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Apprenticeship: More Info

What is an Apprenticeship and Training Program?

The Apprenticeship & Training Program is a form of education that incorporates workplace training with technical in-school classroom training. Since 1972, IEC has conducted apprenticeship training programs across the United States under standards approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

In August, 2003, the Central PA Chapter IEC partnered with the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) to grant participants in the IEC’s apprenticeship program with a HACC Certificate. The IEC’s apprentice program will be worth 8 credits each of the four years for a total of 32 credits. Students may continue taking additional HACC credits toward an Associate in Applied Science in Electrical Technology. The Central Pennsylvania Chapter IEC adopted the national IEC’s Apprenticeship Training Program and registered it with the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council in 1991.

What Makes IEC’s Program So Successful?

  • IEC’s four year program curriculum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship & Training 
  • 144 hours of classroom training per year is required, with lectures, demonstrations, labs and homework and a comprehensive final that must be passed prior to advancing to the next level. 
  • 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year is required which is administered by the local Chapters 
  • The curriculum qualifies for college credits at many universities and colleges 
  • Dedicated instructors are available to assist in moving apprentices through the program 
  • The IEC program has been successful for many years 
  • The program was developed by member contractors and instructors involved in the education of electricians, with the assistance of a professional writing team 
  • The 4-year curriculum is reviewed and updated on a regular basis in order to keep pace with technological advances and changes in the National Electrical Code 
  • Affiliated with the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Certification Program and the possibility to achieve an Associate in Applied Science in Electrical Technology degree

Through this combination of education, training, and hands-on experience, students not only learn an understanding of theory, operation and code, they also learn how to develop management and leadership skills.

The Central Pennsylvania Chapter IEC has graduated over 200 individuals from the apprenticeship program since its inception in 1991. The program continues to grow annually as electrical contractors seek qualified individuals to train as an electrician.

Why Become an Electrician?

WHAT IS AN ELECTRICIAN?

An electrician is a skilled tradesperson who combines electrical theory with the knowledge of the operating characteristics of electrical equipment and devices. Along with this knowledge and the necessary job skills, this individual safely and correctly wires commercial, industrial, residential and other types of building facilities. Thus, the electrician performs a service, which enables the consumer to use electrical energy for such purposes as lighting, heating and the operation of electrical equipment, motors, control systems and appliances.

WHY BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN?

Electricians earn very competitive hourly wages and experienced men and women are always in demand. Many who complete apprenticeship stay with their current employer and move up the career ladder as estimators, supervisors and superintendents. You might even own your own company someday.

ABOUT THE IEC’S APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

WHAT IS THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM FOR ELECTRICIANS?

The apprenticeship program is a combination of classroom and on the job training over a four-year period of time. The program is designed to provide the apprentice with the necessary theory and practical training to earn the status of journeyman electrician. To obtain a journeymen’s certificate, 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 on the job training hours are required. The Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Committee will certify those apprentices who satisfactorily complete the requirements of the program. This committee sponsors, supervises and regulates the program. At the end of training, the apprentice receives a Completion Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.

WILL I WORK WHILE IN THE IEC’S TRAINING PROGRAM?

During the training period, the IEC’s program requires that electrical contractor members of the association employ the apprentice. After the training period and when the apprentice has achieved the journeyman electrician status, job opportunities will exist with their current employer, or with other companies both locally and nationally. The demand for an electrician's services will be in direct proportion to attitude and eagerness to produce quality, useful work.

WHAT IS THE PAY FOR AN APPRENTICE?

Apprentices are paid on a progressively increasing schedule of wages based on a percentage of the average journeyman wage. No apprenticeship wages shall be less than the minimum wage scale pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended. The minimum pay an apprentice can expect is 45% of the average hourly journeymen’s rate of pay for journeymen electricians. The apprentice receives 5% hourly pay increases every 1000 hours worked throughout the training period if their wages fall below the average journeyman’s wage rate for the designated hours of training. When the apprentice has successfully completed the apprenticeship and training program including all of the 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, the person will become an experienced journeymen electrician and be paid the appropriate wage. On jobs where the U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage is required, the appropriate percentage shall be applied to such prevailing wage so long as the apprentice is employed on such job.

WHAT DOES THE PROGRAM COST?

The Central PA Chapter IEC members pay the semester tuition for the apprentice registered in the course.

WHAT ARE THE CLASSROOM AND JOB TRAINING REQUIREMENTS?

Apprenticeship classes are held three hours each, two times a week (Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday) for a total of 144 hours of classroom instruction. All apprentices in the IEC’s apprenticeship program work for an IEC member. A total of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training is required each year.

WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS TO APPLY TO THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM?

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old 
  • Applicants must be high school graduates or have successfully passed the GED 
  • Applicants must be physically fit to perform the work of the trade 
  • Applicants must have a valid driver's license and transportation to class and to the employer’s place of business and work site 
  • Applicants can not have a felony conviction in their background 
  • Applicants must successfully pass a drug screening

WHO CAN APPLY TO THE PROGRAM?

Any person who is at least 18 years of age may apply. The Chapter’s Apprenticeship & Training Committee reviews the applicant’s educational background, references, conducts interviews, reviews the results of a math assessment and then ranks the candidates based on merit, from the most qualified applicants. The minimum requirements for consideration are as follows:

  • Copy of a birth certificate or similar document showing proof that the candidate is at least 18 years of age is required. 
  • A copy of the High School Diploma or GED Certificate must be submitted. 
  • Transcripts of Last Grade Completed from High School Guidance Department and other school(s) attended. 
  • Proof of Trade Work Experience, if any (letter from employer noting experience). 
  • Form DD214 for veterans applying. Other forms may be needed. 
  • Three Letters of Reference from acquaintances or employers, other than family.

Failure to provide any one of the above items will automatically disqualify the individual.

Qualified applicants will be required to take a math assessment, complete a questionnaire, pass a drug screening, and attend an interview with representatives of the Apprenticeship & Training Committee, Central PA Chapter IEC, unless they are currently employed with an IEC member.

NOTE: Selection of apprentice applicants under this program shall be on the basis of qualification ONLY and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or non job-related disability. The sponsor will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, and the Equal Employment Regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

CAN I RECEIVE COLLEGE CREDIT FOR THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM?

The American Council on Education (ACE) has established through an intensive review process that IEC’s Apprenticeship Program for electrical construction workers provides college level instruction and has recommended 24 hours of credit for them. Course credit is achieved only when a postsecondary institution accepts the course toward a degree or certificate so students would need to contact the college admissions office to determine the acceptability of the course for credit.

HOW CAN I APPLY?

Individuals may apply twice a year during scheduled open enrollments which are published in area newspapers, sent to various organizations, and sent to individuals that have inquired about the program throughout the year. If you are interested in being placed on a mailing list, call the Central PA Chapter IEC at (717) 697-7553.
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