Non-union-Sponsored Apprenticeship Programs through ABC and IEC Member Merit Shops

Starting off as an apprentice offers great benefits to incoming electricians career-wise.

That’s because apprenticeships provide you with highly relevant and useful training and experience needed for employment.

Plus, the salary you earn during the program will increase as you gain more skills and experience.

So aspiring electricians need to know the array of options they have when it comes to finding an apprenticeship program.

Although most will go for a union-sponsored apprenticeship program, non-union ones can also help transform you into a highly-qualified electrician.

The two notable non-union entities are the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).

Many of the apprenticeships they sponsor are recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) of the U.S. Department of Labor.

On this page, you’ll learn…

  • What a non-union-sponsored apprenticeship program is about
  • How to qualify for the program
  • What you’ll learn during the program
  • Where you can apply for an apprenticeship in your state
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About the Non-union Apprenticeship Programs

Non-union apprenticeships, also known as merit/open shops, are programs sponsored by non-union contractors.

These contractors are usually journeymen and master electricians who want to train and employ highly-skilled apprentices.

The ABC and IEC offer a wide array of apprenticeship programs that prepares you for various electrician work.

These programs can be shorter-than-traditional classroom learning, with most time spent on on-the-job training.

The goal is to meet the local and state requirements for you to become a journeyman.

So the four- to six-year apprenticeship will generally include the following:

  • Approximately 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience and training each year (typically 8,000-10,000 total hours).
  • Several hundred hours of classroom-based education each year (typically 500-1000 total hours)

Qualifications to Apply in a Non-union Apprenticeship Program

As mentioned, because of local and state regulations, non-union apprenticeships have varying requirements.

However, the basic qualifications they usually look for in an applicant are the same, which are as follows:

  • Must be at least 18 years old, but if you’ve participated in a high school-approved trade program, then at least 16 years old
  • Obtained a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Pass the basic math (including algebra) and reading exam
  • Pass a drug test and criminal background investigation
  • Physically fit to perform essential electrician duties (normal vision, hearing, and overall health)

What You’ll Learn in a Non-union Apprenticeship Program

The apprenticeship program can be one of the most exciting experiences of your career journey.

It can be challenging to learn new concepts and apply them in real-world work at the job site.

However, demonstrating a new competency and doing your job well can be extremely satisfying.

During the program, you will learn the following components:

  • Using ohmmeters, voltmeters, meggers, harmonics testers, GFI testers, and ammeters
  • Installing, repairing, and updating electrical machinery
  • Installing fuses, relays, and switches
  • Using basic tools like wire strippers, diagonal pliers, knockout punches, and conduit benders
  • Troubleshooting wiring and electrical problems
  • Reading and understanding blueprints and schematics
  • Inspecting or testing electrical systems
  • Wiring and upgrading breaker boxes
  • Installing wiring systems and their components

Also, to expand your experience, you will work in various settings during your apprenticeship.

You may find yourself installing fire alarm systems in commercial buildings or wiring up new homes in residential construction.

So the ABC and IEC work with contractors from the following industries:

  • Commercial offices
  • Arenas and entertainment venues
  • Schools and universities
  • Municipal and state utility companies
  • Factories and manufacturing plants
  • Hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Government agencies and offices
  • Military contractors
  • Power plants – solar, hydro, wind, nuclear, geothermal, tidal, coal, and natural gas
  • Aviation companies

State-by-State ABC and IEC Apprenticeship Programs

Every year, thousands of aspiring electricians complete the ABC and IEC apprenticeships.

These associations cooperate with member construction and electrical contracting companies nationwide looking for new apprentices.

For specific information about applying for an apprenticeship, you can contact an ABC or IEC chapter near you.

The following list includes the ABC and IEC chapters in every state:


  • ABC-affiliated Construction Education Foundation Alabama (Birmingham)
  • IEC Central Alabama Chapter (Birmingham)


  • ABC Alaska Chapter (Anchorage)


  • IECA of Arizona (Tempe)
  • ABC Arizona Builders Alliance (Phoenix)
  • IEC of Southern Arizona (Tucson)


  • Served by the Mid-South IEC (Memphis, Tennessee)


  • ABC-Los Angeles-Ventura Chapter (San Fernando)
  • ABC-San Diego Chapter (Poway)
  • ABC-Northern California Chapter (Livermore)
  • ABC-Southern California Chapter (Anaheim)
  • ABC-Central California Chapter (Bakersfield)


  • ABC-Rocky Mountain Chapter directs visitors to the Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado (Denver)
  • IEC Western Colorado (Glenwood Springs)
  • IEC Rocky Mountain Chapter (Northglenn)
  • IEC Southern Colorado Chapter (Colorado Springs)


  • IEC New England (Rocky Hill)


  • Served by the IEC Chesapeake (Laurel, Maryland)

District of Columbia

  • Served by the IEC Chesapeake (Laurel, Maryland and Dulles, Virginia)


  • IEC Florida West Coast Chapter (Clearwater)
  • ABC-Florida East Coast Chapter (Coconut Creek)
  • ABC-Florida Gulf Coast Chapter (Tampa)


  • IEC Georgia Chapter (Atlanta)
  • IEC Atlanta Chapter (Atlanta)


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.


