IBEW, NECA Union Apprenticeships

If you have decided to enter training as an electrical apprentice, you will be glad to know that you have chosen a career with a lot of potential for a long and stable future. One of the best parts of choosing an electrician trade is a benefit that starts the very first day on the job. Unlike most other career choices, a trade will allow you to earn a living wage while learning the ins and outs of the job. 

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So, now that you’ve made this exciting life decision, how do you get started? The first choice you will need to make is whether you prefer a union or non-union apprenticeship. Although both offer the training you will need to work in the field and both take four to five years to complete, a union apprenticeship comes with all of the benefits of union membership. These advantages include a higher rate of pay and plenty of opportunity for advancement as your career progresses. 

Prior to entering a union apprenticeship, you will need to meet specific prerequisites. These include earning a high school diploma or equivalent (with completion of an algebra class), the ability to pass a drug test and the appropriate level of physical stamina. Unless you are entering training through a partnership with your high school, you will also need to be 18 years of age or older. 

Union apprenticeships are organized through a partnership of two unions: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). These two organizations work with local union contractors to provide training through Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs). This partnership is known as the Electrical Training Alliance

You should expect to take an aptitude test as a part of the application process for a union program. The test will generally take around two hours to complete and consists of algebra and functions, and reading comprehension. In addition, applicants will need to sit for an interview prior to being accepted into a training program. 

Fortunately for potential apprentices, these programs are widespread and exist in nearly all areas of the United States. In fact, most states have multiple programs available, providing a wide area of coverage. For more information on finding a program near you, keep reading below. 

State-By-State Opportunities for Union Apprenticeships

Depending on where you live, finding a NECA-IBEW apprenticeship has the potential to be tricky. Although you could perform an internet search for “union apprenticeships near me,” you may get more benefit from calling a union chapter in your area. The chart below, which lists union opportunities throughout the United States, will help you get started.

