This is how it works out west. There are two ways to get into the electrical trade. First off is the old fashioned way of beating on the doors of every electrical contractor and dropping off resume's for the position of first year or starter apprentice. the second way is enroll in a pre-employment program. This may give you an edge in the hiring market, but in reality, doesn't count for a hill of beans. Once a company agrees to endenture (hire) you you go through a two month trial period at labourer rate (typically a little above minimum wage). You will then be assessed if the company wants to keep you or let you go. (So the best way through this is to shut up, do what you're told, and bust your @ss. Even when you get the crap work. Journeymen hate whining, cause we've all been there too. And whinning will not win you any respect. Once you are endentured you make 50% of journeyman rate for the first year, 60%-2nd, 70%-3rd, and 80%-4th. Each year is broken down to hours on-the-job and classroom, which works out to be 10 months on the job and 2 in school. (except your last year).
Now about the electrical trade. It can be tough, both to find work and to keep it. But if you're known as a hard worker and apply yourself you will never be unemployed for long. It is not the best paying trade, and you will likely never make your fortune as an electrician, but it pays well enough. Out here J-man rate is about $25-28/hour, and more if you're willing to work up north in the oilpatch. As a first year electrical apprentice you can acquire all the tools you will need for as little as $200.00.
Getting hired. Here are some tips, Go talk to your prospective employers in person, and if only the secretary is there, go back and meet face to face. batch mailed resume's end up in the round file 80+% of the time. If you have a flowery resume' scrap it. Just say who you are, what you want and what experience you have and don't pad. If you have none so be it, if you have a pre-emp course good, mention it and leave it at that. Don't tell your future employer what you can do for him or the company, because they know better what you WILL be doing for them than you do.
Any more questions just ask, or contact me.
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