What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (2023)

Last updated on January 20th, 2021 at 09:03 pm.

If you’re interested inbecoming an electrician apprenticethen you’re in the right place. Becoming an electricianis an excellent career choice, especially for those who want to get to work right out of high school.

With a growing shortage of skilledelectrical workers its a great time to starttraining to be an electrician.

Table of Contents

  • Why You ShouldBecomeElectrician Apprentice
  • What Does it take to Become an Electrician Apprentice?
  • What’s the Job Description of an Electrician Apprentice?
  • What Kind Electrician Apprentice Do You Want To Become?
    • Residential Apprentice
    • Inside Wireman Apprentice
  • The 3 Electrical Apprenticeships You Need To Know About
  • What To Expect When You Start An Electrical Apprenticeship
  • Electrician Trade Schools – How Are They Different FromApprenticeships?
  • More Electrician Apprentices Are Needed In The Workforce
  • Before You Become An Electrician Apprentice Remember…

Why You ShouldBecomeElectrician Apprentice

Becomingan electrician hasgreatbenefits such as:

  • Learning a life skill
  • Working with your hands
  • Usingproblem solving skills
  • Career progression – Apprentice Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, Master Electrician, Foreman, General Foreman, Project Manager, Estimator
  • Possibly start your own company

What Does it take to Become an Electrician Apprentice?

Now, wanting to become an electrician and being able toare two different things. Some people join the trade before realizing that they’re not cut out for it or they just don’t like it.

By working as an apprentice, you’re actually training as an electrician. This is called on-the-job training or OJT.

Here are a few items that will help you understand what will be required while working as an apprentice.

Are you comfortable with:

  • Using hand and power tools?
  • Climbing ladders and working without a fear of heights?
  • Working in small or tight spaces?
  • Working outside inthe summer and winter?What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (1)

Are you able to:

  • Be reliable to your employer?
  • Be atwork on time?
  • Work by yourself or as a team?
  • Be flexiblewhen daily tasks change?

These may seem like very basic details – and they are – but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t realize what it takes to be a successful apprentice. Afterworking ortraining as an electrician for a few days youshould know ifyou want to make this a career.

To get started in the trade you need toenroll in an electrical apprenticeship or electrical training program. There are differences between the two which I’ll talk aboutlater.

What’s the Job Description of an Electrician Apprentice?

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (2)What exactly does an electrician apprenticedo? As an apprentice training to be an electrician, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of the electrical trade and what it takes to be an electrician.

(Video) Electrical Training Apprenticeship Overview | Miller Electric Company

As an electrician apprentice, you’ll learn to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in either home, businesses, and manufacturing plants. This all depends on what part of the trade you get into.

Yourmost important role as a newapprentice is to assist the journeyman electrician. Electricians do a lot more than just pulling wire, installing plugs and lights, and replacing bad breakers. There’s a mechanical side to the electrical trade too.

Take a look at some of the things you could learn as an apprentice. Some of these items are specialized and you may or may not be exposed to them.

  • Learning how to readblueprints, schematics, and wiring diagrams
  • Gathering appropriate material for daily tasks
  • Installing conduits (tubes that connect electrical devices) using a hand, mechanical, or hydraulic bender
  • Install new wire in existing systems or repairing old wiring
  • Learn about installing fire alarm, security, lighting control, data/telecom, and energy management systems
  • Assist with mounting panel boards, transformers, switchgear, transfer switches, and other various types of equipment
  • Troubleshooting and repairing systems

To read more about the electrician job description clickhere.

What Kind Electrician Apprentice Do You Want To Become?

Residential Apprentice

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (3)As a residential electrician apprentice, you’ll install wiring, switches, plugs, CAT 5, RG-6 cable (TV), electrical panels, services, and troubleshoot electrical problems in homes and apartments.

You’ll learn how to operate heavy-duty drills with auger bits that chew through 2×4 studs allowing pathways for conductors to the locations indicated on the blueprints.

