Apprenticeship training has been around a long, long time. Since the middle ages! Apprenticeship training is defined as a person who works for another in order to learn a trade. Today, participating in a registered apprenticeship program allows an individual to learn a trade or craft while being paid. Most apprenticeship programs (including IEC’s) consist of a combination of work and related academic instruction.
IEC-Dakotas program works like this: An individual interested in becoming an electrical apprentice would contact either IEC Dakotas or one of its contractor-members and express an interest in becoming an apprentice. Upon being hired by a licensed electrical contractor, the apprentice would begin working as an apprentice under the watchful eye of a journeyperson electrician. At this point, the electrical contractor will enroll the new employee/student in the Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship program. Each employer has their own set of “standards” on file with the state and federal government. These standards describe in detail when pay raises will occur, what the pay scale is, what’s required to receive the raises, and lays out a variety of job skills that will be taught over the next 4 years. Once the student is enrolled in the DOL program, they will get registered in IEC’s Apprentice Training Program. This is a formal academic training program that involves reading, homework, quizzes, lectures, discussions, and hands-on labs. This training takes 4 years to complete and occurs once each week from approximately September until May. This formalized training program covers all aspects of electrical construction and helps to prepare students for success on the Journeyman’s Exam-a test administered by each State to determine if an electrician is worthy of receiving the rank of “Journeyman” (or journeywoman or journeyperson!) After 4 years of fieldwork (8,000 hours of hands-on work) and at least 576 hours of academic instruction, the apprentice is qualified to sit for the exam and move on to becoming a licensed journeyperson electrician. Both the Federal Department of Labor and IEC Dakotas provide certificates to the graduates that are recognized nation-wide.
One of the big benefits of apprenticeship is that students can earn a full-time salary while they learn a new profession. Almost all IEC students graduate from our program with no student debt.