Frequently Asked Questions

What is Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship is not just a job, but a career opportunity! It is occupational training that combines supervised on-the-job training experience with classroom instruction. Apprentices usually begin at half the salary of journey workers - those who have completed their training and have industry certification. Instead, apprentices receive pay increases as they learn to perform more complex tasks. When they become journey workers, they increase their chances of finding a well-paying job in industry and may become supervisors or go into business for themselves. 

Are apprentices required to attend school?
Apprentices must attend related classroom training along with on-the-job-training experience. Most programs require approximately 144 hours of school per year. This usually works out to one or two evenings per week during the regular school year. Like other aspects of apprenticeship, the local committee determines the related training requirements according to industry standards. Apprentices can earn credit towards an associate degree at a community college for classroom hours or for the completion of an apprenticeship program. 

How do I receive my on-the-job-training?
After registering as an apprentice, you´ll be assigned to an employer who is registered as a training agent with the committee. Such "training agents" have promised to provide the on-the-job training and supervision according to approved industry standards. The employer evaluates progress and makes recommendations to the apprenticeship committee regarding your advancement in the program. 

How do I apply for an apprenticeship program?
Individual apprenticeship committees take applications for their program. They advertise that they are accepting applications through an opening announcement. Announcements contain the details about the application process. When the Area 1 Limited Energy program is open for applications, you can find the opening announcement, opening dates, and application here.

How long must I wait for an opening to apply or add additional documentation to existing application?
The waiting period from the date an application is filed to placement in an apprenticeship program varies by industry. It can last from two weeks to two years. This is a competitive process and it's not unusual for people to have to wait for an opening to apply or add documentation to existing file.

What is the selection process for applicants?
The apprenticeship committee reviews applications to make sure the applicants meet the minimum qualifications for the program. If an applicant is qualified, the application is ranked either by a test, an interview, an evaluation of past experience and education, or a random drawing. The applicant is placed on a qualified list, called a pool of eligibles, in order of their ranking. If you do not meet the minimum qualifications or if your application ranks low on the pool of eligibles, contact the committee to find out what you can do to improve your chances and try again. Employers use the list to fill apprenticeship vacancies as they become available. Some committees allow direct entry into the program under certain circumstances. Information about a committee´s selection method is included on the opening announcement for the program.

Are there age limits for apprentices?
Each industry establishes its own minimum age requirement, although the typical minimum age is 18. Except in very limited situations, there are no upper age limits on apprentices.

What are the minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship?
Most apprenticeship programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some occupations require completion of specific subjects such as algebra, blueprint reading or related shop work. You can find the Area 1 Limited Energy program's minimum requirements here.

Can I get an application mailed to me? 
No, Applications must be filled out in person at the Independent Electrical Contractors of Oregon administrative office and only during open application times.

Can I use veterans' benefits as an apprentice?
If eligible, an apprentice may use veterans' benefits while registered in an apprenticeship program. Contact your local Veterans Administration office or call 1-888-442-4551 for more information.

If I already have an employer who wants to hire me, can I bypass the application process? 
No, The JATC does not place individuals in the program based on intents to hire. All interested individuals must apply, and when your application gets into the Ready for Employment list, then the employer can hire you.

Can I start apprenticeship school while I am waiting to get into the apprenticeship program? 
No, classes are for registered apprentices only.

For more information on apprenticeship and the State's definition of terms, please see our Apprenticeship Glossary.