StateUnion Apprenticeship Organizations
AlabamaMobile JATC, Mobile Birmingham JATC, Birmingham IBEW Local 443, Montgomery North Alabama JATC, Sheffield
AlaskaNECA-IBEW, Local 1547, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan
ArizonaGlobe-Miami JATC, Globe Phoenix JATC, Phoenix Tucson JATC, Tucson
ArkansasIBEW Local 1516, Highland Jonesboro El Dorado JATC, Dorado Little Rock JATC, Little Rock Fort Smith JATC, Fort Smith
CaliforniaKern County JATC, Bakersfield California/Nevada JATC, Riverside Solana, NAPA Counties JATC, NAPA San Francisco JATC, San Francisco Santa Barbara JATC, Buellton Alameda County JATC, Dublin Los Angeles County Electrical Training Institute, City of Commerce Central Valley JATC, Modesto IBEW Local 40, Hollywood Tri-County Electrical Apprenticeship Program, Castroville San Diego Electrical Training Center, San Diego Fresno Area JATC, Fresno Inland Empire JATC, San Bernardino Northern California Sound and Communications JATC, San Leandro Sacramento JATC, Sacramento Santa Clara County JATC, San Jose IBEW Local 639, San Luis Obispo Orange County Electrical Training Trust, Santa Ana San Mateo Valley JATC , San Carlos San Joaquin/Calaveras Counties Joint Electrical Apprenticeship, Stockton Redwood Empire JATC, Santa Rosa IBEW Local 952, Ventura
ColoradoDenver Area JATC, Denver Western Colorado JATC, Clifton Pueblo Area JATC, Pueblo Colorado Springs JATC, Colorado Springs
ConnecticutNECA and Local 90 JATC, Wallingford IBEW Local 25, Hartford IBEW Local 488, Monroe
DelawareIBEW Local 313, New Castle
District of ColumbiaNot Available
FloridaTampa Area JATC, Tampa IBEW Local 728, West Palm Beach Jacksonville JATC, Jacksonville Gainesville JATC, Gainesville Electrical Training Alliance of Daytona Beach, Port Orange Miami JATC, Miami Pensacola’s Gulf Coast JATC, Pensacola Central Florida JATC, Winter Park
GeorgiaElectrical Training Center, Peachtree Corners IBEW Local 1316, Macon IBEW Local 508, Savannah and Brunswick CSRA JATC Apprenticeship, St. Augustine, FL IBEW Local 1531, Albany
HawaiiHawaii Electricians Training Fund, Honolulu
IdahoSouthwest Idaho Electrical Training Center, Boise Eastern Idaho JATC, Pocatello
IllinoisIBEW Local 34, Peoria IBEW Local 701, Warrenville NECA-IBEW 176 JATC, Joliet Southern Illinois JATC , West Frankfort Danville JATC, Danville Southwestern Illinois JATC, Collinsville Quad City Electrical Training Center, Moline Bloomington/Norman JATC , Bloomington Champaign-Urbana JATC, Champaign and Streator Northern Illinois Electrical, Rockford IBEW Local 146, Decatur Lake County JATC, Libertyville IBEW NECA Technical Institute, Alsip IBEW Local 193, Springfield IBEW Local 461, Aurora IBEW Local 117, Crystal Lake IBEW Local 649, Alton
IndianaSBJATC, South Bend Lake County Indian JATC, Merrillville IBEW Local 855, Muncie Terre Haute JATC, Terre Haute IBEW Local 481, Indianapolis Evansville JATC, Evansville IBEW Local 531, Michigan City Lafayette JATC, Lafayette Lafayette Electrical JATC, Lafayette IBEW Local 873, Kokomo
IowaIBEW Local 13, Burlington Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship, Urbandale Cedar Rapids JATC, Cedar Rapids Local 288, Waterloo IBEW Local 704, Dubuque Sioux City JATC, Sioux City
KansasIBEW District 7, Hutchinson, Topeka and Wichita
KentuckyPaducah JATC, Paducah Louisville JATC, Louisville IBEW Local 1701, Owensboro
LouisianaShreveport Area JATC, Bossier City IBEW Local 1077, Bogalusa IBEW Local 861, Lake Charles Baton Rouge Area JATC, Baton Rouge Alexandria JATC, Shreveport Monroe Electrical Workers, Monroe IBEW Local 130, Metairie
MaineIBEW Local 567, Lewiston IBEW Local 1253, Fairfield
MarylandBaltimore JATC, Baltimore Lanham JATC, Lanham Local 307, Cumberland Electrical Training Alliance, Bowie
MassachusettsIBEW Local 96, Worcester Greater Boston JATC, in Dorchester IBEW Local 223, Taunton Springfield JATC, Springfield
MichiganWest Michigan JATC, Coopersville Ann Arbor JATC, Chelsea IBEW Local 557, Saginaw Battle Creek JATC, Battle Creek Flint/Saginaw JATC, Flint IBEW Local 692, Bay City Kalamazoo JATC, Kalamazoo IBEW Local 906, Marquette Detroit EITC, Warren IBEW Local 219, Iron Mountain IBEW Local 498, Traverse City LEJATC, Lansing
MinnesotaIBEW Local 343, Rochester IBEW Local 242, Duluth IBEW Local 1189, Duluth Minnesota Statewide Limited Energy JATC, Fridley St. Paul JATC, St. Paul
MississippiIBEW Local 917, Meridian IBEW Local 852, Corinth Jackson JATC, Jackson IBEW Local 903, Gulfport and Hattiesburg
MissouriLocal #1, St. Louis St. Louis JATC, St. Louis IBEW Local 257, Jefferson City Joplin JATC, Joplin IBEW Local 453, Springfield Kansas City JATC, Kansas City Local 545, St. Joseph
MontanaMontana JATC , Helena
NebraskaLincoln JATC, Lincoln OJEATC, Omaha
NevadaJATC of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas Northern Nevada Electrical Training Center, Reno
New HampshireConcord JATC, Concord
New JerseyIBEW Local 456, North Brunswick IBEW Local 351, Folsom IBEW Local 102, Parsippany IBEW Local 269, Trenton IBEW Local 400, East Wall IBEW Local 164, Paramus
New MexicoNew Mexico JATC, Albuquerque
New YorkCentral New York ETA, Clay JIBEI, Flushing Elmira JATC, Elmira Tri-City JATC, Latham IBEW Local 41, Orchard Park IBEW Local 237, Niagara Falls IBEW Local 3, Westchester IEJATC of Ithaca NY, Ithaca IBEW Local 840, Geneva IBEW Local 325, Binghamton Long Island Electrical JATC, Hauppauge Rochester JATC, Rochester IBEW Local 106, Jamestown Local Union 363, Harriman EJATC of Watertown NY, Watertown
North CarolinaIBEW Local 553, Raleigh/Durham Carolinas Electrical Training Institute, Charlotte Asheville JATC, Asheville
North DakotaDakotas JATC, Fargo
OhioToledo JATC, Rossford IBEW Local 1105, Nashport IBEW Local 129, Lorain Butler Co. JATC, Hamilton IBEW Local 82, Dayton IBEW Local 306, Akron Youngstown Area JATC, Youngstown The Electrical Trades Center, Columbus IBEW Local 38, Cleveland Electrical Trades Center of Greater Stark County, Massillon IBEW Local 673, Mentor Marietta Electrical JATC, Reno IBEC, NECA Electrical Training Center, Cincinnati Lima JATC, Lima IBEW Local 575, Piketon Electrical Trades Institute of Northeast Ohio, Warren IBEW Local 246, Steubenville
OklahomaWestern Oklahoma Electrical Training, Oklahoma City Tulsa JATC, Tulsa
OregonLU112 JATC, Kennewick, WA General Electrical Training Center, Tangent IBEW Local 932, North Bend NECA IBEW Electrical Training Center, Portland Crater Lake JATC, Central Point Southwest Idaho Training Center, Boise
PennsylvaniaIBEW Local 812, Montoursville IBEW Local 375, Allentown Northeastern JATC, Douglassville Western Central Pennsylvania JATC, Neshannock Township IBEW Local 607, Shamokin IBEW Local 81, Scranton IBEW Local 743, Reading IBEW Local 654, Boothwyn York Electricians Apprenticeship and Training, York IBEW Local 163, Wilkes-Barre Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry, Philadelphia Harrisburg Electricians JATC, Harrisburg Western Pennsylvania JATC, Pittsburgh
Puerto RicoIBEW Local 950, Dorado
Rhode IslandIBEW Local 99, Cranston
South CarolinaIBEW Local 776, Charleston
South DakotaDakotas JATC, Fargo, ND
TennesseeElectrician Training Academy Knoxville, Knoxville Oak Ridge JATC, Oak Ridge Chattanooga Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Center, Chattanooga Nashville JATC, Nashville Memphis JATC, Memphis
TexasWest Texas JATC, Amarillo IBEW Local 301, Nash El Paso JATC, El Paso Houston JATC, Houston Local Union 72, Waco North Texas JATC, Grand Prairie South Texas JATC, San Antonio Beaumont JATC, Nederland Texas Gulf Coast Electrical Apprenticeship, Corpus Christi Galveston JATC, Texas City IBEW Local 1015, McAllen The Austin Electrical Training Alliance, Austin Local Union 681, Wichita Falls
UtahUtah Electrical Training, West Jordan
VermontVermont Electrical JATC, South Burlington
VirginiaRichmond JATC, Ashland IBEW Local 1340, Newport News
WashingtonSouthwest Washington JATC, Tacoma Northwest Washington JATC, Mount Vernon Puget Sound Electrical Apprenticeship, Renton LU112 JATC, Kennewick Inland Empire JATC, Spokane
West VirginiaIBEW Local 141, Wheeling IBEW Local 317, Huntington IBEW Local 968, Parkersburg Charleston JATC, Charleston IBEW Local 596, Clarksburg
WisconsinLacrosse Area JATC, Lacrosse Wisconsin River Valley JATC, Madison South-Central Wisconsin JATC, Janesville Racine Area JATC, Madison Northeast Wisconsin JATC, Madison Milwaukee Electrical JATC, Greenfield Madison Area JATC, Wauwatosa Kenosha Area JATC, Madison Eau Clair Area JATC, Madison Appleton/Osh Kosh Area JATC, Madison
WyomingWyoming JATC, Casper

