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.
*We administer the aptitude test to applicants for 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, 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 comprises 36 questions within 51 minutes. There will be a brief break between the two sections. There are no penalties for guessing. Your score is based on the number of items you answer correctly. You may not 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.
An independent facility scores the tests. The training center will receive the results two to four weeks after your test and will notify you of the results. If you receive a qualifying score on the test battery, we will schedule you for an oral interview approximately one month following your aptitude test. If you do not get 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 major benefits:
- Successful completion of the class satisfies the math requirement for all 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
Khan Academy’s Algebra class is a free online class that is good for algebra review. They also have classes for reviewing math fundamentals.
The interview is a ten-minute interview in front of a panel of 4-10 representatives from IBEW Local 48, the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center, and the National Electrical Contractors Association. You may bring an application portfolio with you to the interview. They will review the transcripts and your portfolio and will ask you to answer four or five interview questions.
Your interview score determines your placement on the ranked list of eligible candidates. Your score is good for two years and you cannot reapply within that two-year period.
The training center does not have the capacity to offer mock interviews.
IBEW organizations such as the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, RENEW, and Sisters in Solidarity welcome applicants to their meetings. Meeting these union members can open possibilities for mentorship through the application process and through your career. Visit the calendar to see their meeting times.
Apprenticeship applications expire two years from the applicant’s initial interview date, per the apprenticeship standards registered with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
If an applicant re-interviews, their application will still close two years from the initial interview date. The two-year application expiration date is based on the date of the applicant’s initial interview, not the re-interview.
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 are allowed as long as the total amount of credits equals or exceeds 6 credits. One of these classes must be electrical. Click here for examples.
*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, email email@example.com to request a re-interview form. Submit the form with your supporting documentation to the same email address.
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.
If granted, you will be scheduled with the next batch of interviews.
First impression. The interview committee is invested in the future of the electrical industry. They are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about the opportunity to interview and to join the industry. A good first impression includes calm confidence. Arrive a little early so you can calm pre-interview nerves. A little nervousness is expected, but be sure to arrive prepared so you are not so nervous that you cannot communicate effectively.
You can make a good impression by smiling, practicing good posture and eye contact, and avoiding nervous gestures like crossing your arms and tapping your fingers. A good way to avoid fidgeting is to fold your hands on the table.
Attire. Clean pants or jeans and a button-down shirt are appropriate. Good hygiene and grooming are important but avoid excessive cologne, perfume, jewelry, and cosmetics.
Application portfolio. The panel will review anything you bring to your interview such as a cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, photos of trade-related projects or hobbies, and industry certifications. Because of the rapid pace and the high volume of interviews, it is important to draw their attention to your portfolio items 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?” The interviewers are getting a sense of your 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 demonstrate 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 questions that they may ask you 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 and how you worked with others.
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 and avoid one or two-word answers. Ask for clarification if you don’t know how to answer a question.
IBEW Electrical Worker. Explain why you want to become an electrician — why not a carpenter, sheet metal worker, or plumber? Why is being a union IBEW electrical worker 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.
You should arrive at the interview with a thorough understanding of what electrical workers do, the environments they work in, and the details and expectations of the apprenticeship program. Here are some websites to help with your research:
Practice. Ask your friends and family to practice interviewing with you. The more you practice, the more relaxed and confident you will be in the interview.
Interview Scoring Factors
- Character and Attitude
- Knowledge of the industry
- Work Experience
- Trade-related? (use of hand and power tools, physical work, etc.)
- Length of service
- Documentation (letters of recommendation, awards, photos)Education and TrainingTrade-related? (welding, blueprint reading, shop, CTE, or STEM classes)
- Math and science classes
- Pre-Apprenticeship or trade classes
We start new apprenticeship classes by pulling off the ranked list in order, beginning with #1, and can accommodate up to 18 per class. We start a new apprentice class when our contractors have a need for new apprentices, so the economy is the biggest influence on the timeline. The number of people who are currently on the ranked list does not affect your timeline, but your rank and the economy do.
Once we start a new class, applicants move up the ranked list by the number of apprentices in the new class. Whatever your rank is now, it is likely to move up as we pull off the list for new classes.
It is possible to move down the list as well. When we interview new applicants, some may score higher than you and push you down the list.
You will not receive any further correspondence unless we reach your rank number and you are invited to Basic Skills Class. Monitor your e-mail, including your spam folder. If you want to check on your rank, you will need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you are ranked you may not reapply for the apprenticeship for two years. You can take steps to improve your qualifications and qualify for a re-interview. It is not uncommon for someone to interview more than once before becoming selected for the apprenticeship.
Our interview panels are looking for key characteristics. The fundamental characteristics are attitude, character, and determination, and some trade-related experience and/or education.
If you have little-to-no practical construction experience, we suggest you work on gaining some hands-on trade-related experience. This is more beneficial than taking classes.
One tool the interview panel uses in assessing your skills and attributes is your interview portfolio. If you re-interview, you may bring a cover letter; a resume highlighting trade-related skills, hobbies, and education; and letters of recommendation. Other recommendations include military and trade-related certificates and photos with captions of any projects or hobbies you have worked on that required the use of tools and construction skills.
You will find some resources for improving your qualifications and putting together a competitive application portfolio on our website: https://nietc.org/applicants/preparing-to-apply/. An updated application portfolio will be a valuable asset to include If you choose to request a re-interview.