FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an apprenticeship?
- Apprenticeship requires a signed agreement between you and the Richmond Electricians' JATC (RJATC) which ensures quality training on-the-job and in the classroom. In an apprenticeship, you literally earn while you learn. As you advance through your training, you will receive predetermined pay increases. No surprises! No empty promises!
- Not all education and training programs pay you to learn. However, we not only compensate you while you are learning on-the-job, we guarantee promotions to apprentices who keep their grades up, attend classes, and work well on-the-job. As you develop more complex job skills and improve your knowledge, you receive your just reward in the form of pay increases.
- In signing an apprentice agreement, you commit to participating in classroom-related training as well as on-the-job training. You are expected to be at your assigned job, on time every day - alert, ready and willing to learn as you work. You learn by doing. Your on-the-job training is supervised by a qualified journeyman electrician. Qualified competent journeyman stand ready to teach deserving apprentices. We do not limit our training to teaching individuals to simply perform manual labor - we are training men and women to become the best electricians the job market has to offer.
How much will I be paid during my apprenticeship?
- The apprentice pay scale is predetermined based on a contract (known as a collective bargaining agreement or a CBA) between IBEW Local Union 666 and the Atlantic Coast NECA Chapter. The IBEW and NECA agree on the hourly wage that Inside Journeyman Wireman Electricians will earn per hour. The apprentice pay scale is an increasing percentage of the Inside Journeyman Wireman wage. Once an apprentice graduates from the program, they will make the Inside Journeyman Wireman wage rate. The following table is subject to change. Please contact us for specific wage information.
as of March 1, 2023
||Percentage of Journeyworker Rate
||Minimum Accumulative OJT Hours
||Hourly Pay Rate
|| 1st Year of School Completed
|| 2nd Year of School Completed
|| 3rd Year of School Completed
|| 4th Year of School Completed
|| 5th Year of School Completed
How much does the RJATC apprenticeship program cost me?
- There is a $20.00 processing fee (which covers the aptitude test) that must be paid when you come in to turn in the required documents. Those who are accepted into the program will be responsible for purchasing the required textbooks and online course session fees at the beginning of each semester that will be needed for your classes. There will be severe consequences of not paying fees on registration day. The annual cost for books and fees will be $1200. This is subject to change.
- Apprentices will also be required to purchase work boots, basic tools and have an up-to-date windows based laptop for classwork and homework.
What is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)?
- The IBEW is the largest electrical union in the world. The IBEW represents workers' rights in all areas of the electrical industry. The IBEW represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads, and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and stands out among the American unions in the AFL-CIO because it is among the largest and has members in so many skilled occupations. As union members, we bargain collectively with our employers over wages, benefits, and rights. Most of us have very limited bargaining power as one person, but as a group, we are strong. And, with a good negotiated contract, we have legal protection we would not have otherwise.
- IBEW offices throughout the country are called "locals" or "local unions" because they locally represent electrical workers in a particular region. The RJATC is the training organization sponsored jointly by the IBEW Local Union 666 in partnership with the Atlantic Coast Chapter of NECA in order to recruit and train the next generation of union journeyman electricians.
What is the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)?
- NECA is the management association for electrical contractors. Nationally, it is the voice of the $130 billion industry responsible for bringing electrical power, lighting, and communications to buildings and communities across the United States, and represents thousands of employers who guarantee their customers by doing the job right the first time. To accomplish this, they recognize the need to invest in training their current and future work force through their valued partnership with the IBEW.
- To provide the highly skilled workforce necessary to meet customer needs and insure job satisfaction for electrical workers, the IBEW and NECA sponsor the very best apprenticeship training programs available anywhere in the country.
Is there more than one type of electrician?
- Yes, there are several. However, not every Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) across the country offers training in every type.
- Examples include:
- Residential wiremen specialize in home building (this location does not offer residential training).
- Outside linemen construct and maintain substations and transmission lines which bring power to our communities (this location does not offer outside linemen training). They ensure that electrical power is properly distributed from power plant generation facilities to end-users. They are responsible for the installation and maintenance of all types of power transmission and distribution systems for industrial, commercial, and residential markets.
- Inside Wireman - While the Outside Lineman works on the distribution network, bringing power from sources of generation to the customers, the Inside Wireman's job is to distribute and connect the customer's electrical equipment to that power source. The Inside Wireman installs and maintains all of the various types of electrical systems found in commercial and industrial facilities. Equipment used may include lighting, receptacles, motors, fire alarms, heating equipment, and systems that control the operation of all of a facility's energy usage. The Inside Wireman installs conduit systems that contain the wire from the motor control centers or panel boards to all of the equipment that uses electricity. Those conduits may contain power cables or control cables. Many of the conduit systems are exposed and must be installed to exacting standards using neat and workmanlike craftsmanship. The work of an Inside Wireman can vary. One day they could be installing a fire alarm system or security system in a high rise building and the next day he or she could be installing conduits in a ditch on the outside of the building. They also install electrical systems in industrial facilities such as chemical plants, power plants, data centers, and cigarette-making plants. Each type of installation has specific electrical needs and systems to support those needs. While there are many tasks associated with the Inside Wireman classification, the apprenticeship training provides all of the knowledge necessary. The Richmond Electricians' JATC specializes in developing Inside Wiremen.
What kind of benefits do union electrical Journeyworkers and apprentices receive?
- IBEW union members and apprentices working with union employers are provided fringe benefits unmatched by other employers. Health and Welfare benefits along with local and national retirement plans provide security for you and your family during your working years. Furthermore, these plans allow you to enjoy a dignified retirement following a very productive and rewarding career.
I have previous training/experience as an electrician. Do I still have to go through the apprenticeship program?
- Previous electrical schooling or training may help you qualify for the apprenticeship program. As a technical school graduate or military veteran, with training in the electrical field, you may be a good candidate for one of our programs!
- For those with previous work experience, you may qualify for on-the-job credit hours that will reduce the length of time required to complete the apprenticeship program. Rather than four years of OJT hours required, an individual may only have to complete two or three years. However, documentation will be required in order to be considered for advanced standing in the program.
How do I qualify for the Richmond Electricians' JATC (RJATC) apprenticeship program?
- We are seeking men and women who demonstrate the best characteristics, aptitude, motivation and personality traits conducive to success in our trade. The JATC does not, and will not, discriminate against an apprentice or applicant, or any other participant in JATC programs and services, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, age (40 or older), genetic information, or disability with regard to any aspect of its apprenticeship program, including but not limited to recruitment, outreach, and selection procedures; grading, assessment, and advancement; on-the-job opportunities and assignments; rates of pay; imposition of penalties or other disciplinary action and termination; and any other benefit, term, condition, or privilege associated with apprenticeship.
- A good candidate is one with a record of having done well in school, especially in math and science, one who has demonstrated reliability, responsibility and a sincere desire to succeed, and one who has a positive attitude and a desire to work hard.
- Don't be influenced by those who see the electrical construction trade as an occupation requiring only a strong back and a weak mind. The electrical trades are far more technical and specialized than any other construction trade, and has one of the highest earning potentials.
- No experience is necessary to qualify.
- Visit our Application Information page for specifics regarding qualifications.