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 or twice a year. The dates are determined based on the workforce needs of our contractors. There are many other local pre-apprenticeship programs. Check out other options here:

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, and persons with disabilities.

NECA-IBEW 48 Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Upcoming Classes

  • Spring 2024 Class Dates:  Applications are closed
    • 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.
  • Fall 2024 Class Dates: 
    • Classroom and Lab Training: 09/04/24–10/11/24; M–F, 7 AM–3 PM
    • Two weeks of paid, on-the-job experience will be scheduled as early as 10/14/24 when assignments become available.

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 10/14/2024
  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 a veteran, submit a copy of your DD-214
  • **If you are eligible due to a disability, submit signed documentation of your disability and necessary accommodation from your medical provider (dated within 5 years)

There is no cost for this program. The classroom training is unpaid.

On-the-job experience wages will be the equivalent of the first pay period wages for the apprenticeship program the pre-apprentice is interested in: Inside Electrician: $24.20/hr; Limited Energy Technician: $24.83/hr.

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 evaluated 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 rarely 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

The application period for the Spring 2024 Pre-Apprenticeship class is closed.

Fall 2024 Pre-Apprenticeship Class

  1. Application period: 06/03/2024–07/05/2024 (11:59 PM).
  2. Eligible applicants will receive an email notifying them of their eligibility by 05/30/2024. Eligible applicants who interview in June and July will receive their email shortly after their interview. The email will contain application instructions.
  3. Interview: The Training Center will schedule you for an interview in the order we receive your application. Please note: if your application is received close to the application deadline, you will be scheduled for your interview with very little advanced notice.
  4. Selection Notice: If you are accepted into the pre-apprenticeship program, we will notify you by email by 08/13/2024 and you will have until 2:00 PM on 03/16/24 to accept your seat in the class before it is offered to the next person on the list. Be sure to check your spam folder.

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
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