I have an interview later this week for apprenticeship at my local union. I looked up my local union on ibew.org and I read this "currently there are 30 on Book I and 5 on Book II. Work is slow.". Can anyone tell me what this means? can anyone tell me what type of questions they may ask at the interview? Do apprentice work a steady 40 hours?
Apprentices are usually kept busy for several reasons. For starters, you're cheap labor for the contractor and the local wants to keep you busy so that you will gain the experience needed to fulfill the requirements to become a journeyman.
Book 1 is the out of work book for journeyman members of the local (apprentices do not sign this book). Book 2 is usually for those that are not members of the local (usually traveling brothers) . Work is dispatched Book 1 first and if the call is not filled, then people from Book 2 are dispatched.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
If work is slow with 30 on book 1 then you must have a very small local. In mine 30 on book 1 is basically full employment. In larger locals like, Los Angel-es for instance, you could have as many as 4 or 500 on book 1 and still have you pick of calls. The reason for this is all the people that ride the book that really do not want to work. They may be working out of town, they may be working another job for a government agency of out of the trade. The rules have changed recently to keep the books rolling over but I have not seen much difference in the numbers yet.
Tom, I agree, There is always something to do. Flaco, I'm not looking to get into a Union argument here, but did you apply for any jobs outside of the local?. As in Apprenticeships?. Before the Internet, I called a rep daily (while I was a Fire-fighter) to see if there was in fact an opening as an Apprentice. Turns out I wasted my time. I shifted towns and almost walked into a job. Don't wait mate!. I'm a Line-man/Electrician these days, you think I got that way waiting?. Get into it!!!.
Unless you live in or near a large city, you would be unlikely to find a certified apprenticeship program involving non-union shops.
Though it seems like just the other day when I was an apprentice, so much time has elapsed that i don't remember what I was asked in my interview. I kow that the local i am currently a member of does ask if you have any problem with working out of town and if you anticipate any problems attending class. Around here, you miss class without a really good reason, you're history.
Why do you want to be an electrician? caught me off guard. I mentioned different jobs daily, working with my hands and head. I would mention mechanical abilities any where you can squeeze it in. I think tattoos and face piercings don't get any pluses.