I am currently employed in an office job. however, I want to be an electrician. Because of financial responsibilities and having to support my family I can not just dive into this. I need to make the transition in such a way that it does not affect my household in a negative way. I have tried to get into the IBEW apprenticeship program but they are not accepting any new applicants at this time and there is no word on when they will. I have thought of going to a trade school.

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Apprenticeships will vary greatly depending on who ask. Some electricians view the apprenticeship process negatively. Often those looking to get into construction find that the associated work is too strenuous. This happens regularly and fairly quickly.

Some electricians also think, “Why train somebody that will eventually be my competitor?” The "ask an in option" is best if you have a strong personal relationship with the Master Electrician and/or this person has the means to hire you for the long term.

With the housing market being what it is, I would think very carefully before entering this realm.
Well, my father is an electrician. If you would like some insight about the trade, I can answer general questions or ask him specifics. Anything to help. I'm new and hoping to contribute.
Apprenticeships often require you starting at a wage which is 40 - 60% that of Journeyman wages. As you progress your wages increase, usually every 6 months. For example, you might start at 10.00 an hour, and by year 4 make 20.00 an hour. Where I live, apprentice programs usually follow a similar track. If you live in a city with strong union representation you might start at 18 - 19.00 an hour, and progress to 30-33.00 an hour.

If taking that big of a wage cut/ sacrifice for 4 years is too much, maybe you can consider taking classes in electrical maintenance at a local community college. Sometimes you might get "grandfathered" in for certain hours you studied. If you want to be a lineman (which will be a growing need for due to retirements) their program while demanding often starts out with higher pay, and finishes with higher pay.
Do lineman follow a similar path; ie apprentice, journeyman, master or is it more school based? Where would be a good place to find job opportunities in my area? Call the local union?
Lineman follow an apprentice path. In addition there are schools around the country for lineman. Pacific Northwest Lineman College in Boise, Id is a school in the northwest. In addition Bismarck State College in North Dakota offers an online program that might count as schooling in an apprentice program. Unions offer programs too. A lineman program is 4-5 years, is demanding, and there is much to learn. Lineman follow something similar. Apprentice -> Test out -> State Exam -> Journeyman.

This is from what I have gathered. Pay can be considerably more especially if you are on storm crews. Crews can work serious amounts of overtime, and many lineman I have met throughout the years love the job, and its all they have ever wanted to do.
I'm a senior in high school still, but when I graduate I'm really thinking about going to a trade school and to become an electrician. It's hard to argue with an active job that pays well, and has manly connotations!

I can't say if it is or isn't the best way to become one, but I know at the school I'm thinking about, almost all of the graduating class (16 out of 18 Students) last year went on to Journeyman positions in companies around the state.

 

I am a Master electrician in Texas. Here is the best way to become an electrician:

 

You need to join an apprenticeship program and here is why, In the field you will only learn "how to" do electrical work. How to install a light, how to install a plug and so on. You rarely learn the technical side of the electrical field. For example Wire Sizing, Motor calculations, what size service does this house need, and more. These are the type of skills you learn in a classroom setting. In the field there is just not enough time to teach these things because most jobs are on a schedule to get done. Search on the IEC (Independent Electrical Contractors) for Electrical Contractors who are participate in IEC. Here are some Huge befits!

#1- If you are in the apprenticeship program and you are let go due to cut backs, IEC will place you into another company. You do not have to worry about applying some where else. 

#2 - You are advancing in your career. Here I actually try to fill my staffing needs head hunting people who are in the program. They curriculum is second to none.

 

You can find an IEC in your region HERE.

Here --- >You can find more on becoming an electrician 

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