Learn More About Becoming an Apprentice

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of the Construction Electrician trade.

Why apprenticeship instead of trainee?

Trainees: hold a valid Training Card from L&I but are not part of an approved Apprenticeship program.

Apprentices: also hold valid training card but are registered as an apprentice in an approved program.

Apprentice – Selection based on interview and availability of work. Many apply, but only those most qualified are chosen. Strict AA/EEO guidelines are followed.

Trainee – Anyone meeting the basic educational requirements, is working for an IEC member contractor, or willing to pay a non-member fee, can participate.

Apprentice – IEC does all it can to keep Apprentices fully employed with IEC Training Agent contractors. IEC can move Apprentices around to provide the variety of experiences needed to complete the program.

Trainee – The Trainee is responsible for finding his/her own employment with an IEC member contractor, or pays a non-member fee.

Cost of Training
Apprentice – Contractors pay a yearly Training Agent Fee and pay monthly tuition with IEC covering the cost when an apprentice is laid off. The Apprentice pays annual registration and book fees.

Trainee – The Trainee or his/her employer pays the full tuition in advance, and the employer pays an Administration Fee. The Trainee pays annual registration – slightly higher than that paid by an apprentice – and book fees.

Wages: Non-prevailing Wage Work
Apprentice – They must be paid a minimum depending on hours of experience, and the result of the IEC Journeyman Wage Survey.

Trainee – They are responsible to negotiate their own wage.

Wages: Prevailing Wage Work
Apprentice – They are paid a percentage of Prevailing Journeyman Wage as set by L&I or on Federal projects by Federal agencies.

Trainee – They must be paid full Prevailing Journeyman Wage

Apprentice – They receive a Certificate of Completion from the Washington State Apprenticeship & Training Council as well as one from the IEC of Washington Educational Training Fund.

Trainee – They receive a Certificate of Completion of the IEC of Washington training.

Testing for Journeyman Card
After 8000 hours of on-the-job training on record at L&I, both Apprentices and Trainees may test for their Journeyman Card. Apprentice hours are tracked and documented by the IEC office. Trainee hours are tracked and documented by the Trainee and their employer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Employers cannot hire both Apprentices and Trainees.
WAC 296-05-303 (4)

What are the benefits of becoming an apprentice?

Through the Apprenticeship Agreement, you, as an employee, receive supervised, structured on-the-job training combined with related technical instruction.

A progressively increasing schedule of wages is based on the journeyman hourly wage in the Construction Electrician trade. These increases occur with satisfactory progress in both related instruction and on-the-job training until wages reach 85 to 90 percent of the rate paid the journeyman Construction Electrician.

Upon completing your apprenticeship, you receive an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate and are recognized as a qualified journeyman nationwide. This Certificate is one of the oldest, most basic, and most highly portable industry credentials in use today. The Certificate is issued by a federally approved State Apprenticeship Council or Agency or, in those States not having such an agency, by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.

Who is eligible to become an apprentice?

Individuals must be age 18 years old. to be an apprentice in hazardous occupations.
Individuals must satisfy the IEC that they have the ability, aptitude, and education necessary to be successful in the Construction Electrician industry.
Credentials or documentation include a transcript of school subjects and grades, proof of age, and high school diploma or general equivalency certificate “GED”( if applicable), Social Security Card and current Driver’s License.

How do I become an Apprentice?

You may contact the IEC office or come in to obtain an Application for Apprenticeship. Applications may be picked up and/or completed on business days between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM at the IEC Administrative office in Everett. Applications are available year round. To obtain your application you will need to provide certain statistical information required by the State of Washington. You may also request an application package be sent to you by clicking here.

As part of the application process you will need to provide a birth certificate, Social Security Card, current Driver’s License, high school transcripts showing completion of at least one year of algebra with a grade of C or better, high school diploma or GED and a $35 application fee.

Once your application is complete, it will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for becoming indentured through the IEC program. If you do, you will be placed on a list of eligible applicants.

The next step is to be interviewed by the IEC and ranked among the other eligible applicants. Your ranking will determine if you are accepted as an apprentice or if you will need to reapply for further consideration. If you are accepted as an apprentice you will be placed on a referral list from which you will be referred out for placement with IEC approved training agents.

Depending on the time of year you are accepted as an apprentice, you may begin school right away or you may need to wait for a short time before beginning. School years begin in August of each year.

Have more questions?

If you would like more information or have questions about becoming an apprentice, give us a call at 800.959.2432 or email us.