Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

General frequently asked questions

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a partnership between business, industry, labor, and government resulting in a skilled trade. These skills are learned practically through training, on-the-job work, and supplemented by related classroom instruction. At PCC we partner with many Industrial JATCs to administer registered apprenticeship programs in the State of Oregon

What is a JATC?

A Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) is an independent committee of management and labor, with equal representation. The JATC must have its standards and policies approved by the state. The JATC is the body responsible for determining the criteria and guidelines for an apprentice’s progress through the program toward journey worker status.

Who qualifies as an apprentice?

The programs administered at PCC require apprentices to be currently employed and sponsored by an approved employer called a training agent. Other programs may select apprentices and then place them into employment. In both types of programs, all apprentices must meet certain basic qualifications. These include age, education, and experience. Written standards are set by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JACT) and approved by the State Apprenticeship Council. You can click on the link for a specific JATC to read their Standards and Policies.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

For programs administered by PCC, click on the link for the JATC that you are interested in joining. Click the Online Application to start the process. For outside programs visit the individual program’s websites for application procedures, selection criteria, and application dates. The State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Apprenticeship and Training Division has information about opportunities throughout the state in both construction and industrial apprentice programs. Education requirements vary extensively. Many programs require high school graduation with a “C” and 2.0-grade point average or higher, with math usually a focal point. Some programs accept high school equivalency with a certain minimum score.

What are apprenticeship standards?

Each JATC has apprenticeship standards which are written plans outlining the terms and conditions of employment training and supervision of apprentices in an apprentice occupation. The Standards are approved by BOLI and include the progressive wage scale, the work processes to be learned on the job, the requirements for supervision ratio, and the outline of related technical instruction.

What is an apprenticeship agreement?

It is a written agreement between an apprentice and the sponsor containing the minimum terms and conditions of employment during the term of apprenticeship.

Do I have to serve a probationary period?

All new apprentices serve a probationary period of three to twelve months, typically six months, during which the apprenticeship agreement may be canceled at the request of the apprentice or the sponsor. After completion of the probationary period, the agreement may only be canceled by the sponsor after an adequate cause has been shown and all parties to the agreement have had an opportunity to be heard.

What is related training?

Related Training (RT) refers to the classroom component of the apprenticeship. It is an organized and systematic form of instruction designed to guide the theory and technical aspects of the trade. Usually, a minimum of 144 classroom hours for each year of apprenticeship is required and is typically conducted at a local community college.

What is the length of an apprenticeship?

The training period or term of apprenticeship is specifically defined for each trade. The term is generally stated in a number of hours per year. For an apprentice, 2000 hours is considered a year of on-the-job training (OJT), with related classroom instruction (RT). All apprenticeship programs must be at least 2000 hours or one year in duration. However, most programs are 8000 hours or four years long. Within the full length of the apprentice, each apprentice will move through shorter terms. Each term lasts approximately six months depending on the apprentice’s progress. After the successful completion of each term, an apprentice may be eligible for a wage increase.

What is my beginning wage?

The beginning wage for an apprentice is a percentage of a journeyperson wage. Starting rates for apprentices are usually 50 percent of the journeyperson wage, and increases are generally given every six months. Apprentices may also receive other benefits, such as vacation pay, health and welfare benefits, and pension credits. Apprentices usually work the same hours as journey workers.

What is the ratio of apprentices to journeypersons?

Each standard sets a definite ratio of apprentices to journeypersons. The general policy is to set a ratio that allows for proper training and supervision of the apprentice during the apprenticeship.

Who supervises my on-the-job training?

The apprentice’s on-the-job training must be supervised by a qualified journeyperson. The journeyperson has the responsibility of conducting the apprentice’s training and coordinating the theoretical classroom training with hands-on experiences.

How often do I get re-rated?

Each apprentice is reviewed and rated by the apprenticeship committee approximately every six months to determine progress. This review includes an evaluation of on-the-job performance, attendance, and grades in the related classroom instruction.

What are the different electrical licenses available in Oregon?

There are approximately 30 different electrical licenses offered in Oregon. The general journeyperson is the most common electrical license and offers the most options for employment and pay-range opportunities. Visit the BOLI website to explore exactly what each license can do.