What It’s Like To Be An Electrician’s Apprentice

After high school, most young adults are encouraged to go to college, but there are equally rewarding and lucrative career options in the trades, one of the most rewarding being electrical work. The path of an electrician is often overlooked by young professionals first entering college, technical school, or the workforce for the first time. However, it is an affordable educational option that can become a stable, high-paying job not easily affected by recessions or other changes in the workforce. 


In order to become an electrician, however, you must complete an apprenticeship with a licensed and experienced electrician. Apprenticeships typically include both classroom time and on-the-job training, and are an affordable educational route for those who do not wish to go to a four-year university. 


What is an apprenticeship?

Prior to the popularity of universities, apprenticeships were the most common way for young professionals to enter the career of their choice. Nowadays, apprenticeships are rare, but electricians, plumbers, and some other trade careers still require them in order to learn the skills necessary for licensing. During an electrician’s apprenticeship, you’ll spend time in the classroom learning the science of electrical work, as well as many on-the-job hours where you can learn how to work on both residential and commercial electrical systems. 


What will I learn and do as an apprentice?

As an electrician’s apprentice, you’ll learn all about installing, repairing, and designing electrical systems. You may apprentice under a certain specialty such as residential or commercial work, but the core concepts will be the same. During your first few months, you will be on the sidelines watching, helping to move equipment, and asking questions as you study in the classroom. However, as your knowledge and experience increase, you’ll be given more and more responsibility. 


How do I get an apprenticeship?

Typically, apprenticeships are sponsored by a company, a union, or by a technical school. You must apply for the apprenticeship through one of these organizations, and meet the requirements including having a high school diploma or GED, a passing score on an aptitude test, and a stellar in-person interview. 


How long do apprenticeships last?

Electrician’s apprenticeships can last 2 to 5 years, depending on the individual structure of the program and your own progress within it. Some programs will take longer because involvement is spaced out, while others will fast-track you through the courses. Before applying, ask the program directors what to expect and how to prepare for your apprenticeship. 


Becoming an electrician is a rewarding experience with plenty of benefits. If you are interested in learning about becoming an electrician or are recently graduated and are looking for commercial work, visit our Career source for inside information on working with MaintenX!

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