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Old 06-22-2020, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Which program, IEC or IBEW?

Hi all, I need your advice on which apprenticeship program to go with. I applied to the apprentice program through my local union and the apprentice program through my local IEC chapter. Im scheduled to the the aptitude test for IBEW on July 14th. However, I've been accepted into the IEC program and they want payment in full on July 15th. I think you can see the dilemma here. Should I reject the IEC acceptance and hold out for the IBEW program? Or just go IEC now and not look back?
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:47 PM   #2
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Do you want to put the time in to find a good woman and marry her? Or would you rather bang a whore who’s going to steal your wallet the next morning?
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:24 PM   #3
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Fair enough. The union seems like a more secure path, but I don't really know. I just don't want to shoot myself in the foot by bailing on IEC and not getting accepted into the union, then having to wait for IEC classes to begin again or applying for the union all over again.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:42 PM   #4
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Do you want to get paid to learn a trade, or pay to learn theory, and hope you can find work?
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:58 PM   #5
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The former, obviously. It sounds like union is the way to go
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:02 PM   #6
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The IEC needs you, you don’t need them. They are in the AVOID category
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:29 PM   #7
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The IEC needs you, you don’t need them. They are in the AVOID category
Depending on where he is located the process to get into the IBEW can be a several year wait.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:37 PM   #8
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I'm in COS, applying to Local 113. I don't think they have enough of a backup to cause a multiple year wait, thankfully
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:48 PM   #9
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Merit shop if you're a good worker, I don't see the IBEW lasting.

I went through IBEW apprenticeship and worked IBEW 10 years, been working Merit shop for 3 and if I were to do it over again I would start Merit, you have to teach yourself either way but you don't have to endure the union BS. I make slightly more now including benefits than I did and I think it is also easier to start your own company or buy in if you have any interest in ever doing that.
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Old 06-24-2020, 10:07 PM   #10
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Merit shop if you're a good worker, I don't see the IBEW lasting.

I went through IBEW apprenticeship and worked IBEW 10 years, been working Merit shop for 3 and if I were to do it over again I would start Merit, you have to teach yourself either way but you don't have to endure the union BS. I make slightly more now including benefits than I did and I think it is also easier to start your own company or buy in if you have any interest in ever doing that.
This person is one of many that couldnt hang with the best. He's jerking it into your back pocket. The IEC is the second tier from the bottom.
Is that the best choice for you and your family?
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:43 AM   #11
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Merit shop if you're a good worker, I don't see the IBEW lasting.

I went through IBEW apprenticeship and worked IBEW 10 years, been working Merit shop for 3 and if I were to do it over again I would start Merit, you have to teach yourself either way but you don't have to endure the union BS. I make slightly more now including benefits than I did and I think it is also easier to start your own company or buy in if you have any interest in ever doing that.
At 46 I was looking for a new career and I found it as an IBEW member. I went through the apprenticeship, became a journeyman, and after 10 years became an electrical contractor. Overall it's been a very good experience.

Yes, there is BS as there is in any job, with any employer, and with any group of people. But being a union member actually eliminates much of the BS of being a working electrician.

The union protects you from employers in many ways. There are rules in place to make sure you are safe at work and get paid on time. You receive constant training and absolutely know when you will be promoted and get pay increases which is basically yearly until you are a journeyman. You get great benefits which include vacation, health care, and multiple pensions. Union pay is generally higher than merit shops.

The union acts as your agent. They find the work and you just have to show up to claim it. If things are slow you might have to wait or travel. There are IBEW locals in every part of the country and you can sign their books and work there if they need people. The IBEW has been serving electricians since 1891 and I don't see it going away anytime soon.
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:45 AM   #12
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I really appreciate all of the responses on here. I'm definitely going union after talking to you all and a few local union electricians that I know here. Another question for you all. How long did it take for you to get accepted into the apprenticeship program? I'm guessing it depends on the local?
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wyndam View Post
Merit shop if you're a good worker, I don't see the IBEW lasting.

I went through IBEW apprenticeship and worked IBEW 10 years, been working Merit shop for 3 and if I were to do it over again I would start Merit, you have to teach yourself either way but you don't have to endure the union BS. I make slightly more now including benefits than I did and I think it is also easier to start your own company or buy in if you have any interest in ever doing that.
This is true in some areas. Some locals are very small and have no power. Since their rates are low they don't have the funds for good training centers, etc.

In other areas, the locals are very powerful and have a great marketshare, which means super high wages/packages and the best training centers in the world.

Either way, when it comes to apprenticeship I would still rather get paid and get educated for free than pay a large sum out of pocket to a business's profit.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:22 PM   #14
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How long did it take for you to get accepted into the apprenticeship program? I'm guessing it depends on the local?
The number of apprentices accepted is based on the number needed to fill jobs. In an area where there is a lot of work, you may be accepted into the program almost immediately. If work is slow, you may have to wait for months or years, but you can apply to any local around the country if you are willing to relocate so just find out who needs apprentices by calling and asking.
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Old 06-25-2020, 01:22 PM   #15
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How long did it take for you to get accepted into the apprenticeship program? I'm guessing it depends on the local?
The number of apprentices accepted is based on the number needed to fill jobs. In an area where there is a lot of work, you may be accepted into the program almost immediately. If work is slow, you may have to wait for months or years, but you can apply to any local around the country if you are willing to relocate so just find out who needs apprentices by calling and asking.
Fair enough. I just talked to one of the instructions at the local JATC program and he said they are bringing on 12 apprentices. Definitely more than I thought, so who knows, maybe I have a chance of getting in there this August
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:39 PM   #16
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This person is one of many that couldnt hang with the best. He's jerking it into your back pocket. The IEC is the second tier from the bottom.
Is that the best choice for you and your family?

It must be better in your area but I went through IBEW apprenticeship and thought the training was terrible, looking back 3 years after topping out I think even less of it. I agree you have to train yourself probably either way, I always recommend looking for a good shop, union or merit doesn't seem to be the deciding factor wether they are good or bad. The best work I have seen in my area is a merit shop and if anyone asks me I tell them to go there, they pay just as much including benefits.
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:45 PM   #17
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Do you want to put the time in to find a good woman and marry her? Or would you rather bang a whore who’s going to steal your wallet the next morning?
Doesn’t the wife take the wallet anyway? And then at the divorce everything else?

Maybe it’s best to just lose the wallet....
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:42 PM   #18
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When you get into the IBEW, all your time counts from your first day worked. Your local may have the option to take their schooling, or take it elsewhere. When I went through, they gave cash incentives (to offset tuition) when you successfully passed a level.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #19
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Depends on where you are and possibly what your goals are, but for 90% of the markets in the US, it's a no brainer to join the IBEW. PM me if you have any questions. Good luck and Welcome brother.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:32 PM   #20
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Fair enough. I just talked to one of the instructions at the local JATC program and he said they are bringing on 12 apprentices. Definitely more than I thought, so who knows, maybe I have a chance of getting in there this August
12? We took well over 100.

and COS means nothing except maybe to locals. Had to google it.

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