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If you want to train to be an electrical worker in Colorado, National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) programs can set you up to learn while you earn. There are four NJATC training centers in Colorado and one in Utah where you can learn the electrical trade. Which program to apply for depends on the specific type of training you want.
Choose Your Program
Decide which type of electrical training you want. There are four professional specialties for electrical workers. Inside wiremen install electrical lines, controls and equipment in industrial and commercial buildings; residential wiremen install lines, controls and equipment in dwellings; VDV technicians install circuits and equipment for computer networks, telephones, video distribution systems, security systems and other low voltage systems; and outside linemen install distribution lines for utilities.
Apply for admission. Send your application materials to the program that’s right for you. There are four training programs in Colorado plus a lineman training program in Utah that accepts Colorado residents. Each of the four Colorado JATC programs train inside wiremen. Programs based in Denver, Pueblo and Clifton offer additional training as well. The Utah program is for outside linemen only. Generally speaking, the programs take five years to complete, but the Clifton program is condensed so the curriculum is completed in four years time. If you already have a two-year Associate's Degree in electrical training, you have a leg up in the apprenticeship program and will spend less time in classes. Here are the five programs:
Colorado Springs Electrical JATC 414 West Pikes Peak Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80905 719-473-1781 www.csejatc.org
Denver Area Electrical JATC
5610 Logan Street
Denver, CO 80216 303-295-1903 www.djeatc68.com
Pueblo Electrical JATC
2924 Graneros Pueblo, CO 81005 719-566-8008 ibew12.org/apprenticeship.htm
Western Colorado Electrical JATC 3210 E Road Clifton, CO 81520 970-523-7726
Mountain States Line Constructors JATC
7001 South 900 East Suite 240 Midvale, UT 84047 801-562-2929 www.mslcat.org
Prepare for the admission test. Brush up on your algebra and basic reading comprehension by downloading a sample test and reviewing it before you take your admission test. An acceptable score will get you into the JATC program. Show up well-rested at the appointed date and time to take the test.
An alternative route to taking JATC classes, developed in mid-2009 in Colorado, is the Construction Wiremen/Construction Electrician (CW/CE) program. Denver JATC training director David Humphreys explained that with this program, workers are referred by companies with union contracts and become International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) members. “This makes them a registered apprentice, but not indentured to the JATC,” Humphreys said.
Apply for membership with the local union and arrange to be tested on the skills and knowledge you already have. This will determine what curriculum you will need to progress.
Follow through with self-paced study to continue to learn the craft. Attendance of traditional evening JATC courses will not be required.
Some JATC programs have unique admission guidelines that set them apart from other programs. Check to see if the program you wish to attend has any unique requirements.
- Matt Bailey, training director, Western Colorado Electrical JATC
- David Humphreys, training director, Denver Area Electrical JATC
- electrician image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com