  • IEC of Idaho (Boise)


  • IEC Greater Saint Louis (serving Illinois localities in Bridgeton, Missouri)
  • Midwest IEC (Crown Point)
  • ABC-Illinois Chapter (Elk Grove Village, Springfield)


  • ABC-Indiana/Kentucky Chapter (Indianapolis)
  • Central Indiana IEC (Indianapolis).
  • IEC Southern Indiana Chapter (Evansville)
  • IEC Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter (serving Indiana localities in Louisville, Kentucky).
  • Midwest IEC (Crown Point)
  • IEC of Greater Cincinnati (serving Indiana localities in Cincinnati, Ohio)


  • ABC of Iowa Apprenticeship and Training Trust (Grimes)


  • Wichita Chapter IEC (Wichita)


  • ABC-Indiana/Kentucky (Louisville)
  • IEC of Greater Cincinnati (serving Kentucky localities in Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • IEC Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter (Louisville)
  • IEC of the Bluegrass (Lexington)
  • IEC Southern Indiana Chapter (serving Kentucky localities in Evansville, Indiana)


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.


  • IEC Chesapeake (Laurel, Maryland)


  • ABC-Merit Apprenticeship Program (Woburn)
  • ABC-affiliated Gould Construction Institute (Woburn)
  • Served by IEC New England (Rocky Hill, Connecticut)


  • ABC-Western Michigan Chapter (Grand Rapids)
  • ABC-Greater Michigan Chapter (Midland)
  • ABC-Southeast Michigan Chapter (Madison Heights)


  • Clay, Norman, and Polk counties served by IEC Dakotas (Pierre, South Dakota)


  • Served by the Mid-South Chapter IEC (Memphis, Tennessee)


  • Central Missouri IEC (Sedalia)
  • IEC of Southeast Missouri (Cape Girardeau)
  • IEC Greater Saint Louis (Bridgeton)


  • IEC of Montana (Helena)


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.

New Hampshire

  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey IEC (Cranford)

New Mexico

  • Southern New Mexico IEC (Las Cruces)
  • Northern New Mexico IEC (Albuquerque)
  • ABC-New Mexico Chapter (Albuquerque)

New York

  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.

North Carolina

  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeships.

North Dakota

  • Served by the IEC Dakotas (Pierre, South Dakota)


  • IEC of Greater Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
  • IEC Western Reserve Chapter (Youngstown)
  • IEC Dayton (Dayton)
  • ABC-Central Ohio Chapter (Columbus)
  • ABC-Ohio Valley Chapter (Springboro)
  • Central Ohio AEC-IEC (Columbus)
  • ABC-Northern Ohio Chapter (Broadview Heights)
  • Northern Ohio ECA (Lakewood)


  • ABC-Oklahoma Chapter (Broken Arrow)
  • IEC-OKC (Oklahoma City)
  • Mid-Oregon Chapter IEC (Eugene)
  • IEC of Oregon (Tigard)


  • ABC-Western Pennsylvania Chapter (Gibsonia)
  • ABC-Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter (East Norriton)
  • IEC of Northwest Pennsylvania (Erie)
  • IEC Western Reserve Chapter (serving Pennsylvania localities in Youngstown, Ohio)
  • IEC Chesapeake (serving Pennsylvania localities in Laurel, Maryland)
  • Central Pennsylvania Chapter IEC (Mechanicsburg)

Rhode Island

  • ABC-affiliated Rhode Island Construction Training Academy (Pawtucket)

South Carolina

  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeship offices.

South Dakota

  • IEC Dakotas (Pierre)


  • ABC-Greater Tennessee Chapter (Nashville)
  • Mid-South Chapter IEC (Memphis)


  • IEC Dallas Chapter (Irving)
  • Lubbock Chapter IEC (Lubbock)
  • CenTex Chapter IEC (Austin)
  • IEC of Texas (Austin)
  • San Antonio Chapter IEC (San Antonio)
  • IEC of East Texas (Tyler)
  • IEC of the Texas Panhandle (Borger)
  • El Paso Chapter IEC (El Paso)
  • IEC Texas Gulf Coast Chapter (Houston)
  • IEC of Fort Worth/Tarrant County (Fort Worth)
  • Rio Grande Valley IEC (Harlington)
  • ABC-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter (Freeport)
  • ABC-South Texas Chapter (San Antonio)
  • ABC-Central Texas Chapter (Austin)
  • ABC-Southeast Texas Chapter (Nederland)


  • IEC of Utah (Midvale)


  • No IEC or ABC electrical apprenticeship offices.


  • ABC-Virginia Chapter (Dulles)
  • Served by the IEC Chesapeake (Laurel, Maryland)


  • ABC-affiliated Construction Industry Training Council (Bellevue)
  • IEC of Oregon (serving Washington localities in Tigard, Oregon)
  • IEC of Washington (Everett)

West Virginia

  • Served by the IEC Chesapeake (Laurel, Maryland)


  • ABC-Wisconsin Chapter (Madison)
  • Wisconsin ABC Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund (Madison)


  • Served by the IEC Rocky Mountain Chapter (Northglenn, Colorado)
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