(Part 3) 12 Reasons to Become a Union Electrician. Excellent pay and no experience necessary

Help Wanted: Electrical contractors seek candidate 18 years or older with a driver’s license, high school diploma (or GED) and some basic algebra and reading comprehension skills. Make $50,000 a year – no experience needed.

Sounds pretty good, right?

For many non-college graduates, “decent paying” jobs can be hard to come by. But for those with a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and a drug-free lifestyle, a career as a union electrician might be a great fit.

Excellent pay and benefits

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the median annual wage for electricians was $51,880 in May 2015. In Ohio, it was $51,190, or the equivalent of $24.61 per hour. That’s a pretty good living.

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Excellent career opportunities abound for the right candidates as a union electrician apprentice.

How do you make that happen? Many electricians start out as apprentices in order to gain experience and learn the trade, while getting paid.

As of December 2015, first-year apprentices in the Warren and Youngstown JATCs started at more than $11 per hour plus benefits, and are eligible for raises roughly after every 1,000 hours of on-the-job-training and with satisfactory scholastic performance.

Apprentices are enrolled in a health and welfare plan, which is employer-funded. After a probationary period, apprentices can also enroll in a pension program, which is also employer-funded.

No prior experience necessary

You might be thinking: “OK, the money sounds great, but I have no experience with electricity other than changing a light bulb.”

You don’t need experience. You just need to be willing to learn and make it your career. In order to meet the minimum requirements for the Youngstown Area or Warren JATC electrician apprenticeship program, applicants must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age (to apply)
  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED, or have at least a two-year associate’s degree
  • Provide a high school diploma or official transcript for high school and post-secondary education and training or an official copy of a GED certificate and transcripts, if applicable
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Meet minimum requirements by taking a math and reading aptitude test

For more information on becoming an electrical apprentice, see videos of some of NECA-IBEW Electricians’ current and past apprentices, or apply online with the Warren or Youngstown JATCs.