Let’s not forget ditch digging. How else do you think underground electrical systems get put in place?This is the least fun part of being an apprentice but every journeyman electrician has done it.

There’s obviously more to it than digging but you should understand what you could be getting yourself into – no surprises!

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (4)Duties for residential electrician apprentices can include:

  • Installing Fire Alarm Systems
  • Establishing Temporary Power during Construction
  • Establishing Grounding Systems
  • Installing New Wiring and Repairing Old Wiring
  • Installing Receptacles, Lighting Systems, and Fixtures
  • Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Systems

Residential work is a fast pace environment, especially in new construction. It’s not uncommon to have the majority of a house wired (minus plugs and switches) in 2-3 days!

Some apprentices start working with contractors that specialize in remodeling. This type of work isn’t as fast-paced because the home is usually occupied and care must be taken to prevent damage.

This is a great niche to get into because of all the home automation upgrades going on right now. The abilityto learn about existing and new technologies could help you start your own business once you’re licensed.

Most residential programs are around 2 to 3 years in length. So if you’re looking to jump right into the trade and become licensed this is your fastest route.

Inside Wireman Apprentice

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (5)An “inside wireman” or “commercial electrician” works on the non-residential side of the electrical trade. Commercial buildings are usually schools, gas stations, and basically any other building besides a house.

(Video) Fifth-Year Electrical Apprentice⚡️

If you’ve ever driven by construction sites you’ve seen the environment where a majority of the trade works. New construction takes a lot of manpower and since electrician apprentices are cheaper than a journeyman, this is a hot spot for newbies.

There’s a crazy amount of skills you can learn as an inside wireman. The exposure to all types of systems is staggering and can sometimes be overwhelming.

But if you’re the kind of person who likes to be challenged then this could be a good fit for you.

Duties for an inside wireman and what you’ll be exposed to are:

  • Planning and Initiating Projects
  • Establishing Temporary Power during Construction
  • Establishing Grounding Systems
  • Installing Service to Buildings and Other Structures
  • Establishing Power Distribution within a Project
  • Planning and Installing Raceway Systems
  • Installing New Wiring and Repairing Old Wiring
  • Providing Power and Controls to Motors, HVAC, and Other Equipment
  • Installing Receptacles, Lighting Systems, and Fixtures
  • Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Systems
  • Installing and Repairing Traffic Signals, Outdoor Lighting, and Outdoor Power Feeders
  • Installing Fire Alarm Systems

This may seem like a lot, and it is, but you have to understand that you won’t learn all of this at once. Being ready to learn something new each day is a must when starting as a new first year apprentice.

Testing is usually done before starting up a new electrical installation to make sure there won’t be any surprises. This is a great time to ask questions and watch how equipment and circuits are checked off as safe or ready to be energized.

Depending on the project you’re working on, the pace can vary. If the contractor is under pressure to finish the job soon you’ll see a lot of hustle to get things done quickly.

Apprenticeships are usually 4 to 5 years in length. This depends on where you get your training and the type of curriculum the apprenticeshipuses.

Many inside wiremen move into industrial work such as manufacturing, water treatment plants, automobile factories, and other industrial businesses because of their knowledge of specialized equipment.

If you find yourself wanting to work on industrial systems,yourresponsibilities could include:

  • Performing preventive maintenance on equipment
  • Replacing equipmentor parts such as wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, coils, switches
  • Use specializedmeters to troubleshoot and analyze problems
  • Troubleshooting variable speeddrives.
  • Usingprogrammable logic controllers.

The 3 Electrical Apprenticeships You Need To Know About

There are different routes you can take to become an electrician apprentice but one of the best ways to get started is the join an electrical apprenticeship.

Here are highlights of the three electrical apprenticeships you shouldbe familiar with – IBEW, IEC, and ABC.

