The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) jointly sponsor apprenticeship training programs that offer you the opportunity to earn wages and benefits and while you learn, the skills needed for a trade that can be both challenging and rewarding. You literally Earn-While-You-Learn. As an apprentice, you will have the chance to use your mind, as well as your physical skills, to complete work in a variety of settings with the constant opportunity to learn something new.

The Idaho Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) invites you to check out the opportunities available to you. Applications are accepted at the JATC office from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday.

The following information is intended to help you make an informed decision about whether or not you would like to pursue an electrical apprenticeship. It is presented in two parts: Learning About Electrical Work and how the application process works.

  1. Learning About Electrical Work provides information about the work done in different electrical work specialties and the abilities those specialties require. It contains an abilities checklist you can compare to determine whether or not electrical work suits you.
  2. Applying For Apprenticeship provides information about qualification requirements and the application process.


What is it like to work in the electrical industry?

There are three primary specialties in electrical work:

  1. Inside Wireman – primarily performs electrical construction work in commercial and industrial settings.
  2. Outside Lineman – primarily performs electrical work for transmission and distribution of electrical energy.
  3. Residential Wireman – perform electrical construction work in residential settings.

By far, Inside Wireman is the largest for the three electrical work specialties. Nationally, the Inside Wireman position has over 200,000 Journeymen and apprentices who are members of the IBEW. Just as important, though fewer in numbers are the Outside Lineman and Residential Wireman.

Training programs vary in length for the three electrical work specialties. Inside Wireman apprenticeship programs are five years; Residential Wireman training takes three years.


Inside Wireman install conduit, electrical wiring, fixtures and electrical apparatus inside commercial buildings and in a multitude of industrial settings.

Major duties for Inside Wireman include:

In performing these duties, Inside Wireman must use many different kinds of tools, ranging from simple one and two-handed tools (such as wire cutters, screwdrivers and cable-cutters) to power-assisted tools like electric drills and cable pullers. They occasionally operate heavy equipment such as trenchers and aerial lifts.

Over the course of the five year Inside Wiremen apprenticeship program, apprentices must acquire a wealth of technical knowledge. A recent job analysis identified 83 specific areas that are important for successful job performance. A few of the most important ones are knowledge of:


Electrical work can be challenging, complex, physically demanding, and very rewarding. We have found that applicants who have not worked on construction projects, received training, or who do not have friends or relatives in the industry are often unfamiliar with the wide range of tasks electrical workers perform, or the skills needed today to be a successful electrical worker. The NJATC has prepared the following checklist to help prospective applicants measure their interest in day-to-day electrical work, and whether they will have the ability to succeed at the completion of their apprenticeship.

Thirty-five core abilities important for electrical workers are listed below. In a few cases, you might be unsure about your capability, especially if you have not worked with blueprints or technical documents. Consider your interest and capability based upon similar activities, such as automotive repair.

  1. add, subtract, multiply and divide and use algebraic formulas
  2. read complex technical documents written in English
  3. develop alternative solutions to a problem and choose the best alternative
  4. communicate in writing with others
  5. read and understand graphs, charts and diagram
  6. plan and organize tasks to meet deadlines
  7. understand how an electrical or mechanical systems works
  8. picture the way a construction project will appear before it is finished
  9. be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable without close supervision
  10. remain calm in an emergency situation
  11. communicate orally with others in English
  12. work smoothly with others as a team to complete a task
  13. maintain good relations with others in a work setting
  14. discriminate between colors
  15. understand verbal instructions and warnings, given in English
  16. hear warning signals
  17. maintain balance and perform construction tasks while on a ladder
  18. coordinate body movements when using tools or equipment
  19. reach and stretch to position equipment and fixtures while maintaining balance
  20. bend or twist the body into unusual positions while working
  21. traverse irregular surfaces while maintaining balance
  22. perform physical tasks all day without becoming overly tired
  23. use hands to manipulate small wires and objects
  24. work with both hands
  25. operate two-handed power equipment
  26. regularly lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds
  27. on occasion, lift objects weighing over 50 pounds
  28. carry objects weighing up to 50 pounds for short distances
  29. apply muscular force quickly to objects and equipment
  30. push, or pull, heavy objects into position
  31. climb ladders and poles up to 25 feet in height
  32. work at heights
  33. work in extreme hot and cold temperature conditions
  34. work in a noisy environment
  35. work at depths, such as in trenches, man holes or deep vertical shafts

A particular employer might not require every one of these abilities for every electrical worker, and the importance of each ability may vary by the type of electrical job or employer, and the level of experience. Many electrical contractors are required by federal or state law to consider making reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified employees with disabilities, and in some cases accommodations might be available. Our research has shown, however, that these abilities are significant on most job sites, and they are all usually needed in order to perform the essential functions of the job of an electrical worker. That is why all of these abilities, and others, are usually viewed by the NJATC as necessary to successful completion of any electrical apprenticeship program.

If you feel you have many of the listed abilities, you may be well-suited for electrical work. If you do not feel you have relatively few abilities, or were unsure about them, you should take steps to learn more about electrical work. The fact that you do not have or cannot acquire a particular ability does not prevent you from applying for the apprenticeship programs, but it could present a problem during your training and/or on the job. Some preparatory steps you can take include:

Learning more about the work done by electrical workers will help you determine how well suited you are for a career in electrical construction.

There are a few costs you should consider such as:

Apprentices are provided with good wages and benefits, which include

Sample wages and benefits based of Journeyman rate of 28.40 per hr.

(*All figures are approximate and subject to change)
% of
1st Term (45%)0-1000$12.82 hr$ 6.15 hr$18.97 hr
2nd Term (50%)1001-2000$14.24 hr$6.15 hr$20.39 hr
3rd Term (55%)2001-3500$15.66 hr$8.50 hr$24.16 hr
4th Term (60%)3501-5000$17.09 hr$8.70 hr$25.79 hr
5th Term (70%)5001-6500$19.94 hr$9.13 hr$29.07 hr
6th Term (80%)6501-8000$22.78 hr$9.55 hr$32.33 hr

A Note to Those with Disabilities

We recognize and comply with our obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to not discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities.

If you are a person with a physical or mental impairment (including learning disabilities) that you believe may affect your ability to complete any aspect of the application process (including testing) and if you need an accommodation to ensure that the test battery accurately measure your skills and abilities, please notify the AJATC/JATC, as soon as possible, and no later than upon receipt of notification that you are scheduled to the NJATC test battery. Accommodation requests given on the test day cannot be addressed on that day. In most cases, you will need to provide:

  1. documentation of your disability and
  2. documentation of the need for a particular accommodation.

Your request will be considered promptly.

How do I start the application process?

Application Process

Apprentice Applicant Appeals Procedure

If you feel you have been unjustly treated with regards to selection for our apprenticeship program you may appeal the committee's decision. Any appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of the date of notification to the applicant regarding the JATC's decision concerning application for apprenticeship.

Please send appeals in writing to:

Apprentice Applicant Appeals Committee IBEW Local 291
225 N 16th St. Suite 110
Boise, Idaho 83702-5187

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