FAQ for Apprenticeships

How long will the apprenticeship take?


The Outside Lineman program is setup as a 3 1/2 year apprenticeship. There is a minimum of 7,000 total hours of on-the-job training. The Traffic Signal program is setup as a 3 year apprenticeship. There is a minimum of 6,000 total hours of on-the-job training. However, each individual completes at a different time. Some apprenticeship periods last longer due to layoff periods.




When are classes?


Classes are held once a month on Saturday and Sunday. Each apprentice is assigned to a specific class that he/she attends on the scheduled date and can choose which location to attend. Each apprentice is required to complete three years of related instruction for a minimum of 144 hours per year. The time spent in related instruction is in addition to the required on-the-job training hours and shall not be considered hours of work.




How much does it cost?


Tuition is thirty dollars ($30.00) for Outside Lineman and fifteen dollars ($15.00) for Traffic Signal Technicians for each week employed. Apprentices must purchase their own tools and have access to a computer to complete course work (preferably a laptop with wireless capability). All travel, living and moving expenses are paid by the apprentice.




What is an Apprenticeship?


Apprenticeship is an age old training strategy that combines supervised, structured on-the-job training with related theoretical instruction. It is generally accepted as the best training method for certain occupations. Registered programs offer apprenticeships in over 700 occupations. The training program is sponsored by employers or labor/management groups that have the ability to hire and train in a work environment. An Apprenticeship prepares people for skilled employment, with the content of the training defined and dictated by the needs of a particular industry. Apprentices are full time employees. Wages are paid to participants during on-the-job training phase. Wages increase as progress is made in the program, in accordance with the predefined wage progression scale outlined in the indenture agreement. Apprentices become productive members of society, contributing to local and national economies through taxes paid to governmental agencies. Participants learn by working directly under the supervision and tutelage of masters in the craft, trade or occupational area. Qualified, competent journeymen stand ready to teach deserving apprentices. A typical apprenticeship program spans 4 to 5 years with a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction per year. The program requirements are clearly delineated in Federal and State laws and regulations. A registered apprenticeship requires that a signed, written agreement (indenture) between the sponsor and apprentice be negotiated. The apprentice agrees to perform the work faithfully with diligence and to complete the related course of study. The sponsor agrees to make every effort to keep the apprentice employed and to comply with the standards established for the program. This legal contract insures quality training on-the-job and in the classroom and leads to a certificate of completion and journeyman-level status. These credentials have explicit meaning, recognition and respect in the eyes of Federal and State governments and relevant industries.




What does indenture mean?


Indenture is a formal agreement that someone will work for someone else for a particular length of time, especially in order to learn a job.




What is the interview process?


Interviews are held regularly at our three training centers located in Utah, Colorado and Montana. Interviews last approximately 15 minutes. The Committee interviewing you is made up of representatives from the Local Unions and Contractors. Each committee member will give you a score from 0 to 100 based on your application and everything they learn from you in your interview including your background, interests and attitude. Those scores are averaged and slotted into an ongoing ranking list that contains all previously interviewed applicants waiting to be invited to an orientation. The highest ranked applicants, starting with the #1 spot, are invited to an orientation first. Not all who interview will be invited. Higher scores are placed at the top of the list regardless of how long other applicants have been waiting. Your score will stay on the list for a period of two years.




What happens after the interview?


Before becoming an Apprentice, you must first be invited to attend a three to five day unpaid Orientation training. Orientations are held on a as needed basis and is a continuation of the interview process and not a guarantee of an apprenticeship. The orientation is an extension of the interview where applicants are evaluated both in the classroom and the field. The classroom portion will include a review of MSLCAT’s policies and procedures, hazard awareness, classroom and homework assignments, first aid and CPR training, a math skills evaluation and other required training. Field exercises will include rope craft such as knots and splices, climbing wooden poles and other practical tasks. Applicants must complete all aspects of the orientation in order to be placed on the ready to go to work list.




What is the application process?


