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Electrician Apprentice Program

What Will I Learn?

The NJATC's goal is to provide the highest quality training to those interested in a career in the various fields within the electrical industry. The apprenticeship is organized such that during the day you would work on a job site and then attend classes 2 nights per week.

In addition to receiving skill training on the job, apprentices are provided trade related classroom training that produces competencies used throughout the electrical craft. Quite often some local training committees provide special classes with hands-on training to support classroom lectures and discussions.

Each of the types of electrical work share common skills and knowledge. Each also has other skills and knowledge, which are specific to that particular area of work. Because of these differences, each type of work has a different apprenticeship program associated with it. Basic requirements for becoming an apprentice in any of the programs are similar, however.

There are three specialty areas offered through the local IBEW-JATC office:

  • Commercial Program:

    Commercial apprenticeship is a 5 year program. The minimum on the job hours are 8000 with a minimum of 180 hours of classroom training per year. First Aid/CPR and OSHA 10 hour classes are required and are not part of the 180 hour total. A probationary period of 2000 hours has been established for all commercial apprentices. On completion of the probation period you then are taken into the Union. Monthly dues are paid by you to IBEW L.U. 197.
  • Residential Program:

    The Residential apprenticeship program is a 3 year program. The minimum on the job hours are 4800 with a minimum of 160 hours of classroom training per year. First Aid/CPR and OSHA 10 hour classes are required and are not part of the 160 hour total. A probationary period of 1200 hours has been established for all residential apprentices. On completion of the probation period you are then taken into the Union. Monthly dues are paid by you to the IBEW L.U. 197.
  • The Tele-Data program:

    is a 3 year program. The minimum on the job hours are 4800 with a minimum of 160 hours of classroom training per year. First Aid/CPR and OSHA 10 hour classes are required and are not part of the 160 hour total. A probationary period of 1200 hours has been established for all tele-data apprentices. On completion of the probation period you are then taken into the Union. Monthly dues are paid by you to the IBEW L.U. 197.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

The Associate in Applied Science Degree, Electrical Apprentice, prepares the student for a variety of entry-level positions in the electrical trade culminating with students earning their Journeyman status.

In Illinois, average annual pay for electricians is between $47,000 and $77,000 with a median pay of $71,000.1

Average employment growth is expected. Job prospects should be very good, particularly for workers with the widest range of skills, including voice, data, and video wiring. many openings are expected over the next decade as a large number of electricians retire. Employment of electricians should increase 7 percent between 2006 and 2016.2

What Are My Options?

This degree program is only available to students who have been admitted to the Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (IBEW-JATC) Program. To become an apprentice, you must apply through the local IBEW-JATC office. Applications are taken every Wednesday at the IBEW-JATC office between 8-11 a.m. and are filled out on-site. The following requirements are typical for individuals applying to be accepted into an IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Program (JATC):

  • Minimum age 18
  • High School Education
  • One Year of High School Algebra
  • Qualifying Score on an Aptitude Test
  • Drug Free

For additional information concerning the Electrician Apprenticeship program, students should contact the Bloomington-Normal IBEW-JATC office at 309-829-9819, or on the web at www.bnjatc.org


  1. Department of Employment Security, State of Illinois, Wage Data 2009, on the Internet at http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/PDFs/statewidewage_pub.pdf
  2. Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2008-09 Edition http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos206.htm#outlook