To answer your questions....well im not an electrician, but i am a mechanic and we go through the same thing. Trades are huge money makers. Alot of ppl over look them, to me its because alot of ppl want office jobs, management, computers etc...sometimes i dont blame them..lol. This is however where we benefit. There is a drastic need in the market for skilled trades..and there is less then 1% or all graduates going into them. This equals money..and lots of it. Because there is such a need, often you can name your price. For mechanics the range goes anywhere from about 65-100+ a year....and yes there is ppl that work for less..but they are either no good..or just plain crazy imo!...although it depends on your area. Lets put it this way...out of all the ppl that i went to school with that went into business, or computers etc...i make a heck of alot more then they do. The work can be nasty...to when the pay comes you somehow forget it all ever happened!
Apprenticeships work like this. Depending on the field you choose the time and money may differ. First off, it takes years to become licensed. And with that, you have to be ready to make sacrifices such as money right off the bat. The average Apprentice first year will make anywhere from about 9-15 an hour....if you get more..your doing really well...again, depending on area. For me the process took five years. By law i am required to fulfill 5 years, or 9000 hours of hands on practical work (ie...actually doing the trade) During this time, i was to fulfill two months of school for three years. Depending on the company you work for during the schooling they may pay you..but often you are layed off and have to collect unemployement in that time.....infact its so common, the EI ppl come right to the school to sign you up. To get an apprenticeship is not always easy...it costs a company money...money they are willing to invest in you to become licenses..which is your ultimate goal. During that time, you will have to be required to buy tools...again depending on the trade it varies what youll spend. For me, at current according to receipts i have over 50K worth of tools. These days its easy to buy them, but when i started, basically all of my money went to them...now dont let this discourage you....you will not require that many tools to become an electrician...you guys get off easy..lol. I would say you probably wont need more then about 1500-2000...which youll buy along the way as you need them. Once you get an apprenticeship from a company you get shoved right into it. Usually apprentices get the nasty stuff...and for a long time....or until you prove that your ready and earn respect. I have worked in 9 shops in my life. During that time, i have yet to find one that was 100% pleasant to be an apprentice in....you will get ridden by your peers big time, we all did, and we all continue to do it to the new kids. Why? Getting you to think one day may prevent you...or one of them from getting killed....tough love you never forget..dont worry about it...we all go through it. Well..thats about all i can think of. Good luck with the interview...if you have any other questions feel free to ask, Shane.