IBEW Local 659
I'll second Splatz' position, I've never met any contractor that valued an education over hands on experience in the trades.Simple question before I decide to jump in this career field. Does going to trade school offer job opportunities that you can’t get going straight into an apprenticeship?
I'm currently 3rd year in the IBEW apprenticeship and of the 100ish guys in here I don't know any that got in with any kind of trade school background.
I was working non union when I interviewed. I didn't get ranked, they called me with a job offer on my way home from the interview. The other top candidates that ranked highly or bypassed the ranking entirely were guys working construction when they applied.
A lot of what we do day to day as electricians are things that other trades do as well (measuring, drilling, cutting, hand and power tool use etc). Not only that but the working environments have a lot of overlap. Demonstrating that you can tolerate the working conditions and read a tape measure is a lot of what they're after when deciding who to invest in for an apprenticeship.
They can teach the fundamentals of DC theory in a few classroom sessions. What they're not interested in doing is trying to start from scratch when it comes to your work ethic and attitude. Show them you've got what it takes by going out there and getting your hands dirty.