The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee has launched the website ElectricPrep.com to help applicants prepare for application to a NECA-IBEW Apprenticeship. This website offers courses on resume writing, review for the aptitude test, and interview preparation as well as free courses that describe the electrical industry. Completion of these courses is optional.
*The aptitude test is administered to applicants to the Inside Electrician and the Limited Energy Technician apprenticeship programs*
If you have submitted a qualifying application you will receive a testing date and time for your aptitude test, which will be scheduled approximately one month following your application. You will receive a booklet with a sample test and you can access it here.
The Algebra and Functions section entails 33 questions within 46 minutes. The Reading Comprehension section consists of 36 questions within 51 minutes. There will be a short break between the two sections. There are no penalties for guessing. Your score will be based on the number of items you answer correctly. You will not be allowed to use a calculator for the test.
If you will need special accommodations during the test make arrangements with the training center as soon as you receive your aptitude test date.
Tests are scored by an independent facility. The training center will receive the results up to two to four weeks after you test and you will then be notified of the results by mail. If you receive a qualifying score on the test battery you will be scheduled for an oral interview approximately one month following your aptitude test. If you do not obtain a qualifying score on the test battery you must wait six months before re-applying and re-testing.
The NJATC offers a Tech Math class through the University of Tennessee. This online math class is self-paced and begins with whole numbers and works through Boolean Algebra fundamentals.
This class offers three main benefits:
Successful completion of the class satisfies the math requirement for all of the apprenticeship programs
The class is good preparation for the aptitude test
A strong math foundation is an important key to success in the apprenticeship
The interview is a 10-minute panel interview. The panel will be made up of representatives from IBEW 48, the training center, and the National Electrical Contractors Association. Your interview score determines your rank on the ranked list of eligible candidates. Your score is valid for 2 years and you cannot reapply within that 2-year time period.
Re-interviews are conducted quarterly – March, June, September, and December.
Paperwork and supporting documentation must be submitted to the front office by the first business day of the month prior (February, May, August, November).
The committee shall consider a request for a re-interview from the Ranked Pool upon the following terms:
At least six months (180 days) has passed since the date of the initial interview and in the interim, the applicant has completed one of the following:
Gained at least 1000 hours of trade-related work experience* OR
Achieved a passing grade in post-secondary trade-related classes from an educational institution accredited by a state education agency. A combination of 2- and 3-credit classes is allowed as long as the total amount of credits equals or exceeds 6 credits. One of these classes must be electrical in nature.
*Trade-related work involves using tools or working in some sort of construction environment. This could be material handling for an electrical contractor, working for an electrical supply house, building cabinets, etc. Work experience hours should not be a continuation of previous employment in a non-electrical related type of work.
Once you have met the above-listed terms, pick up a re-interview request form at the training center. Submit the form with your supporting documentation.
Supporting Documentation Needed:
If worked 1000 hours in a trade-related field:
List of hours worked from company payroll (not from Local 48)
Letter on company letterhead from a supervisor listing job duties
If completed trade-related classes:
Transcripts from the accredited agency listing course, number of credits, and grade achieved
Copy of course descriptions from the college website or from the school on school letterhead
The committee will consider the request and determine whether or not a re-interview is justified. There is no guarantee that a re-interview will be granted.
First Impression. The interview committee is invested in the future of their industry. Enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview will go a long way. Leave yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview and to calm pre-interview nerves. A good first impression includes being calm and confident. Make your ten minutes count. Smile and practice good posture and eye contact. Avoid nervous gestures such as crossing your arms and tapping your fingers. A good way to avoid fidgeting is to fold your hands on the table.
Attire. Nice pants and a button-down shirt are appropriate. Avoid excessive cologne, perfume, jewelry, and cosmetics. Practice good hygiene and be well-groomed.
Application portfolio. The panel will review anything that you bring to your interview such as a cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, photos, and certificates. These shall be brought to the interview, not attached to your application.
Due to the rapid pace and the high volume of interviews, it is important to draw their attention to your application materials that emphasize your work ethic, ability to work under pressure, and any experience and skills that transfer to the construction industry.
Behavioral Interview Questions. These are questions like “Why should we choose you?” There are no right or wrong answers to behavioral interview questions. The interviewers are getting a sense of your past experiences and how they will translate to your role as an apprentice. Do an internet search of behavioral interview questions – this will give you an idea of what to expect. Prior to your interview, think about life events or experiences that illustrate your knowledge of the construction and electrical industries, your interest in apprenticeship, your ability to work well with others as a team, and your ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable. Now that you have a list of experiences, prepare a response for any questions that you may be asked about each one. Use the structure: Situation… Action… Result.
Situation or task – Describe the event or task, taking care to use enough detail for the interviewer to understand but not so much that you burn up a lot of time.
Action – Describe what you did to complete the task or to resolve the situation. If it was a team effort, keep the focus on what you did effectively.
Result – Conclude your answer with a description of the result of your efforts. Include lessons learned if you learned something from the situation.
Be concise but not too concise. Keep your answers positive and specific, and avoid rambling. You have ten minutes – make them count by being succinct, to the point, and focused. Avoid one or two-word answers. Ask for clarification if you don’t know how to answer a question.
IBEW Electrical Worker. Explain why becoming a union IBEW electrician or technician is important to you. The selection committee is looking for team players and leaders who have a strong desire and drive to be an asset to the IBEW workforce.
Practice. Practice interviewing with your family and friends as much as possible. The more you practice the more relaxed and confident you will be in the interview.
NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center
16021 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230