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (6)

You can learn how to join an electrician apprenticeship through the Electrical Training Alliance.

(Video) How to find an electrical apprenticeship! - 💵💵Union electrician/apprentice💵💵 - The Electrical Guide

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (7)

  • Non-Union
  • IEC is the national trade association for merit shop electrical and systems contractors.
  • 3,000 member companies in 53 chapters throughout the USA

You learn how to become an electrician apprentice through theIEC electrical apprenticeship.

What is an Electrician’s Apprentice (And How to Become One) | Electrician Apprentice HQ (8)

  • Non-Union
  • ABC valuesfree enterprise within the construction industry by promoting the merit shop philosophy.

Click here to learn how to become an electrician apprentice throughthe ABC electrical apprenticeship.

What To Expect When You Start An Electrical Apprenticeship

Electrical apprenticeship programscan vary in length – typically 2to5 years long.

For the inside wireman program, each electrician apprentice receives a minimum 8,000 hours of on-the-job training in the electrical industry with the supervision of a journeyman electrician.

Apprentices will also receive700 to 900 hours of classroom instruction over the courseof the program.

Sometimes apprentices will complete the requirements for the electrician licensing exam before school is complete.However, theystill have to meet the apprenticeship requirements to graduate.

Instructors have typically retired electricians, working electricians, or have specialized experience in the trade. They provide real-world experience by using on-the-job situations in relation to schoolwork.

Everyapprenticeship is independent and has its own set of guidelines for enrollment and scheduling classes.Classes can beoffered either twice a week at night, during the day, one day a week, or in weekly sessions.

The apprenticeship you choose to attend will provide the minimum amount of hours of academic education the state licensing agency requires for electrician apprentices to obtain their licenses.

Electrician Trade Schools – How Are They Different FromApprenticeships?

Electrician trade or vocational schools are different than electrical apprenticeships. Electrician trade schools are for-profit and may or may not have affiliations with trade or contractor associations. This means they may or may not help you get a job after you finish their program.

(Video) Apprentices first time wiring an intermediate switch - Apprentice electrician

Some electrician trade schoolsare designed to be completed within 1 to 2 years. Being so short, they don’t meet the state hourly training requirements to get your electrician license. This means that once you complete the course, you’re probably going to have to get more training – which could mean more money.

Most trade schools do not have any minimum requirements to enroll and students have options for financial aid to help cover tuition costs. The type of instruction you receive will differ between schools – either online-only, hybrid (online / classroom), and classroom.

Courses are available for students seeking to earn a certificate or an associate’s degree in the electrical field (examples: Certificate of Competency or AAS in Electrical Construction).

The mathematics, electrical theory, and mechanical skills taught throughout the coursesare designed to teach you skills to gainemployment, and in some cases prepare you for the licensing exam.

Make sure you talk with a career adviser and ask for student references prior to enrollment to help you decide if a trade school is right for you.

In my opinion, I would stay away fromtrade schools. They don’t typically offer a full training program that allows you to finish or graduate as a licensed electrician.

More Electrician Apprentices Are Needed In The Workforce

Skilled tradesmen are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce before they can be replaced. Worker shortages are common in areas where mega-projects are grabbing most of the manpower; leaving local contractors struggling to find skilled labor.

In 2011 Mike Rowe – advocate for the skilled tradesmen, host of Dirty Jobs, and founder of Mike Rowe Works Foundation (mrWF)– testified before Congress about the lack of workers available for blue-collar jobs.

Mike Rowe said

Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions. There are 450,000 openings in trades, transportation and utilities. The skills gap is real, and it’s getting wider. In Alabama, a third of all skilled tradesmen are over 55. They’re retiring fast, and no one is there to replace them. Alabama’s not alone.

Mike isn’t the only one with this line of thinking.

David Hardt, the new president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), stated that,

some ECs (electrical contractors) are already turning down jobs because they can’t find enough qualified electricians to do the work. All signs point to shortages of skilled electrical workers intensifying in the near future.

