Nowadays, people from all walks of life are becoming more interested in construction trades, and being an electrician is usually at the top of the list. Electrical systems play a big part in our lives, and the fact that an electrician’s salary could reach the upper five figures in some areas is also enticing. But the road to becoming a licensed professional is a tough one. As with most trades, electricians start by working as apprentices, where they can learn a lot of specific day-to-day knowledge and onsite skills.
As a company owner or a project manager, taking on an electrical apprentice is a big decision. You must be committed to ongoing training for many years and long-term investment of your time and money. The big question that probably comes to your mind is if it is worth it. However, choosing the right apprentice will significantly benefit you and your company. So, if you are still undecided on how to go about hiring an apprentice and are not sure if it is worth the risk, then keep on reading this article to know the benefits you can realize. But first, here’s a look at what electrical apprentices do and how to manage one effectively.
What Are Electrical Apprentices?
Electrician apprentices are both students and professionals who spend years learning the skills they want and need to work as licensed electricians in the future. Apprenticeships are the way for inexperienced people to learn skills safely from experts called “journeymen” or “master electricians.”
Because the trade is so complicated, it may take an apprentice five years to learn everything they need. Apprenticeship programs usually pay apprentices a wage because they do a lot of work and have to commit to the field.
What Are the Job Responsibilities of an Electrical Apprentice?
Electrical apprentices work to get enough experience to understand how many different types of standard electrical systems work and what could go wrong. Mainly, they help the journeyman as they work with finish jobs and learn more about the trade. This could mean working in people’s homes, places of business, or factories.
They will be working to help an electrician who is more experienced. At first, they will learn how to read schematics and gather materials for the professionals they are working under. Eventually, they will likely be given specific jobs while being watched, like setting up, maintaining, and fixing electrical systems. These are the general types of electrical work that could include:
- Take a look at plans, wiring diagrams, and other technical documents
- Putting in place wiring systems
- Putting electrical conduits between devices
- Setting up safety systems that use electricity, like fire and security alarms
- Switches and transformers need to be replaced.
- Digging for underground installations
- Repairing electrical infrastructures
Why Should You Hire an Electrical Apprentice for Your Company?
As stated earlier, an apprentice is someone who works and learns at the same time. The goal of having an apprenticeship is to get a certificate in a skilled trade, such as plumbing, electrical work, or concreting. However, unlike a regular job, an apprenticeship is based on a formal agreement between you and your apprentice about how they will learn.
It is often a long-term investment, so it is a good idea to look at your business’s needs over the next few years to see if a trainee is a good choice. Hiring an apprentice is a great way to train and develop motivated workers who can meet your current or future skill needs. Also, by training your employees “your way,” you can improve the productivity and efficiency of your construction crew management and make sure that your practical knowledge and skills are passed on to future generations. Here are five reasons why hiring an apprentice is smart for your business.
Apprentices are Flexible and Eager to Learn
Most construction companies are hiring more and more apprentices because they are flexible and willing to work in various settings. In the construction industry, where everything moves so quickly, it is essential to have employees eager to learn and work well with others. You can teach them new skills and various construction technology, such as inventory management software.
Gain A Future Expert and A World-Class Leader in Your Crew
When you have an apprentice, you have the unique chance to teach them everything about electrical work and how your company handles each project. The way you train them will provide them a broad understanding of the trade, techniques, and skills to back up what they learn on the job with theory and practical tasks at school. As a result, apprentices will know everything about your business, be skilled and competent electricians, and could be future experts and leaders.
Increase Employee Retention
If you asked any business owner what the most challenging part of running a business was, finding the right people and keeping them would be at the top of the list. When it comes to hiring, it’s not easy to go it alone. But you don’t have to when you hire an electrical apprentice. Most construction firms use crew scheduling software to ensure that they can efficiently manage each employee’s records, schedules, and needs with a few simple This lets you focus on what’s important and saves you the trouble and cost of managing the crew.
Get Fresh Perspectives and Renewed Enthusiasm
When an apprentice joins the team, their enthusiasm often leaves a good impression, making the rest of the staff feel better. Plus, when your employees help your apprentice learn and develop new skills, it motivates everyone to do their best daily. As a result, you can keep and build on this valuable knowledge for a long time.
The Right Apprentice Can Make a Big Difference
When the right apprentice joins your team, you can get a lot out of it. The apprentice reaches to start their career in a fun field, and you get a dedicated, long-term worker who could become an essential part of your business.
How To Manage Your Electrical Apprentice?
This cannot be stressed out enough, but hiring an apprentice can be one of the best ways to help your business grow, with the low start-up cost, official government support, and massive potential of having a young person with a fresh point of view on your team. However, to get the most out of an apprentice, you need a training provider who can help your new hire grow and make sure they can meet your standards and the industry’s standards as a whole. It may take a few years to learn how to manage an apprentice. In this section, we have listed seven strategies for efficiently managing your crew.
Set Goals and Expectations for The Apprentice
Before an apprentice starts work, you, as a project manager, must set clear goals and expectations for the job. Setting goals and expectations helps the apprentice and the manager understand what the apprenticeship is for. You can use these goals as a guide, and give the apprentice work, train them, and resources to help them reach these goals.
Develop An Efficient Work Schedule
At the beginning of the apprenticeship, it is helpful to make a work schedule. Most apprentices have to juggle school and work, so it is easier to set a plan that can make judging an apprentice’s progress and dependability easier without compromising their school time. Some apprenticeships require people to work full-time, while others require less time. Since their availability may change daily for as long as they are in school, construction scheduling software can help map out their schedule to decrease the risk of miscommunications.
Provide a Workplace Orientation
When the apprentice starts working, giving them an educational introduction to the workplace is helpful. You could show the new worker around the office, warehouse, or other places where work is done. For most apprentices, this is their first step into the corporate world. At the start of an apprenticeship, an educational orientation can help prepare employees for success and make them feel welcome.
Ensure Constant Communication and Close Collaboration
Since apprenticeships are ways to learn, it is best for the apprentice to feel like they can ask questions and get feedback. You can make it easier for the apprentice to talk to you by meeting with them often, creating a friendly environment, and being available to answer questions.
Assign Tasks to the Apprentice
Task delegation is another essential part of managing an apprentice. Rather than delegating basic tasks for the duration of the program, consider increasing the apprentice’s responsibility as they progress. This task delegation gives apprentices the tools they need to succeed, puts them in situations where they can try new skills and makes learning fun.
Schedule Regular Check-ins and One-on-One Meetings
Scheduling check-in or one-on-ones with the apprentice is a great way to assess how they are doing and point out ways they can improve. This also allows you to teach them everything they need to know, including tips and tricks to make the job easier. Similarly, you can get valuable insights on ways you can improve on how to manage them.
Provide Useful Feedback and Constructive Criticism
When managing an apprentice, one of the most important things a manager can do is give helpful feedback. Since learning is a big part of an apprenticeship, feedback is one way for apprentices to learn how to get better. Managers can provide both positive and constructive feedback about accomplishments and professional growth.