my inexperienced "helpers" start in the $10-$11 range. when they enter an apprenticeship program, they receive approx. $1.00 per year increase during their progress through the program. their big increase comes when they complete the program and pass the test for intermediate JW. this surely varies from state to state, as well as employer to employer.
There is a wide range depending on where in the country you are located. Is there anyway you can check around and see what some other electricians are paying helpers? I started out at $12/hr back in 1994, but the cost of living is high where I am from.
Rules of thumb abound, the most popular of which is 1/2 of what the co's hourly rate is, stepped down from license thru greenhorn. But even this has succumbed to the rising cost of benifits (if applicable) as well as Big Bro's cut.
Some states even dictate this, as Vermont once did, but thier recommendations equate to the average burger flipper, not incentive IMO.
If i were to do it over again, as an apprentice i'd simply sub out to a number of contractors. An apprentice can also obtain contractors insurance if your wondering (i've asked). Add in your schooling & health ins. costs for overhead and you'll still make more in 2/3 of the yr than most in the whole of it because one can live well on paper if one either understands the mechanics or hires an accountant that does.
My company starts at $9 as a rule of thumb. Some start a bit higher (I started at $10 becasue I was managing a warehouse before I started) and some lower (usually guys who claim 10+ years in trade, but the owner doesn't believe). But here in Northern VA, somewhere around 9 is about average for green help, and as Gramps said, about $1 per year completed, with some extra money tossed in if you do well as a helper, or take initiative, on the job.