What to Expect from Your Apprenticeship

As an apprentice, you will be continuously engaged in learning, even as you assist a journeyperson or master electrician in their day-to-day duties. As you begin your career, you should expect to do a lot of heavy lifting, including carrying supplies to and from a job site. However, as you progress through your apprenticeship and learn more skills, you will become more involved in performing electrical work. You may even begin to work with less and less supervision as you approach the final years of apprenticeship.

Along with on-the-job training, apprentice electricians will be required to attend some classroom training, in which you will learn the skills you need to apply on the job site. Some skills that apprentices will need to learn include how to maintain and troubleshoot wiring systems, how to read blueprints, how to connect circuit breakers, how to work with motors and controls and how to install wires, transformers and cables. It will also be essential to gain an in-depth knowledge of the building codes used in your area, as these are very heavily included on journey- and master-level examinations.

Career Potential: Moving from Apprentice to Master

Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will be able to progress to the next stages of your career. Although the requirements may vary from state to state, generally this means spending at least two years as a journeyperson before finally qualifying to become a master electrician. In most places, you will need to take an examination at each stage in order to earn your qualifications. 

Each stage of your career will come with increased opportunities for earning. According to Payscale.com, apprentice electricians make an average hourly wage of $15.43. Their journeyman counterparts make around $25.56, while master electricians bring in an average of $29.14 per hour. As you continue up the ladder, you will also have increased opportunities for profit-sharing, commissions and bonuses. In addition, master electricians are the only electricians who can work without supervision and own a contracting company, meaning the potential for wages may be even higher if this is a path you are planning to choose.