He also points out that due tomarket growth and demand,“we will need a net increase of nearly 100,000 electricians within the next three years.”Becoming an electriciancan lead toa very rewarding career.

(Video) What you need to know before hiring an apprentice.

Before You Become An Electrician Apprentice Remember…

This profession requires hard work, taking the initiative to learn, and the determination to succeed.The multipleskill sets that an electrician must learn is what makes him or her the most valuable commodity to the trades.

Make sure the route you’re taking is going to take you where you wantto be in this profession.Researching apprenticeships or trade schools in your area is a mustbefore getting started.

If you have any questions about becoming an electrician apprentice be sure to leave a comment. EAHQ is here to help.


What do I need to become an electrician apprentice? ›

Complete a college course or an NVQ course

You could enrol on the following courses, with the minimum GCSE requirements shown above: City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Building Services (Electrical Installation route) or EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation.

What is the meaning of apprentice electrician? ›

An apprentice electrician is an entry-level electrical trainee enrolled in an apprenticeship program to learn the concepts and skills necessary to become a certified electrician. As an apprentice, an electrician will receive a combination of classroom education and paid on- the-job experience.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a apprentice? ›

Apprentice Job Description Template

The apprentice's responsibilities include learning and developing practical skills, participating in classes and workshops on and offsite, observing all health and safety codes, completing tests and assignments, as well as delivering presentations to staff and other stakeholders.

How do I write a resume for an electrician apprentice? ›

How to write a resume as an electrician apprentice
  1. Introduce yourself. Use the first section of your resume to introduce yourself as a candidate. ...
  2. Describe your professional work history. Detail your previous work experiences. ...
  3. List your skills. ...
  4. Add your educational background. ...
  5. Revise your resume for each job application.
8 Mar 2021

How long is electrician course? ›

However, many colleges offer two-year fast-track options for advanced students, as well as part-time study, which could take much longer. After completion, it is then up to the student whether they continue on to higher education courses or undertake job-related training (e.g. a PAT testing certification).

How do I become an electrician without going to school? ›

Apply for an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is required in order to become a licensed electrician. Apprenticeships can be found through trade schools, Independent Electrical Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, or through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC).

What are skills for an electrician? ›

Some examples of the technical skills required for electricians include:
  • Installing and maintaining electrical systems, equipment and devices.
  • Using and maintaining hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers and drills.
  • Repairing wiring systems.
  • Installing electrical conduits, cables, tubing.

What are the duties and responsibilities of an electrician? ›


Installs and repairs electrical wiring, systems, and fixtures in buildings. Installs conduits and pipes to house electrical wires and cables. Ensures piping complies with electrical codes. Installs circuit breakers and other electrical hardware and connects wiring to them.

What should a first year electrical apprentice know? ›

A first-year electrical apprentice is responsible for various electrical installation tasks including installing raceways, pulling wire, mounting equipment, installing and completing finished electrical products such as lights and switches and more.

Who is responsible for an apprentice? ›

Teaching and learning coaches must provide learning, support and guidance to the apprentices by setting the apprentice's course of study and agreeing deadlines for completion.

What is an example of an apprenticeship? ›

While an apprenticeship could be compared to classroom learning, apprentices receive pay while learning how to become experts in their trades. Examples of industries that offer apprenticeships include healthcare, food preparation/serving, manufacturing and public safety. Related terms: retraining.

What are the benefits of apprenticeships? ›

Benefits of Apprenticeships
  • Gain hands-on experience. ...
  • Benefit from support systems and learning aids. ...
  • Get paid to learn. ...
  • Gain industry-recognised qualifications. ...
  • Get a feel for the work environment. ...
  • Improve your employability. ...
  • Enjoy student discounts. ...
  • Choose from plenty of programmes.
10 Feb 2022

What is an electrical apprenticeship called? ›

This is through the TVET program. TVET stands for "TAFE-delivered vocational education and training", and electrotechnology is among the industry areas that are eligible.

