Electrician Apprenticeship Prerequisites
Here are the prerequisites you are required to have before you can apply for an Electrical Apprenticeship:
- In most states you need to be at least 18 years old at the start of training
- You must be a high school graduate and be able to produce a registered transcript or have your GED.
- Must have completed one year (2 semesters) of high school Algebra and attained at least a "C". See below for the reason Algebra is so important.
- You must be able to pass Substance Abuse Testing. Drug use is not tolerated in the trades as your actions can injury or kill not only yourself but fellow workers around you. The cost of this test will be up to you to pay.
- you will most likely have to write the NJATC or equivalent test which is a general aptitude test that measures your ability in algebra and reading comprehension.
- You might also be asked to take a physical test to ensure you have the physical capabilities to meet the needs of the trade.
- You will be interviewed as part of the application process.
There are a few other things to consider if you want to become an electrician.
- Are you color blind? For this trade you cannot be as wire colors are a big part of the job.
- Do you have good mechanical aptitude and hand eye coordination?
- Do you have a valid Driver's License and reliable transportation to school and to the job site?
- Would you enjoy working in various climate conditions including heat, rain or snow? Bad weather is just part of the job and has to be accepted.
- Would you be able to work in confined spaces? Crawl spaces, attics and other very small areas are typical work sites for Electricians.
- Would you be able to tolerate working at heights that would require using a ladder, scaffolding or aerial lift? This is a major part of the job. Electricity is run all through buildings including the very highest points for lighting.
- Can you work alone and or as part of a team? During periods in your career you will be working alone for long periods and during other times working part of a team will be a constant challenge. The ability to get along with others and remain calm in stressful situations is a must. As a Journeyman a lot will be riding on your shoulders; proper safety procedures, proper apprentice training, job site progress that meets tight schedules, troubleshooting complex problems under production pressure. These are just a few of the challenges you will face.
Why is Math So Important in the Electrical Trade.
Electricity is physics and physics is math. During your entire apprenticeship you will be calculating and solving a ton of technical problems. Electricity is not something you can see so you must use math to determine what your physical requirements are.
- How big must the wire be?
- How far can you run this wire?
- What is the power requirements of each device that electricity will run.
- What service (how big of a breaker box you need) is required for new or renovated construction.
- What voltage drop will you have across a load.
- What size of transformer or motor will you need.