What is Apprenticeship? Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. WATCH THIS VIDEO
What Electricians Do
Electricians install and maintain electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.
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Electricians typically do the following:
- Read blueprints or technical diagrams
- Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems
- Inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers
- Identify electrical problems with a variety of testing devices
- Repair or replace wiring, equipment, or fixtures using hand tools and power tools
- Follow state and local building regulations based on the National Electric Code
- Direct and train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring or equipment
Electricians work indoors and outdoors, in homes, businesses, factories, and construction sites. Because electricians must travel to different worksites, local or long distance commuting is often required.
Injuries and Illnesses
Electricians have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Although few accidents are potentially fatal, common injuries include electrical shocks, falls, burns, and other minor injuries. Workers must therefore wear protective clothing and safety glasses to reduce these risks.
Almost all electricians work full time, which may include evenings and weekends. However, work schedules may vary during times of inclement weather. During scheduled maintenance, or on construction sites, electricians can expect to work overtime.
Employment of electricians is projected to grow over the next 10 years at a rate twice that of the national average for all occupations. As homes and businesses require more wiring, electricians will be needed to install the necessary components. Overall growth of the construction industry and the need to maintain older equipment in manufacturing plants also will require more electricians.
Employment of electricians fluctuates with the overall economy. On the one hand, there is greater demand for electricians during peak periods of construction building and maintenance. On the other hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction and maintenance falls.
How does the program work?
At the Ventura County Electrical JATC, students attend our school twice per week in the evenings at our training center in Oxnard, while working during the day with an Electrical Contractor. Apprentices do not need to seek their own employment as the Ventura County Electrical JATC will place apprentices to work with participating contractors. Once the apprentice has completed the 5 year program he/she will be upgraded to Journeyman Level status and will receive a Certificate of Completion from the State of California, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Electrical Training Alliance.
What future opportunities are available after completing the apprenticeship program?
After completing the program, graduates will be able to continue working in the industry as Journeymen Wiremen. Our organization is international, including all of the U.S. and Canada. With continued hard work and dedication, Journeymen Wiremen can advance to Foreman, General Foreman, or Superintendent roles. Opportunities to go into business as an electrical contractor also exist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% increase in employment opportunities for electricians thru 2029.
How much does it cost to be an apprentice?
Unlike traditional trade schools and colleges, the Ventura County Electrical JATC does not charge any tuition fees! Applicants who are selected as apprentices are required to enter into a Scholarship-Loan Agreement in which the Ventura County Electrical JATC agrees to provide no-cost training to apprentices over a five-year period. In exchange, once the apprentice has graduated to Journeyman Status, he/she will be obligated to work for our IBEW/NECA Contractors for a five-year period as "payment in kind."
Will I be paid as an apprentice?
Yes, apprentices are paid while working on the job with a participating electrical contractor. Beginning wages and benefits are good and apprentices receive wage increases based on successful completion of schooling and on-the-job training. Here is a sample breakdown of wages and benefits:
- 1st Year Apprentices = $18.86/hr + heath insurance
- 2nd Year Apprentices = $23.58/hr + insurance and pension
- 3rd Year Apprentices = $28.29/hr + insurance and pension
- 4th Year Apprentices = $33.01/hr + insurance and pension
- 5th Year Apprentices = $40.08/hr + insurance and pension
- Journeyman Electricians = $47.15/hr + insurance and pension
How long is the commitment?
The Ventura County Electrical JATC Inside Wireman Training Program is completed over a five-year period. After successfully completing the Inside Wireman Apprenticeship and receiving the title of Journeman Wireman, we require you to continue working for our IBEW/NECA Contractors for an additional five-year period as "payment in kind" for your training. In lieu of working this five-year period, you may elect to pay for your schooling at a total cost of $25,000. In summary, if you are accepted into this program, you can expect to live and work in Ventura County for the next ten years. After this period of time, if you desire to relocate to another jurisdiction, you may do so without having to request an official transfer.
What is the typical work schedule?
Because the electrical workers are construction based, work schedules can vary dramatically from one project to another. The typical work schedule is Monday thru Friday 7am-3:30pm but many projects require employees to work swing or graveyard shifts. In addition, since the industry is construction based, there will be periods of unemployment, but the average electrical apprentice in Ventura County works approximately 1700 hours per year.
Is the VCJATC a Union Apprenticeship Program?
Yes, the VCJATC is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 952 and the LA-Ventura Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. Because of this affiliation, our workers have the attitude, skill, and knowledge to be considered the finest workers in the electrical industry.
Notice of Non-Discriminatory Policy: The recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship shall be without discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, age, or any other protected class, – except that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age to apply and at least 18 years of age at time of indenture. The J.A.T.C. does not, and will not, discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual. The sponsor will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under applicable law and lawful regulations issued thereafter. Please read the attached EEOC Notice at the bottom of this page.