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An electrician trainee is a person who is learning the skills necessary to become a journeyman electrician that can work independently within the field. The term may refer to more than one level of training, however; in some cases, it may refer to an entry level worker who is learning the skills necessary to become an apprentice. In other instances, an electrician trainee is essentially an apprentice who is actively learning the job. In the former instance, the trainee is essentially a pre-apprentice, whereas in the latter instance, the trainee is a person working toward his or her journeyman certification.
In either case, it is likely that the electrician trainee will need to complete a high school education or be working toward a diploma or equivalent qualification. Basic to moderate math skills will be required, as will moderate communications skills. The candidate will need to apply for an electrician trainee certificate, which usually involves paying an application fee and filling out an application that spells out the candidate's education and experience. Candidates can be selected for a position even if they have little or no experience, but instead have a willingness to learn and a demonstrated work ethic.
An apprenticeship can be harder to come by, as the positions are fairly competitive and the work is hard. An apprenticeship can last up to four years or more, and during this time, the electrician trainee will work with a journeyman electrician who will teach the apprentice the skills necessary to be successful in the position. Early on in the apprenticeship, the trainee is likely to perform only low level job functions, such as preparing a work space or basic cleaning jobs. As the apprenticeship progresses and the electrician trainee learns more of the skills necessary to perform various jobs safely and effectively, he or she may be trusted to do more complex work.
The electrician trainee must also complete classroom work during the apprenticeship, and by the end of the apprentice period, he or she will need to pass various exams that will certify him or her as a journeyman electrician. This exam can be difficult, and if the apprentice fails, he or she may need to continue the apprenticeship for an even longer period of time. If the trainee passes, he or she will be considered a journeyman who can work independently as an electrician with no formal guidance.