In the Middle Ages, a master craftsman could utilize a young person, called an apprentice, as a cheap form of labor. In return, the craftsman would provide formal training in the craft as the apprentice worked under his care. For example, a young male apprentice worked under the supervision of a master carpenter to learn the skills of carpentry. Later on, government institutions bureaucratized and formalized the system of apprenticeship by implementing labor regulations and licensing of technical and vocational curricula. Today, apprentice jobs give workers the opportunity to earn a living while learning through supervised and systematized on-the-job training, including electrician training.
Private electrical apprenticeships. Being an electrician is one of the careers that require you to be an apprentice first before jumping into the real world of skilled professionals. There are some private companies that are willing to provide electrician apprentice jobs to those who apply for them. Many of these companies require the applicant to have at least six months of work experience similar to wiring and electrical tasks. They also offer competitive salaries depending on your capabilities. Some of these companies will post their hiring requirements on job sites such as SimplyHired.com.
Government programs. Additionally, there are government-sponsored programs available. Each U.S. state has its own needs as well as government regulations regarding apprenticeship. Getting into an official federal program for your electrician apprenticeship has a lot of great benefits. Among these are:
- Potential employers gain confidence in you. Since you are required to complete the apprenticeship in a certain length of time, your future employers will know that you have acquired a certain level of electrician skill.
- Joining a program like this will inform you of the apprentice salary that you deserve, thus you avoid being exploited or suffering unfair labor practices.
- As you go through your apprenticeship with a government program, you have the chance to expand your industry contacts, as future employers will find their prospective employees in the program. When you finish the program, prospective employers will take the time to contact you.
The website of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) contains a list of apprenticeship websites of the various U.S. states. On this website, you will find information on various electrician's apprentice employment opportunities and programs in CA, in CT, in NYC, in Atlanta, etc.
How it works. In Connecticut, for example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 488 offers a tuition-free program that includes five years of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. Selection into the program is similar to being accepted at a college or university with a scholarship. The only cost is books. Apprentices are paid a starting wage that increases as they gain experience. Although not all states have their own websites, the ETA website will provide the contact details for that state where you can get information on its apprenticeship programs and how to find electrician apprentice jobs.
You can also go directly to the website of your state's labor-related division. One of these websites is the California Department of Labor Relations. Your state's web site can provide you a quick picture of the various programs available, and whether or not electrician apprentice and other skilled worker jobs, such as carpenter jobs, are available in your state. These state websites will also provide you with information on the requirements and standards needed for your job.
- To get into an apprenticeship program you'll need to have a high school diploma or GED, take an aptitude test, and meet age and other requirements of your particular state.
- In Connecticut there are regional representatives (listed on the state's website) to help prospective apprentices get into the right program.
- With Connecticut Local 488, an apprentice can start out earning $13.64 per hour, rising with each successfully completed step in on-the-job training and classroom education.
- Benefits and retirement plans are added in as you advance.
- The classroom requirement is fulfilled in four-hour night classes held two days a week.
- Of course this may vary depending on what part of the country you live in.
To sum up, taking on apprentice jobs is a valuable investment of your time in your electrician career. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to earn a living while mastering your craft, giving you even more reason to take your work seriously. Finding the job you need is quick and easy. Utilizing the Internet will make your research for electrician jobs and apprenticeships hassle-free. Good luck!