
Once you get past the journeyman level, the state requirements tend to become more diverse, so it is recommended that you become familiar with the regulations that will apply to you as your career develops.
Where To Look
Finding an apprentice electrician program is easy to do if you look in the right places.
- You can search job classifieds
- inquire at local trade schools
- contact a local electrician’s union
How do you know if being an apprentice electrician is right for you?
As you can imagine, any job that takes four years to train for is a complex one. You’ll need certain skills and aptitudes to be successful in your training and career. You should have strong math skills. In fact, most apprenticeship programs require the successful completion of an algebra class as a condition of acceptance.
A portion of an apprentice electrician program is classroom learning, so you should have good reading comprehension and study skills. In addition to being a fast learner with the ability to comprehend new ideas, you’ll also need some physical attributes as well.
As an electrician, you will work in tight spaces or maybe even climb tall towers. You should be in good physical condition and have no phobias that would interfere with your ability to carry out your duties. You should be comfortable working with tools and have a knack for troubleshooting and repairing things.
You may have to take an aptitude test to gain admission to an electrician apprentice program. This won’t test your knowledge of electrical code since you haven’t begun training yet, but it will assess your learning ability to make sure you are a good match for an apprenticeship.
Getting into a good electrician apprentice program is a lot like landing any other good job. The better your resume and qualifications look, the better your chances will be for acceptance. That doesn’t mean you need previous construction or electrical work experience. You can apply straight out of high school at the age of 18 with no experience at all, or you can apply in mid-life when you want to switch careers.
Once you are accepted as an electrician apprentice, you will begin earning a regular paycheck and receive job benefits just like any other regular employee. Your rate of pay will increase as your training progresses and you take on tasks that are more complicated.
Becoming an electrician apprentice is a great way to start a new career that will reward you financially and provide you with job security. You can also feel good that the job you do is an important one that allows the people in your community to live more productive and happier lives.