Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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ET FAQs

Electrician Trainees

Q. Does WECA offer an electrician trainee program?

Yes, WECA offers a state-approved Electrician Trainee Program. As of January 1, 2006, any electrician who has not taken and passed the state certification exam must be registered with the state as an electrician trainee and enrolled in a state-approved electrician trainee program, or indentured in a federal or state-approved apprenticeship program.

WECA offers a full program for Electrician Trainees. Students who complete the required courses and hours will be awarded the Electrician Trainee Program Certificate. An Advanced Electrician Trainee Program Certificate is also available for students who choose to take their schooling a step further with advanced topics.

Learn about the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate
Pick a class from the Electrician Trainee Course Catalog

Q. What courses are offered as part of WECA's Electrician Trainee Program?

We offer a variety of courses and a flexible class schedule to our Electrician Trainee students. Our Get Wired! series of instructor-led, online, live-webcast courses combined with onsite lab days comprises the heart of our electrician trainee program. We also offer online, self-paced courses. Pick a class from the Electrician Trainee Course Catalog

Q. Who should enroll in WECA’s Electrician Trainee Program?

In order to legally work as an electrician in California after January 1, 2006, an electrician must either have passed the state exam or be registered with the state and enrolled in a state-approved electrician trainee program, or indentured in a federal or state-approved apprenticeship program. In addition to registering with the state, trainees must also be actively attending courses with a State-approved school or training provider, such as WECA.

An electrician trainee is someone who is enrolled with an approved Electrical Trainee Education Provider and who is also registered with the State as an Electrician Trainee. Electrician Trainees are not Apprentices; they follow a similar educational path to becoming a journeyman electrician but are not considered an Apprentice and when employed on Public Works projects must be paid the Journeyman Rate of Pay.

If you are performing work for a C-10 electrical contractor and you are not a certified journeyman or indentured apprentice, you should enroll with WECA as an Electrician Trainee.

Q. How do I enroll as an electrician trainee?

We're glad you asked. Here's how to get started.

Q. Does WECA offer an online job referral service for electrician trainees?

Yes. Just register for or log in through our website. Follow the prompts to set up your account, and you can submit a resume and check on the status of your posting any time. Our member contractors regularly review these resumes to find quality employees.

Q: Are there any scholarships available to help with the cost of books, tools, fees and/or tuition?

The Western Electrical Contractors Foundation (WECEF) periodically awards scholarships to eligible Electrician Trainees, Apprentices, and Journeyman Continuing Education students. You can learn more about eligibility and the application process on the WECEF Scholarship page

Q. What is an Electrician?

Electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including climate control, security, and communications. They also may install and maintain the electronic controls for machines in business and industry. Although most electricians specialize in construction or maintenance, a growing number do both.

Electricians work with blueprints when they install electrical systems in factories, office buildings, homes, and other structures. Blueprints indicate the locations of circuits, outlets, load centers, panel boards, and other equipment. Electricians must follow the National Electric Code and comply with State and local building codes when they install these systems. In factories and offices, they first place conduit (pipe or tubing) inside designated partitions, walls, or other concealed areas. They also fasten to the walls small metal or plastic boxes that will house electrical switches and outlets. They then pull insulated wires or cables through the conduit to complete circuits between these boxes. In lighter construction, such as residential, plastic-covered wire usually is used instead of conduit.

Electricians' work is sometimes strenuous. They bend conduit, stand for long periods, and frequently work on ladders and scaffolds. Their working environment varies, depending on the type of job. Some may work in dusty, dirty, hot, or wet conditions, or in confined areas, ditches, or other uncomfortable places. Electricians risk injury from electrical shock, falls, and cuts; to avoid injuries, they must follow strict safety procedures. Some electricians may have to travel great distances to jobsites.

Learn more about what working an electrician is like by visiting WECA's Youtube Channel and watching the "WECA Electrician Career" video.

    Q: What's the difference between an Apprentice and an Electrician Trainee?

    An apprentice is someone indentured in a federal or state-approved apprenticeship program. 

    WECA offers three electrician apprentice programs: Commercial, Residential and Voice-Data-Video (VDV) & Fire/Life/Safety (FLS). For more information on how apprenticeship rules work, or to inquire about how to become WECA apprentice, please contact us at info@goweca.com or (877) 444-9322.

    A trainee is an electrician who is not yet a certified journeyman and not indentured in an apprenticeship program. California’s electrician certification law requires anyone performing work in the field for a C-10 electrical contractor to fall into one of these three categories: certified journeyman, indentured apprentice, or an electrician trainee registered with the state. If you work for a C-10 contractor and are performing electrical work in the field and DO NOT fall into one of these three categories, that is a violation of the electrician certification law and your contractor employer runs the risk of incurring fines and penalties from the CSLB, up to and including suspension of the contractor’s license. In addition to registering with the state, trainees must also be actively attending courses with a State-approved school or training provider, such as WECA. Get started as an Electrician Trainee today.