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#59132 - 11/28/05 02:47 PM Union/Apprenticeship Questions
BBrubaker Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 1
Loc: San Antonio, Texas, USA
I'm a 28 year old student looking into trying out an electrical apprenticeship program. I've found out a lot about the general structure of most apprenticeships...(4years, 8000 hours OJT, 140 Classroom)but am curious what the 'rules' are within various unions.
Do (most) unions require you to work a certain amount of hours a month? or else what?
I must say, I'm a bit bewildered by the thought of endless 40 hour weeks without end. forever and ever. am I being lazy?

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#59133 - 11/28/05 04:58 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Well, I can't speak for other unions and I can't even speak for other locals of the IBEW, but the local I belong to is not interested in anyone becoming an apprentice that can't work fulltime and put in the required classroom hours. Our local covers a lot of territory and most of it doesn't have a 4 lane highway, so it can be a real challenge for apprentices to make it from work to class & then home in time to catch a few ZZZ's. Those that can't make the sacrifice don't last.

Also, our local has a five year apprenticeship.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#59134 - 11/28/05 05:20 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
bot540 Offline

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Vernon Hills, IL
You sound alot like my brother. He went to school to avoid working. Working 40 hours a week is life. Unless you're fortunate to have lots of money.
Jesus may have been a capenter,but God was an electrician.Genesis1:3

#59135 - 11/28/05 05:29 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
LK Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
"Also, our local has a five year apprenticeship."

Tom, not only the five years but 10 or 12 hours a day plus weekends, the regular week was 37 1/2 hours and i can't remember anyone working less then 50 or 60 hours a week.

Sounds like this trade, may just not be his cup of tea.

#59136 - 11/28/05 05:59 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
An endless parade of 40 hour weeks? I WISH!!!!

Have no will spend plenty of time laid off, delayed by weather, between jobs, etc. There will be many times you will PRAY the next week is 40 hours!

Now, it's not like every day is part of an endless parade of repeating the same task over...and over...and over. Indeed, electrical work has a larger variety of tasks, and requires more thought, than almost any other trade. It is also a great springboard into numerous allied fields.

The "Good Book" says that mans' days will be spent in toil...get used to it. I am afraid that we supply our youth with such a stream of endless stimulation that they grow up thinking it is the function of the world to entertain them.

If I had to offer some "career advice," I think you might one day be a good electrician.....but you are in desperate need of a hitch in the army first!

#59137 - 11/28/05 06:08 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Believe me, the 40 hour weeks are no problem in the long run.

As stated earlier, you may end up wishing for a forty hour week because on the flip side, I have done 49 straight 12 hour days, and many 50 hour or more weeks in my career.

So don't worry, the "40 week" may not be and endless journey.


#59138 - 11/28/05 06:22 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
lamplighter Offline

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 101
Loc: Clawson,Michigan,USA
My local is pretty well dead in the water right now. It's so slow that the apprentices are failing the journeymans exam on purpose when they "top out".
Getting your license up here right now means being laid-off as a journeyman and the apprentices are all working.
The one thing I can say is that electrical is no trade to get into just to "try it".
It requires extensive training and continuing education just to get your license and keep it valid. It's a trade in which you will never stop learning new tricks and theories. If you must work with your hands, it's about as good a trade as there is but, I hope my son does better than to pull wire and run pipe on a daily basis.
As for the apprentice program here, the apprentices do their class work on weekdays (friday) and it's up to the contractor whether or not they get paid for the school time. most contractors are more than willing to pay them for the training.
Also, all apprentices "rotate" atleast every six months to different contractors.
This ensures that they get a wide scope of different types of electrical work under their belt. All in all, it's a solid program.

#59139 - 11/28/05 06:35 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Endless 40 hour weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At his age, I cannot believe I read that.

" I am afraid that we supply our youth with such a stream of endless stimulation that they grow up thinking it is the function of the world to entertain them."
Reno, I am afraid there may be some truth to that.

To add to this,
My daughter in college has a parttime job, that to this guy would probably too many hours.
My other daughter is in high school, and she is afraid the school will find out she is working more hours than permitted for high school students. And her grades are good enough to get her into a good college... maybe the world is not coming to an end just yet

[This message has been edited by PCBelarge (edited 11-28-2005).]
Pierre Belarge

#59140 - 11/28/05 07:15 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I work at least a 40 hour work week. Usually about 50 after paperwork and travel time in the company van. I almost always work for myself on Saturdays and I'm also going to tech-school. It's a pain in the ash but if you want to get anywhere in this trade you have to put your time in. But that's like any job I suppose.

#59141 - 11/28/05 07:58 PM Re: Union/Apprenticeship Questions
LoneGunman Offline

Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Florida
28 years old and you are worried about 40 hour weeks, have you ever worked full time? I don't mean this as an insult but maybe it will stop you from wasting your time and the time others would put in to teach you, I don't think you'd get too far in this field. In fact an apprentice of ours just quit who sounds a little like your self.

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