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The Process

Step 1: Apply

The first step in starting your career is to apply for the apprenticeship program. Applications can be made in person at 2230 London Road, Suite 200, Duluth MN 55812 or online. More details about the application can be found here. Make sure to download the checklist of items you’ll need to hand in or upload here.

Step 2: The Aptitude Test

Once you have submitted your application and the necessary documents, we recommend preparing for the Aptitude Test. Click on the “Aptitude Test Tips” tab below for tips on taking the test and online resources to help you study. A passing score on this test qualifies you for an interview to get into the program.

Step 3: The Interview

Once you have successfully passed the Aptitude Test, you will be invited to interview before the Joint Apprenticeship Committee. This is a joint committee, consisting of IBEW Local 294 and Twin Ports Arrowhead Chapter of NECA. The Joint Apprenticeship Committee is responsible for overseeing the apprenticeship program. Your interview score determines how you rank among the other eligible candidates. Candidates not selected for the current year are eligible to re-apply the following year. Click on the “Interview Tips” link below for resources to help you prepare for the interview.

Step 4: Job Placements

A letter is sent to each applicant containing their interview score. Applicants are indentured into the program in order of their scores. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted into the program and sent out to work. The number of applicants accepted into the program will vary from year to year, based on the amount of work in the area. Applicants are generally indentured in May or June of each year, but again, this will vary depending on the work picture.

Helpful Tips

  • Aptitude Test Tips

    • At the time of application, an informational booklet with sample test questions is available.  Please email our office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you would like a paper copy. This information can also be found online here.
    • The Algebra and Functions section will consist of 33 questions within 46 minutes.  The Reading Comprehension section will consist of 36 questions within 51 minutes.  There will be a short break between the two sections.
    • There are no penalties for guessing. Your score will be based on the number of items you answer correctly.
    • You will not be allowed to use a calculator for the test.
    • If you need special accommodations during the test, please make arrangements with the apprenticeship office before you report for testing.
    • Tests are scored by an independent facility.  The Apprenticeship Office will receive the results approximately two to four weeks after you test and will then notify you of the results by mail.
    • If you do not obtain a qualifying score on the test battery, you must wait six months before re-testing (you will need to reapply).
    • If you receive a qualifying score on the test battery, you will be scheduled for an oral interview to occur the month after you tested.

    Sources to brush up on your algebra skills

    Resources for preparing for the reading comprehension portion of the test

  • Interview Tips

    Your interview score determines how well you rank on the ranked list of eligible candidates. Your score is valid for 1 year.  Candidates not selected for the current year are eligible to re-apply the following year. 

    Interview Tips

    • First Impressions Count: We recommend arriving early to allow yourself time to calm any pre-interview nerves.  Remember, the interview committee wants you to succeed. When you enter the room, take a few minutes to introduce yourself to the various members of the committee, shake their hands and get their names.  Follow your parents’ advice: Smile, sit up straight, and make eye contact.
    • Recommended attire is business casual or better. Nice pants and a button down shirt, at a minimum. Practice good hygiene and be well-groomed.
    • Turn your cell phone off.
    • Application portfolio. The committee will review anything that was included with your application, such as a cover letter, resume, recommendations, and certificates.  Due to the rapid pace of the interviews, it is important that you draw the attention to your application materials that emphasizes your work ethic, ability to work under pressure, and any experience and skills that transfer to the construction industry. If you have additional information that you feel would help the committee make their decision, please bring that with you to the interview.
    • Behavioral Interview Questions. Examples of a behavioral interview question are “Give an example of a goal you reached and how you achieved it?” or “How do you handle a challenge?” There are no right or wrong answers to these types of questions. Theses questions are about getting a sense of your past experiences and how they will translate to your role as an apprentice. We recommend doing an internet search about behavioral interview questions – this will give you an idea of what to expect. Make sure to prepare for the interview by thinking about your interest in apprenticeship, your ability to work well with others as a team, and your ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable. Use this list of experiences to  prepare a response for any questions that you may be asked. Use the structure: Situation… Action… Result.
      • Situation or task– Describe the event or task, taking care to use enough detail for the interviewer to understand but not so much that you burn up a lot of time.
      • Action– Describe what you did to complete the task or to resolve the situation. If it was a team effort, keep the focus on what you did effectively.
      • Result– Conclude your answer with a description of the result of your efforts. Include lessons learned if you learned something from the situation.
    • Be concise but not too concise. Keep your answers positive and specific.  You have ten minutes – make them count. Also, be honest if you don’t know the answer to a question.
    • Practice interviewing with your family and friends as much as possible. The more you practice the more relaxed and confident you will be in the interview.

    Interview Scoring Factors

    1. Character and Attitude
      • Punctuality
      • Dress
      • Presentation (friendliness and enthusiasm, confidence, etc.)
    2. Work Experience
      • Trade related? (use of hand and power tools, physical work, etc)
      • Length of service
      • Documentation (letters of recommendation, awards, etc)
    3. Education and Training
      • Trade-related? (welding, blueprint reading, shop classes. etc)
      • Math and science classes
      • Grades