What is a good objective for a electrician resume? ›

Hard-working electrician seeking to use my excellent communication and customer service expertise for the betterment of the company. Highly skilled repairman seeking a position as an electrician where I can demonstrate my critical thinking, customer service and leadership skills to increase a company's success.

How do you write an apprentice resume? ›

Here are some steps you can use to write a resume for an apprenticeship:
  1. Start with your name and contact information. ...
  2. Write a resume objective. ...
  3. Discuss your experience. ...
  4. List your skills. ...
  5. Add your education.
1 Jun 2021

Is being an electrician hard? ›

Con: Electrician work can be physically demanding

This is true of many construction trades, and electrician is no exception. Be prepared to crawl into some small dark spaces, up onto roofs, and do a lot of standing, bending, and reaching overhead. Electricians work on their feet and are always on the move.

Is 40 too old to become an electrician? ›

While some electricians start their training immediately after high school graduation, others (like you) look to this field as a second or even third career later in life. No limit exists to learning. This means you can learn the trade as an 18-year-old or a 48-year-old.

How many electricians are female? ›

There are over 465,873 electricians currently employed in the United States. 4.4% of all electricians are women, while 95.6% are men.

Which course is best for electrician? ›

An associate degree in electrical technology is perhaps the most popular option for future electricians who choose to attend two-year programs. Some students specialize in certain areas of the field, like renewable energy or industrial electrical technology.

Can you be a self taught electrician? ›

Doing so is nearly impossible if you live in the United States. In the U.S., each state has its own regulations for becoming an electrician. Most states require that electricians be licensed. Usually you must have supervised on-the-job experience (that's an apprenticeship) to qualify to take the licensing exam.

How much does an electrician make an hour? ›

The average hourly rate for electricians across the entire United States is $25.46. On an annual basis, this works out to approximately $50,000 per year.

What makes a good electrician apprentice? ›

Having good English and writing skills is paramount in helping you be a successful electrician, You must have the ability to read and interpret wiring rules, standards, switchboards and drawings to invoicing, quoting and supplying documentation for taxation purposes, if you're running a business for example.

What are three important qualities that electricians need? ›

“Electricians need to have the following qualities: strong mathematical knowledge, physical dexterity, safety first minded, and usage of hand and power tools.”

What kind of tools do electricians use? ›

The most commonly used pliers used by an electrician can include needle-nose pliers, side-cutting pliers, and reaming pliers. Electricians will always have a variety of screwdrivers for loosening and fastening various pieces of hardware.

Who is an electrician in simple words? ›

a person who installs, operates, maintains, or repairs electric devices or electrical wiring.

What is the meaning of electrical works? ›

Electrical work means: connecting electricity supply wiring to electrical equipment or disconnecting electricity supply wiring from electrical equipment; or manufacturing, constructing, installing, removing, adding, testing, replacing, repairing, altering or maintaining electrical equipment or an electrical ...

How do you describe electrician on a resume? ›

Electrician resume sample you can copy and use

Extensive knowledge of electrical system design, maintenance, and code guidelines. Safety and efficiency are key components to complete projects on time. Follows directions and learn quickly. Passionate about training and mentoring others.

Do apprentices make mistakes? ›

If you've started an apprenticeship or traineeship, chances are you'll want to impress your employer by excelling at your job. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen when you're still learning the ropes of a new profession. Nobody's perfect and it's unlikely the company will expect you to be an expert on your first day.

Do electricians have free time? ›

Maintenance electricians usually have regular work which they complete in a typical 40-hour week. Most keep regular business hours on weekdays and don't usually work on weekends, public holidays, or late at night. Some electricians work on-call and put in extra hours to troubleshoot urgent problems.

