What Are the Best Electrician Apprenticeships in Massachusetts?

There are two major certification programs for aspiring electricians in Massachusetts: the IBEW Union Electrical Apprenticeship and the IEC of New England non-union Apprenticeship. Both provide students with the required on-the-job training and classroom hours for completion, but they also have a few key differences. 

We compare the two programs below to help you decide which electrician apprenticeship in Massachusetts suits you. 

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Boston JATC IBEW Union Apprenticeship 

This program is a joint training apprenticeship offered by the National Contractors Association of Boston and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. 

During your course of study, you’ll work full-time on job sites and attend classroom training once per week. You’ll receive full pay for your work and, upon completion, you’ll become a union electrician in the Boston area. Plus, your certification is accredited by certain federal agencies, like the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Program Highlights

  • Well-paid on-the-job training with the ability to receive raises
  • Opportunity to work on impactful Boston projects
  • Unlimited opportunities to advance in your career
  • Full health insurance
  • Pension plan options
  • Higher wages after graduation
  • Access to an expansive network of union electricians like yourself
  • Job security


Applicants must meet the following qualifications: 

  • 18+ years of age
  • High school diploma/GED
  • At least one year of high school algebra (or equivalent)
  • A resident of the Greater Metropolitan Boston
  • Communication skills
  • A high score on the aptitude tests

IEC of New England Non-Union Apprenticeship

If interested in an independent electrician apprenticeship in Massachusetts, then the IEC program is the best bet. 

This intensive work-study apprenticeship consists of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 720 classroom hours. If you’re interested in branching out from the Massachusetts area, the IEC of New England gives you this opportunity as your employment is not bound to a union. 

Program Highlights

  • 4-year program
  • Paid OJT with an opportunity for raises
  • Certification valid nationally and locally
  • Offers 40 college credits for 4-year colleges
  • Welcomes transfer students
  • Progress monitoring


To gain acceptance to this program, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements: 

  • 18+ years old
  • Able to commit to full-time work schedule and classroom hours
  • Able to attend a mandatory orientation
  • Ability to commute to campus

What is the Best?

Choosing the best electrician apprenticeship in Massachusetts will depend on your personal needs and career goals. 

If you’d like to guarantee union benefits and plan on staying in the Boston area, then consider the JATC IBEW program. But, if you want the additional freedoms offered to non-union contractors, consider spending your time with the IEC of New England program.


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