While there are many paths to becoming a certified electrician, the comprehensive IBEW apprenticeship program is renowned for its ability to instill the advanced knowledge and skills required to succeed in today’s industry.

Through the Electrical Alliance, IBEW’s training affiliate, IBEW invests $180 million each year in the development and delivery of their apprenticeship training program. This investment is necessary to ensure a stable pool of IBEW journeymen and women, capable of performing at the highest level on the job.

The five-year, 9,000-hour apprenticeship program is a paid internship which includes both classroom and on-the-job skills development. While the IBEW apprentice program is nationally standardized, curriculum is delivered regionally through coordination with various Union Locals.

The IBEW apprenticeship program in Knoxville, Tenn., is a good example of the program in action.

The Electrician Training Academy at Knoxville is home to the IBEW Knoxville apprenticeship program. While many people apply to this apprenticeship program each year, only a limited number of applicants are accepted into the program. Once accepted into the program, the apprentice commits to a challenging and rewarding five-year program where they benefit from instruction provided by a team of IBEW electrical professionals.

Inside the training academy, apprentices learn the theory and technical skills required to be successful electricians. Certified instructors teach electrical theory inside fully equipped classrooms, while labs allow hands-on skill development in a safe and controlled environment. Each apprentice receives 180 hours of class room instruction during their apprenticeship period.

While very valuable, the classroom instruction accounts for only a small portion of the total training hours. The majority of the apprentices’ time is spent engaged in on-the-job learning. Here, the apprentice practices their skills alongside IBEW members eager to share their knowledge. As the apprentice progresses through their training, they receive higher wages and are given opportunities to master new skills.

At the end of the five-year apprenticeship, the apprentice is well qualified to pass licensing exams and is eligible to become a full IBEW member. IBEW membership confers significant advantages, including well recognized credentials, above industry average wages, health and dental benefits and the camaraderie of being part of the largest electrical union in the nation. If this sounds right for you, contact your local IBEW chapter to learn more about apprenticeship programs in your area.

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