Is it hard being an apprentice? ›

Apprenticeships involve a lot of hard work and most of it is meant to be done on your time. In short, you are left to your own devices for the most part and you have to make the effort to arrange the time to do your coursework. If you have no experience in doing this, this can be difficult to adjust to.

How do I qualify as an electrician UK? ›

To become an electrician in the UK you will need to combine training, experience and a final assessment. This can typically be completed as: An electrical apprenticeship over 3-4 years. By breaking the elements down into more manageable steps over a 2-3 year period (Diploma / Technical Certificates.

Do I need AM2 to be an electrician? ›

The AM2 is aimed at “new entrants” to the industry such as an apprentice or trainee. If you are an experienced electrician (practicing operative) you DO NOT need to take your AM2.

How do I become an electrician apprentice UK? ›

If you're considering training to become an electrician, you can choose one of three main options to obtain the necessary skills and qualifications.
  1. Start an apprenticeship (with NVQ or SVQ qualification)
  2. Study a diploma or technical certificate.
  3. Take a domestic installer course.

Do you need NVQ Level 3 to be an electrician? ›

The level 3 NVQ Electrical (2357-44) is for electrical improvers who have previously completed their level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (2365) or equivalent older qualifications and are now in their final stages of becoming a qualified Electrician.

What is the hourly rate for an electrician UK? ›

As most simplistic electrical jobs can be completed in less than a day it is very common for electricians to charge an hourly rate. You should always check whether your electrician also adds on a call out charge or has a minimum charge when budgeting for the job. The hourly rate for an electrician is between £35 - £45.

What can a Level 3 electrician do? ›

Fault diagnosis and rectification. Inspection, testing and commissioning. Electrical Systems design. Career awareness in the building services.

What can a Level 2 electrician do UK? ›

Electrical Installations technology. Installation of wiring systems and enclosures. Understand how to communicate with others within building services engineering.

Can you sit an AM2 without NVQ? ›

If you are at the stage in your Electrical career to be undertaking AM2, it is likely that the only qualifications that you may not have are Inspection and Testing or NVQ level 3.

Can I do my AM2 without NVQ? ›

The AM2 is the final step in the journey to qualification and cannot be taken if you either do not already hold relevant qualifications or are not currently enrolled on a qualification where AM2 is the final unit. For more information, please refer to the recommended Training Routes on the Electrical Careers website.

Is the AM2 exam hard? ›

While the AM2 test is challenging, candidates have access to some useful resources so they can measure their readiness before putting themselves forward to do the assessment.

Is being an electrician hard? ›

Con: Electrician work can be physically demanding

This is true of many construction trades, and electrician is no exception. Be prepared to crawl into some small dark spaces, up onto roofs, and do a lot of standing, bending, and reaching overhead. Electricians work on their feet and are always on the move.

Can you get an NVQ without an apprenticeship? ›

Although there are no special entry requirements for those starting an NVQ, some Level 3s will require learners to have completed a Level 2 before they can enrol on the qualification. This will depend on the specifics of the NVQ, the sector and the learner's level of experience in the field.

How much does an apprentice electrician make UK? ›

How much does a Apprentice electrician make in United Kingdom? The average apprentice electrician salary in the United Kingdom is £24,219 per year or £12.42 per hour. Entry level positions start at £20,138 per year while most experienced workers make up to £79,584 per year.

How much does NVQ Level 3 cost? ›

Pricing. £945.00+VAT.

Can you be an electrician with Level 2? ›

This level 2 qualification, through EAL, will give you the essential knowledge and practical skills you need to start a career as an electrician or work as electrician in the building services engineering sector.

How long does it take to get NVQ Level 3 electrician? ›

Duration & Cost

The AM2 aspect can be completed in 3 days. The cost for the Electrical NVQ is £1455.00 including vat (based on 2 site visits) and this can be paid in instalments over the period of the assessments. PLUS the AM2 which is 3 days and is £700 including vat.


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