A pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a registered apprenticeship program.

Although a pre-apprenticeship can be helpful, it’s not required (and often not necessary) to become a registered apprentice. Pre-apprenticeships may be a good fit for individuals who:

  • Have little or no experience in the construction trade
  • Experience barriers to employment
  • Need to improve their math skills
  • Need assistance obtaining supplies or equipment

Our pre-apprenticeship program is offered once a year. The dates are determined based on the workforce needs of our contractors. There are a number of other local pre-apprenticeship programs. Check out other options here:

NECA-IBEW 48 Pre-Apprenticeship Program

We will not be holding a fall 2023 pre-apprenticeship class. 

Spring 2024 Class Dates:

Classroom and Lab Training: 04/03/24–05/10/24; M–F, 7 AM–3 PM

Two weeks of paid, on-the-job experience will be scheduled as early as 05/13/24 when assignments become available.

The focus of the pre-apprenticeship program is to provide apprenticeship opportunities to communities that have historically been under-represented in the electrical industry. The populations served are Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, veterans, spouses of veterans, and persons with disabilities.

The NECA-IBEW Local 48 Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a 280-hour program:

  • 200 hours of unpaid classroom and lab instruction occurs at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center; Monday–Friday, 7 am–3 pm.
  • 80 hours of paid on-the-job training occur per contractor job-site schedule, at job-sites throughout IBEW Local 48’s jurisdiction: State of Oregon-Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington Counties, Yamhill County north of Section Line T45; State of Washington-Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties. The wage will equal the starting apprenticeship wage.

Program Requirements

Please read the following information carefully. You must meet #1–5 of the requirements:

  1. Population served: Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities
  2. Have an open application for the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy Technician program and have received an email from NIETC informing you of your eligibility. This means you have already applied, aptitude tested, and interviewed for either the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy Technician apprenticeship program. This process can take 3 or more months. 
  3. Valid driver’s license
  4. 18 years of age or older by the start of the on-the-job training component
  5. Ability to pass a substance abuse test. The pre-employment drug test does not test for cannabis, however, the customer your contractor works for may require cannabis testing

If applicable:

  • If you have a disability, submit signed documentation from your medical provider (within 5 years) of your disability and necessary accommodation
  • If a veteran, submit a copy of your DD-214

Pre-Apprentices will receive:

  • School books and tools. Pre-apprenticeship graduates will receive ownership of these upon successful completion of the program 
  • Grant funding allows us to provide a stipend and rain gear to our 2024 class
  • Pre-apprentice graduates will be considered for direct entry into the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy Program. Evaluations include completion of all classwork, demonstration of a professional attitude, reliable attendance, and demonstration of an aptitude for the trade. Pre-apprentices must receive favorable reports for their two weeks of on-the-job experience

Please note:

Dependable transportation is a necessity for training and employment in the electrical industry. An electrical worker reports to their job site, which might be over 50 miles away, often by 6:00 am. Public transportation is almost never adequate. Given the hours and location of the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center and on-the-job training, public transportation may fail to get you to and from home to the job site, to class, and back home. 

The geographical area covered: State of Oregon: Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington Counties, and Yamhill County North of Section Line T45. State of Washington:  Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties.

How to Apply

Please check back on 12/11/23 for application information.

Please note Program Requirement #2. This process can take 3  or more months to complete.


The pre-apprenticeship curriculum aligns with the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center’s Basic Skills Training curriculum, and lab exercises correspond to industry norms.

The curriculum includes 200 hours of classroom and lab instruction, including math review; commercial, residential, and limited energy wiring; conduit bending; certifications in OSHA 10, CPR/AED; First Aid, and lift training.

For the final two weeks of the program, students work for an electrical contractor for on-the-job experience and further evaluations. Qualities evaluated include skills and abilities, work ethic and professionalism, and attitude.

During the course the participant will be able to demonstrate:

  • Adherence to the attendance policy
  • Work ethic in the classroom, labs, and on the job
  • Ability to follow safety protocols
  • Completion of homework assignments on time
  • Compliance with substance abuse testing
  • Appropriate attire for the classroom, lab, and job-site

Participants will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Math and reading skills
  • Identification of tools and materials
  • Ability to work with tools safely and efficiently
  • Ability to read and draw electrical circuits
  • Wiring of electrical circuits according to drawings
  • Installation & termination of low-voltage cabling
  • Hand fabrication of electrical conduit runs

“We have been very happy with our pre-apprentice program, finding potential applicants that likely wouldn’t have applied to the apprentice program. Most of the pre-apprentices are extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn about the trade and get enough experience during the program to make them a competitive applicant and ultimately a successful apprentice.”

-Rod Belisle, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center -Training Director

The Oregon-Columbia, Chapter, NECA and it’s affiliated electrical contractor members are extremely pleased with the efforts and results of our pre-apprenticeship program which continues to strengthen not only our commitment to diversity, but our resolve to make the electrical construction industry all inclusive.

-Timothy Gauthier, Oregon-Columbia Chapter -Director

“The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center is proud of this pre-apprenticeship. This program provides a mutual student-trade compatibility assessment. Those who graduate have truly proven their grit and passion for the trade. The program allows us to strengthen our membership by providing exposure and opportunity to individuals who are typically not represented in our industry.”

– Bridget Quinn, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center – Workforce Development Coordinator

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