What You Need To Know To Become An Electrician Apprentice

What is involved in becoming an apprentice electrician

You can become an apprentice electrician by applying for the job, sounds simple right. Well first you have to find out who is hiring apprentices and what they require. Check into the local electrical unions and the local contractors. Just about any large unionized companies that do manufacturing will have use of electricians and many may have an apprentice program of some type. Of course where you get your training at will pretty much determine what area of the electrical trade that you will end up working in. after all if your employer is going to spend the money to train you then he will want some one who is specialized in the area that will make him more money. So if you get your training in a manufacturing environment you will probably be an industrial electrician where as if you get your training in the construction area then that is what you will learn. But the basic electrical training of course will be the same.

I got my training at a UAW electrical apprenticeship program. I happened to be working there between jobs as an electronics tech when they decided to hire new apprentices in all trades. They offered a pre apprentice class that you could sign up for that let you brush up on things like high school algebra, basic logic problems, and spatial recognition. After passing this class you were considered ready to go into any of the trades for apprenticeship training. Being unionized this whole process is covered by the local contract so they were required to offer this to both present employees as well as hiring others from outside, so there is a chance to get in without having to already be working there.

What different areas are covered in your electrical apprenticeship training

After you are hired as an apprentice electrician we were given an orientation class where they generally discussed what was expected from you where you would be at and where you would be working, then you were tuned over to the electrical foreman who assigned you a locker and would be assigning you jobs. Then you were assigned a journeyman electrician to work with, if he had work assigned then that is what you would be doing. In our shop the electricians were lined up in different areas from construction where new machines were wired or offices wired, to the power house where all of the electrical power for the whole plant came in. The majority of the electricians were assigned to troubleshooting, where it was your job to get a machine up and running after it had broken down. The apprentices were rotated into each area for months at a time so that they could learn what to do in each area. Of course it always seemed like the less you knew and the newer that you were the worse the job that you ended up doing. But then the more you learned the more that you were used for what you knew.

What type of class room training will you get as an electrician apprentice

As an apprentice you are always learning of course, but being an apprentice requires that you have at least 2000 hrs of on the job training as well as 144 hours of classroom training per year. So two or three days per week, depending on which classes that you had been assigned to at the time, we would go to class instead of work. Our classes were at a local college. Some of the classes that we took just off of the top of my head were:

Basic electricity
Dc circuits
Ac circuits
Electrical Devices
Wiring
Conduit bending
Troubleshooting
Digital electronics
The NEC Code

What work is involved in doing electrical apprentice jobs

The work that you do as an apprentice is just basically the same work that you would do as an electrician, except that you have a journeyman electrician looking over your shoulder to make sure that you are doing it right and in a safe manner. After a while if you are showing that you know what you are doing you will start to be sent out to do some jobs on your own. A lot of it is the trust that you build up with your fellow electricians.

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