One of the greatest things about the career of an electrician is that at the start, you can benefit from standard practice to receive on-the-job training in the form of an apprenticeship while getting paid.
As the apprentices move along the program and gain more skills and experience within 4-6 years, their income increases as well.
In the process of looking for an apprenticeship, aspiring electricians face a challenging decision.
They can choose to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and become a unionized tradesman.
Alternatively, they can find a non-union shop that is hiring a trainee.
Apprenticeships with the unionized electrical contracting companies are coordinated through Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs).
They have multiple offices in each state to cover every major city and surrounding areas.
They are sponsored through a partnership between local chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
The partnership is also known as the Electrical Training Alliance.
The participation in an apprenticeship through the Electrical Training Alliance means becoming a life-long, dues-paying, card-carrying member of the IBEW union.
You will also get collective bargaining rights and the benefits coming with that.
Qualifications to Get into Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Electrical Program
Generally, you should meet the following qualifications to get into a union apprenticeship program:
- Being at least 18 – some programs accept younger applicants if the JATC is included in a high school job training program.
- A high school diploma or GED.
- A driver’s license or state-issued identification.
- Completion of an algebra class.
- Being able to work in a physically demanding environment.
- Passing an admittance exam.
- Passing a drug test.
The Organization of the Training Programs
There are different requirements for electrician training established by every jurisdiction according to the local laws and licensing regulations.
The local chapters of JATCs develop their programs to meet these requirements.
Depending on the licensing requirements for a journeyman valid in your jurisdiction, the programs can last for four to six years.
Typically, they include:
- 576 to 1,000 hours of classroom training.
- 8,000 to 10,000 hours of on-the-job training and experience.
Once you’re accepted to the program, you will start learning a lot in the classroom and on-the-job.
Depending on the regulations in your jurisdiction, you may have to complete classroom hours related to electrical theory and safety before admission to the apprenticeship program.
Usually, classroom hours are completed through scheduled classes on certain days within the years you are an apprentice.
JATC apprenticeship programs administer the classroom hours as a part of the program.
Classes are usually held in the local JATC office.
What You Learn in an Electrician Apprenticeship and Training Program
Moving on from classroom training to on-the-job training is exciting.
At the beginning of the practical part, you will start with the basics.
After just a week, you will be an expert in bending conduit and stripping wires.
However, it will get more technical fast.
During your apprenticeship and training program, you will learn a wide array of skills:
- Working with systems that involve differing voltages.
- Reading and understanding blueprints and schematics.
- Learning how to inspect a completed electrical system.
- Using voltmeters, ammeters, harmonics testers, and ohmmeters.
- Installing residential, commercial, and industrial wiring systems.
- Repairing and installing electrical machinery.
- Replacing new circuit breaker boxes.
- Installing fuses and circuit breakers.
You will work in a variety of settings during your on-the-job training.
They will have a significant influence on what you learn and include the following locations:
- City utility companies.
- Military contractors.
- Arenas and coliseums.
- Aviation companies.
- Government offices.
- Manufacturing factories.
- Hospitals, schools, and prisons.
- Construction companies.
- Power plants, including solar.
- Internet and telephone companies.
As you progress through your apprenticeship, you will learn skills that will get more complex and technical, building on the expertise you already gained.
The classroom and on-the-job training will be divided into segments that will cover all essential knowledge and skills you will need to become a journeyman.
A Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Apprenticeship Program in Your Area
Below, you will find all the JATC Electrical Training Alliance locations throughout the country as of July 2016:
- Mobile Electricians JATC.
- North Alabama Electrical JATC in Sheffield.
- Birmingham Electrical JATC.
- Montgomery Electrical JATC.
Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust (AJEATT) in Fairbanks.
- Phoenix Electrical JATC.
- Globe-Miami Electrical JATC in Globe.
- Tucson Electrical JATC.
- Jonesboro Elec. JATC.
- Fort Smith Elec. JATC.
- Little Rock Elec. JATC.
- El Dorado JATC.
- Ventura County Electrical JATC in Oxnard.
- Santa Clara County JATC in San Jose.
- Tri-County Electrical JATC in Castroville.
- San Mateo County JATC in San Carlos.
- Solano/Napa Counties Electrical JATC in Napa.
- Los Angeles County Electrical Training Institute in Commerce.
- San Bernardino, Mono, and Inyo Counties Elec. (Inland Empire Electrical Training Center) in San Bernardino.
- Central Valley Electrical JATC in Modesto.
- Kern County Electrical JATC in Bakersfield.
- Redwood Empire JATC in Santa Rosa.
- Contra Costa County Electrical JATC in Martinez.
- Sacramento Area JATC.
- Santa Barbara County JATC in Santa Maria.
- San Francisco JATC.
- San Diego Electrical Training Center.
- Riverside Area JATC in San Bernardino.
- California-Nevada Elec. JATC in Riverside.
- Northern California Sound and Communications JATC in San Leandro.
- Alameda County Electrical JATC in San Leandro.
- Motion Picture Employers and IBEW No. 40 in North Hollywood.
- Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare Counties JATC in Fresno.
- Orange County Electrical Training Trust in Santa Ana.
- San Luis Obispo County Elec. JATC in San Luis Obispo.
- San Joaquin and Calaveras Counties JATC in Stockton.
- Colorado Springs Electrical JATC.
- Western Colorado Electrical JATC.
- Pueblo Electrical JATC.
- Denver Area Electrical JATC.
- Monroe Electricians JATC.
- Hartford Electricians JATC.
- Wallingford Electricians JATC.
Delaware Electrical Apprenticeship in New Castle.
District of Columbia
At the time, no union apprenticeships based in DC are available, so you should look for opportunities in the neighboring states.
- Central Florida Electrical JATC in Winter Park.
- Tampa Area Electrical JATC in Tampa.
- Florida East Coast Electrical JATC in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
- Don Morgan Electrical Academy in Port Orange.
- Gainesville Electrical JATC.
- Gulf Coast Electrical JATC in Pensacola.
- Jacksonville Electrical JATC.
- Miami Electrical JATC.
- CSRA Electrical JATC in Augusta.
- Macon Electrical JATC.
- Savannah Electrical Training Alliance in Pooler.
- Atlanta Electrical JATC in Norcross.
- Albany Electrical JATC.
Hawaii Electricians JATC in Honolulu.
- Southwestern Idaho Electrical JATC in Boise.
- Eastern Idaho Electrical JATC in Pocatello.
- Southern Illinois JATC in West Frankfort.
- Peoria Elect. JATC in Bartonville.
- Springfield JATC.
- Champaign-Urbana JATC in Champaign.
- DuPage County Elec. JATC in Warrenville.
- Southwestern Illinois JATC in Collinsville.
- McHenry and North Kane Counties JATC in Crystal Lake.
- Midstate Electrical Training Center in Decatur.
- Lake County JATC in Libertyville.
- Aurora JATC.
- Joliet JATC.
- Chicago EJATT in Alsip.
- Electrician Joint Apprenticeship in Alton.
- Quad City Electrical JATC in Moline.
- Bloomington/Normal JATC in Bloomington.
- Danville JATC.
- Northern Illinois Electrical in Rockford.
- Lafayette Electrical JATC.
- Terre Haute Electrical JATC.
- Muncie Electrical JATC.
- Evansville Electrical JATC.
- Marion Kokomo JATC in Kokomo.
- South Bend Vicinity Electrical JATC in South Bend.
- Lake County Electricians JATC in Merrillville.
- Lafayette Wayne Electrical JATC in Fort Wayne.
- Indianapolis Electrical JATC.
- Electrical JATC of Northern Indiana in Michigan City.
- Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust in Clive.
- Sioux City Electrical JATC.
- Southwest Iowa Electrical JATC in Burlington.
- Dubuque Electrical JATC.
- Waterloo Electrical JATC in Marion.
- Cedar Rapids Electrical JATC.
- Hutchinson Electrical JATC.
- Wichita Electrical JATC.
- Topeka Electrical JATC.
- Louisville Electrical JATC.
- Paducah JATC.
- Owensboro Elec. JATC Trust.
- New Orleans Electrical JATC in Metairie.
- Bogalusa Electrical JATC in New Orleans.
- Alexandria Electrical JATC.
- Shreveport Area Electrical JATC in Bossier City.
- Lake Charles Elec. JATC.
- Monroe Electrical JATC.
- Baton Rouge Area Electrical JATC in Baton Rouge.
- Portland JATC in Lewiston.
- Augusta Electrical JATC in Fairfield.
- Western Maryland JATC in Cumberland.
- Electrical Training Alliance in Bowie.
- Baltimore Electrical JATC.
- Lanham JATC.
- Worcester Electricians JATC.
- Brockton Electricians JATC in Lakeville.
- Springfield JATC.
- Boston Elec. JATC in Dorchester.
- Ann Arbor Electrical JATC in Chelsea.
- Kalamazoo Electrical JATC.
- West Michigan Electrical JATC in Coopersville.
- Battle Creek Electrical JATC.
- Escanaba JATC.
- Flint Electrical JATC.
- Bay City JATC.
- Saginaw Electrical JATC.
- Iron Mountain JATC.
- Detroit JATC in Warren.
- Lansing Electrical JATC.
- Traverse City Electrical JATC.
- Marquette JATC.
- Saint Paul Electrical JATC.
- Iron Range Electrical JATC in Duluth.
- South Central Minnesota JATC in Saint Louis.
- Minnesota State Wide Limited Energy JATC in Fridley.
- Twin Ports Arrowhead Elec. JATC in Duluth.
- Jackson JATC in Byram.
- Meridian Area Electricians JATC in Meridian.
- Gulfport JATC.
- Corinth-Tupelo Miss. JATC in Corinth.
- Kansas City JATC.
- Jefferson City Elec. JATC.
- Saint Louis Electricians JATC.
- Springfield MO and Vicinity Elec. JATC in Springfield.
- Joplin JATC.
- Saint Louis JATC.
