Electrical work is a booming trade. The demand for skilled electrical workers is already high, and only expected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of over 8% between 2019 and 2029, which is double that of the projection for all other occupations. If you’re searching for a career that is not only fulfilling, but can give you job security, interesting projects, and great benefits, look no further than electrical work. Wondering how to get started?
How do you become an electrical worker?
Many electricians learn their craft through apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs offer a combination of training through classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprenticeships are considered full-time employment, which means you’re working and learning full-time. The technical training covered in the classroom includes important areas like safety, electrical code requirements, electrical theory, math, while the on-the-job training provides real-life, hands-on experience and teaching from a licensed electrician.
Most electrical apprenticeship programs take 4-5 years to complete, including about 900 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. However, state and local requirements vary, which may impact the overall timeline. While this sounds like a lot of time and effort, consider this: the average college degree takes four years to complete, and it doesn’t include on-the-job training. When you’re in an apprentice program, you’re working and getting paid while you learn. Which means by the time you complete the program, you’re on your way to a solid career, with plenty of solid work experience.
Even more important, if you get accepted into apprenticeship, most of your training and materials are covered by the program. You won’t have to go into debt with student loans to get this amazing education.
Once the apprenticeship has been completed and all requirements have been met, you will be a skilled worker earning top wages in the electrical trade! Some states require electrical workers to pass their state exam to become licensed. Once this exam is passed, you are officially an electrical worker in the state’s eyes, and are ready to embark on a rewarding career in the field.
What is required to apply for an electrical apprenticeship?
Ready and excited to join the ranks of the electrical workers? Great! There are just a few requirements to apply and be eligible for an electrical apprenticeship. You must:
- Be at least 18 years old at the time your apprenticeship begins
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have completed one year of high school algebra (or equivalent)
- Pass an aptitude test
- Be drug free
Depending on the area you live in, there may be additional requirements, but these are standard requirements across all training centers.
How to apply for an apprenticeship
The largest and most comprehensive apprenticeship program is run by the electrical training ALLIANCE, which is a joint program between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
If you’re ready to get started, locate a training center on the electrical training ALLIANCE website. There are programs around the country, and you’ll be able to find one closest to you. Remember, not everyone gets accepted. In some parts of the country, apprenticeships are quite competitive. And no wonder, who wouldn’t want a chance to get a low-cost, world-class education and paid work?
Apprenticeships change lives every year for thousands of men and women. Interested in an exciting career as an electrical worker? Get started here.