What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is the training method used by skilled trades to train new workers for a particular craft. The electrical apprenticeship course consists of a minimum of 8000 hours on-the-job training and 180 hours per year in the classroom for five years. The training will be conducted in accordance with Standards registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Do I work and attend class at the same time?

Yes. You would work a full-time 40-hour work week, year-round with occasional overtime work. You would also attend class one night per week, 4 hours per night, generally from September to June. On occasion, you would be required to attend additional classes.

How much does an apprentice earn?

An apprentice is paid a percentage of what a Journeyman or Technician earns. The percentage is determined by the apprentice's progress in training. Starting pay for electrical apprentices is $16.13 per hour. Each Apprentice will receive a substantial pay raise after the successful completion of each year of the program. At the completion of apprenticeship, the graduate will advance to journeyman level and be paid the full wage scale.

Do apprentices have health insurance & retirement pensions? 

All apprentices are covered under the same health insurance and retirement pensions as Journeymen. Health insurance takes effect approximately five months after the apprentice begins working full time. The retirement pensions include both international pensions and local pensions.

When does the jatc accept new apprentices?

The Committee interviews and accepts apprentices year-round on a monthly basis based on the needs of the Industry.

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How do i get a job?

If you are accepted into the apprenticeship program, the JATC will place you with one of our sponsoring contractors when jobs become available.

What does an apprentice do?

The electrical apprentice will learn the trade by working under the watchful eyes of skilled and experienced Journeyman Electricians. The work is often in the mud and dust of construction projects, in all kinds of weather, inside and outside. You may be digging a ditch, handling heavy conduit or equipment, pulling heavy cable, cleaning and sweeping the work area, or climbing an extension ladder to install equipment in the ceiling. You may be running small conduit and pulling small wire for lights and receptacles in a commercial building, or trying to find out why a motor doesn't run when the start button is pushed. You may be installing electrical outlets in a carpeted, air-conditioned office, or you may be freezing in misting rain while installing conduits in the foundation of a new building. The work is usually physical, often dirty, and requires that you use your mind as well as your hands. You may be in a new building just going up or on a job within an existing facility. In any case, the job will cause you to be around moving machinery, noise, dirt, poor footing, 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.

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Who can become an apprentice?

Any high school graduate or person with a G.E.D. who is at least 18 years old, is physically fit and healthy, and has completed one year of high school algebra or equivalent with a passing grade can become eligible for apprenticeship. Applicants must pass the NJATC General Aptitude Test administered by the JATC. You do not need any prior experience in the electrical field.

A person who has previous experience in the trade and can substantiate 4000 hours of on-the-job experience in the electrical construction industry can be exempted from the algebra and aptitude test requirements.

The Committee shall select apprentices from those applicants who best qualify under the Standards regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, genetic information, or age—except the applicant must be at least 18 years of age.

If a person has previous experience in the trade, but cannot qualify for apprenticeship, he or she may contact the IBEW Local Union 716 for further information on opportunities within the industry. The phone number for the IBEW is 713-869-8900.

Describe the school curriculum for apprenticeship.

The electrical program covers the spectrum of residential, commercial, and industrial electrical installations. The curriculum includes areas such as Electrical Theory, Print Reading, Grounding, Controls, Communication Equipment, Testing Equipment, Pipebending, and The National Electrical Code. Installer-Technician apprentice curriculum includes Electrical Theory, Structured Cabling, Voice and Data, Terminations, and Industry Standards. All apprentices also cover Job Safety, First Aid, Job Site Management, and Supervision. Both curriculums are registered with and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The curriculum is fully developed and constantly updated by a full-time staff at the National Joint Apprenticeship Training & Committee (NJATC). Each section of the curriculum is written and monitored by NJATC personnel with actual experience and expertise in that particular field. The NJATC is in constant contact with all the local JATC electrical apprenticeship programs throughout the United States & Canada in order to maintain and continue to improve the curriculum.

Where are the classes held?

Most classes are held at the Electrical Training Center, 108 Covern Street, Houston, TX, 77061

Who are the instructors?

Most of the instructors are IBEW and NECA members. The instructors actually work on job sites as electricians/technicians or work in management with electrical/teledata companies. Our instructors attend additional training classes to prepare them for the classroom environment. The instructor’s field experience along with their formal training proves 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.

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How much will the schooling and training cost?

Very little. The apprentice will pay approximately $400 tuition each year. Books and study materials are given at no cost to the apprentice.

The Electrical Training Center is a non-profit organization. We are not in the business of making money from student tuition. We are in the business of training employees for our sponsoring contractors. The cost of training our students is paid for by our sponsoring contractors through an agreement between labor and management. If you are selected into our program, you can consider yourself as having received a scholarship.

Compare the cost of our tuition with other colleges and technical schools and you will discover just how reasonable our tuition is. And, the best thing about apprenticeship is -- you EARN while you LEARN -- You will earn a respectable wage with pay raises each year as you go through the training.

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

Yes. Our program is recognized by the V.A. Many of our students receive their Veteran’s Benefits while participating in our program.

How are the apprentices selected from among the applicants?

All applications are checked to verify compliance with minimum requirements. Those who qualify and who have submitted the required documents are eligible to take the aptitude test. Those who achieve qualifying scores on the aptitude test are scheduled for an interview with the JATC Apprenticeship Committee. Once interviewed, applicants will be given an interview score. The score will be recorded on the ranking list. As positions become available, apprentices are selected from the ranking list based on their interview score.

If accepted for apprenticeship, when will i start work?

As jobs become available. When our sponsoring contractors need apprentices, they contact the JATC as to their needs for new employees. The JATC then places the apprentice with the contractor.

What are my chances of being selected for apprenticeship?

There are usually about 10 applicants for every available position. You may be accepted on your first application, although some people apply several times 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 is that you cannot be accepted if you don't apply.

Does the apprenticeship program enforce a drug free policy?

Yes. Our participating employers require their workers to be tested (both scheduled and random) for substance abuse. Failing a drug test will result in serious penalties up to and including being terminated from the program.

Where can i find out more about applying for apprenticeship?

Electrical Training Center
108 Covern Street
Houston, Texas 77061

Phone: 713/649-2739