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Ahtna Kanas Winter 2020

Become a Certified Electrician

Becoming an electrician opens many opportunities for anyone looking for a lifelong and rewarding career. Positions and opportunities range from being part of a business at a trade level through to middle management, engineering roles or owning and running your own business. In Alaska, electricians can look for work as maintenance electricians, construction electricians, instrument or electrical technicians or electrical servicemen. You may find work in fields such as construction, utilities, mining, manufacturing, engineering, water treatment and transportation.

If you want to become a licensed electrician in Alaska you must first work as an apprentice under a licensed electrician. The easiest way to accomplish that is to enroll in a union apprenticeship program near you. Local unions often pool their resources to offer training through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATCs) that provide the classroom instruction you need in addition to work experience. In Alaska, the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Trust (AJEATT) is the main JATC.

The AJEATT is a partnership between The Alaska Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association and The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 that offers training in several classifications of the electrical industry: Inside Wireman, Residential Wireman, Outside Power Lineman, and Telecommunications Worker (Telephone/Data).

To enroll in an apprenticeship with the AJEATT, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Eighteen years of age
  • High School Graduate or GED
  • Two semesters High school algebra with grade of C or better or one college level algebra class with C or better
  • Official copy of High School transcripts
  • Current Alaska Drivers License
  • Resident of Alaska for at least one year
  • Must be physically fit

Once you are enrolled, your apprenticeship will be made up of two components: full time work with an electrical contractor and classroom-based education studying electrical science and theory. The topics covered in class would include:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Algebraic Equation Manipulation for Electric Circuits
  • AC/DC Currents
  • Welding
  • Motors and Transformers
  • Blueprint Reading
  • First Aid/Safety/OSHA Regulations
  • Electric Code Standards

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which classification takes the most new apprentices?

A. Typically the inside wireman program accepts the most new apprentices. However, the inside trade also, typically, has the most applicants. Therefore, it is just as competitive as the outside line or telephone trades which have fewer applicants but also fewer openings.

Q. Which classification makes the most money?

A. All of the trades have close to the same wage rate, but of the three classifications, the outside lineman earns the highest scale. Telephone workers may receive the higher scale if they perform work under the outside agreement, otherwise they would fall under the inside agreement which covers the inside wireman.

Q. How much money will I make?

A. A beginning apprentice, depending on which classification the enter, will earn 50% of journeyman’s wage, as set in the current Agreement. With each progression of 1,000 hours of work experience behind you, a 5% wage increase will be issued.

Q. How much does the apprenticeship cost?

A. The AJEATT covers the cost of training for each apprentice. However an apprentice will not get paid while attending school and will need to plan ahead financially for the times he/she is scheduled to attend class. In addition, apprentices will also be expected to pay for their classroom materials.

Q. How long will the apprenticeship take?

A. Most apprentices complete the program in five years. This gives them enough time to accumulate 8,000 hours of on-the-job-training and complete the 24 to 35 weeks of classroom related instruction.

Q. How do I find a job?

A. It is the program coordinator’s responsibility to place apprentices with employers. His goal is to give each apprentice a broad area of work experience within the trade and to keep everyone employed for as much of the year as possible.

Q. When will I know if I’m accepted?

A. Positions for school and for work opportunities will be filled as they become available. Applicants with the highest scores will be notified to fill these positions. Those given the opportunity to attend school first will normally have at least a month’s notification. However, those called to fill work positions will generally be given short notice.

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