- Saint Joseph Electrical JATC.
Montana Electrical JATC in Helena.
- Lincoln Electrical JATC.
- Omaha Joint Electrical Apprenticeship Training Committee (OJEATC).
- Northern Nevada Electrical JATC in Reno.
- Electrical JATC for Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.
- North Brunswick JATC.
- Asbury Park Area Elec. JATC in Wall.
- Trenton JATC.
- Folsom JATC.
- Paterson Elec. JATC in Parsippany.
- Jersey City Electrical JATC in Paramus.
NM JATC for the Electrical Industry in Albuquerque.
- Jamestown JATC.
- Elmira JATC.
- Central New York JATC in Clay.
- Binghamton JATC.
- Long Island JATC in Hauppauge.
- Westchester Fairfield JATC in White Plains.
- Hudson Valley JATC in Harriman.
- EJATC of Watertown.
- Rochester JATC.
- Ithica JATC.
- JAC Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry in Flushing.
- Geneva JATC.
- Orchard Park JATC.
- Niagara County JATC in Niagara Falls.
- Tri-City JATC in Latham.
- Asheville JATC.
- Carolinas Electrical Training Institute JATC in Charlotte.
- Raleigh Durham Electrical JATC in Research Triangle Park.
Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund JATC in Fargo.
- Youngstown Elec. JATC in Boardman.
- Canton Electrical JATC in Massillon.
- Warren JATC.
- Lorain County Electrical JATC in Lorain.
- Cleveland Electrical JATC in Valley View.
- Lake, Ashtabula, and Geauga Electrical JATC in Mentor.
- Dayton Ohio Area Electrical JATC in Dayton.
- Newark Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee in Nashport.
- Portsmouth Electric JATC in Lucasville.
- Toledo Electrical JATC in Russford.
- Butler Co Electrical JATC in Hamilton.
- Lima Area Electrical JATC in Lima.
- Marietta Electrical JATC in Reno.
- Steubenville JATC.
- The Electrical Trades Center in Columbus.
- Cincinnati Electrical Training Center.
- Akron Area Electrical JATC in Akron.
- Western Oklahoma Electrical JATC in Oklahoma City.
- Tulsa Electricians JATC.
- Pacific Inside Electrical JATC in North Bend.
- Central Electrical JATC in Tangent.
- NECA-IBEW Electrical JATC in Portland.
- SW Idaho-Malheur County JATC in Boise, ID.
- LU 112 – NECA Electrical JATC in Kennewick, WA.
- Crater Lake Electrical JATC in Central Point.
- York Elec. JATC.
- Reading JATC.
- NorthEastern AJATC in Douglassville.
- Shamokin JATC.
- Chester JATC in Boothwyn.
- Scranton Electricians JATC in South Abington Township.
- Harrisburg Electricians JATC.
- Williamsport JATC in Montoursville.
- Allentown JATC.
- Western Central PA Electrical JATC in Beaver.
- Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry in Philadelphia.
- Wiles-Barre Elec. JATC.
- Pittsburgh JATC.
Charleston Area Elec. JATC in North Charleston.
Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund JATC in Fargo, North Dakota.
- Oak Ridge Electrical JATC.
- Electrician Training Academy Knoxville (ETAK).
- Nashville Electrical JATC.
- Chattanooga Electrical JATC.
- Memphis Electrical JATC.
- Wichita Falls JATC.
- El Paso Electricians JATC.
- South Texas Electrical JATC in San Antonio.
- Texarkana Elec. JATC in Nash.
- West Texas Electrical JATC in Amarillo.
- Rio Grand Valley-Laredo JATC in McAllen.
- Texas Gulf Coast Electrical JATC in Corpus Christi.
- Galveston Electrical JATC in Texas City.
- North Texas Electrical JATC in Grand Prairie.
- Waco Electricians Area Wide JATC in Waco.
- Austin Electrical Training Alliance (AETA) JATC.
- Houston Electrical JATC.
- Beaumont Electrical JATC in Nederland.
Utah Electrical JATC in Salt Lake City.
Vermont Electrical JATC in South Burlington.
- Richmond Electricians JATC in Ashland.
- Hampton Roads JATC in Newport News.
- Puget Sound Electrical JATC in Renton.
- Kennewick JATC.
- Inland Empire Electrical Training Trust in Spokane.
- SW Washington Electrical JATC in Tacoma.
- Northwest Wash. Electrical Industry JATC in Mount Vernon.
- Wheeling Elec. JATC.
- Huntington Electrical JATC.
- Charleston Area Elec. JATC in Charleston.
- Parkersburg Joint App. and Training Committee.
- Clarksburg Elec. JATC.
- WI River Valley Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
- Racine Area JATC in Madison.
- Southcentral WI Area Electrical JATC in Janesville.
- La Crosse Area JATC.
- Northeast WI Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
- Madison Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
- Kenosha Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
- Milwaukee Electrical JATC Trust in Wauwatosa.
- Appleton/Osh Kosh Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
- Eau Claire Area Electrical JATC in Madison.
Wyoming Electrical JATC in Casper.