Mountain States Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training accepts applications to the apprenticeship program year round (temporarily not accepting applications at this time until further notice). Those who return completed applications and the requested supporting documentation are invited to an oral interview. The best way to apply for the Apprenticeship is to fill out our online application. You will receive a personal and secure online account. The online account allows you to finish your application in a timely manner, submit it and review your status. You have 30 days to complete your application. You will receive an email notification once your application has been processed and that your name has been added to our "invite to an interview list". Every Applicant that submits an application will get invited to an interview. Interviews are conducted every other month when the Committee meets. Because of these reasons, the time frame between receiving this confirmation and being invited to an interview can take months. We appreciate your patience. When an interview date opens up, our office will notify you via email and text message from the information you provided on your application.




Can I get college credit?


Mountain States is able to process requests for college credit for the graduates of our program. College credit is awarded by the American Council on Education through a program established by the NJATC. Outside Lineman who have successfully completed the program will be awarded 25 semester credit hours. These can be applied at over 1,500 colleges and universities which accept the ACE credit recommendations.




Why does my ranking number change?


The list fluctuates as applicants are added (interviews) or removed (orientation, indentured or expired after two years).




What are the travel requirements?


Outside Lineman covers a five-state area including Utah, Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. An apprentice must be prepared to work and travel anywhere within these five states. As an apprentice you will be required to attend class one weekend a month at one of our three training centers of your choice. It is not uncommon to drive 30,000 to 50,000 miles per year commuting for work and school. Traffic Signal travel is within Colorado.




How do I find a job?


It is the JATC's responsibility to place apprentices with employers. Our goal is to give each apprentice a broad area of work experience within the trade and to keep everyone employed.

Refusal of employment may be cause for cancellation. You will be required to take a pre-employment drug test. Anyone who fails the drug test is subject to cancellation.




What is the starting pay?


An Outside Lineman entry-level apprentice starts at 60% of journeyman wages and varies between local unions. A Traffic Signal Technician entry-level apprentice starts at 65% of journeyman wages.




What are the benefits?


As an apprentice some of the benefits you will receive include health, dental and vision insurance for you and your dependents, two retirement plans with the eighth district pension and annuity and NEBF benefits. These benefits are paid 100% by the electrical industry and not deducted from your paycheck.




Can I receive credit towards my apprenticeship?


If you feel your previous work experience warrants credit towards your apprenticeship, you receive an opportunity to request credit the day you are offered an apprenticeship.




What if I don't like where I placed?


After 1 year from the date of your initial interview, if you have gained at least 500 hours of work experience in the electrical construction industry, successfully completed Line School or obtained industry related certifications, you may request to be re-interviewed to improve your score. If a re-interview is granted, the resulting scores will supersede any previous scores. A request form, found under DOCUMENTS on our website, needs to be filled out and sent to the office.




Is there a fee to apply?


MSLCAT charges a $25.00 service fee in order to process your online application. MSLCAT has a "No Refund/No Return" policy. All sales are final.




What are the career opportunities?


Opportunities for advancement abound in the electrical industry. New technologies are opening possiblities unheard of just a few years ago. In response to the ever expanding global economy, industries scramble to find more efficient energy and communication systems. The men and women trained through Mountain States programs are up to any challenge. They are confident, competent individuals. Most graduates continue to work in the industry in some capacity. Many hold management positions, others are successful business owners. Your career is limited only by your level of enthusiasm. The Logical Career Path: -Entry Level Worker, Student or Career Change -Apprenticeship -Journeyman -Instructor or Safety Trainer -Foreman, Supervisor or Business Agent -Superintendent, Engineer or International Rep -Business Owner, Utility Executive or International Officer




What makes a good candidate?


A good candidate is one with a record of having done well in school, especially in math and science; one who has demonstrated reliability and a sincere desire to succeed; and one who has a positive attitude and a desire to work hard.




Do you have to reside in one of our 5 states to apply?


No, we accept all applications no matter what state you reside in.