Frequently Asked Questions

There is a lot to consider when you're thinking about starting the apprenticeship program. Some of the typical questions from interested apprentices are below. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you have about our program.

About the Application/Interview Process

How do I apply?

Application open dates will be posted on our website, under "Upgrade Classes" and on our Facebook page.  When they are open, you will need to hit the "Apply Today" button on the main page of our website.  Follow instructions from there.

What happens at the aptitude test/interview?

Once an approved application is received, the applicant will receive an email stating they are scheduled for a "to be determined date" to take the aptitude test.  Once a date is set for the applicant, they will receive an email with all details.  We hold the aptitude test at our training facility in Indianola, IA only.  We typically schedule them once a month or once every other month.  When the applicant comes to take the aptitude test, they are required to have a minimum score of 3.  If that score or higher is attained, the applicant will have a verbal interview that same day.  If the minimum score of 3 is not attained, the applicant will be sent home and can reapply in 6 months.  30-35 applicants could be testing and interviewing the same day, so plan to be at our training facility for multiple hours.  Each passing applicant is personally given a verbal interview by a committee. This committee is made up of individuals representing the contractors and the unions in our 7 state jurisdiction.  After the personal verbal interview, each committee member gives the applicant a score from 0 to 100 with 100 being the best. This score is based on the applicant's background, attitude, interest and personal traits.  Aptitude test scores and interview average scores are not given to the applicant.  They will only know they passed or failed the aptitude test and what their ranking is on the ranking list.

What happens after the interview?

After all the interviews are complete, the applicants interview scores from each interview committee member are averaged. This "average" number is assigned to the applicant. All applicants who have interviewed have their average score "slotted" onto an ongoing Ranking List with the highest score at the top of the list. A score of "92" is slotted between the "93's" and the "91's". So it does not matter if they interview first, last, this month or next month, the important thing is their place on the Ranking List.

How does the Ranking List work?

An applicant's place on the Ranking List changes all the time. As applicants are taken off the list (to be indentured or who are no longer interested), all those below are advanced up the list. As new applicants are interviewed, their names and average scores are slotted onto the list as well. Each applicant will remain on the list for one year or until they are placed or indicate they are no longer interested.

How are applicants selected for the apprenticeship program?

When we determine the need to start additional apprentice(s), we notify the top applicant(s), typically we schedule 30 applicants to attend. The top applicant(s) are given the time, date and location for the pre-apprenticeship orientation(boot camp) class, held at our training facility in Indianola, IA.  Please see the video on our main page of the website for what orientation will consist of.  After successful completion of the orientation class, the applicant will be indentured and assigned to an employer to begin their on-the-job training.  If any portion of the orientation week is not successfully passed, the applicant will be sent home and can reapply in 6 months.

What is "indenture"?

The dictionary defines indenture as, "a contract obligating one party to work for another for a designated period of time". The day an applicant starts their apprenticeship will become his/ her indenture (start) date. This indenture date will be used when registering the apprentice with the United States Department of Labor.

Do I choose which contractor I will work for?

Each apprentice is assigned to their jobs, anywhere in our 7 state jurisdiction. Journeymen Linemen, groundmen, equipment operators, etc. are referred to their jobs.  In order to obtain the diversity in all types of training, most apprentices will get to work for more than one contractor during their apprenticeship.

About the Training Program

How long does it take to complete the training?

This program is set up as a three and a half year apprenticeship, however, each individual completes at a different time. There is a minimum of 7,000 total hours of required on-the-job training. Of these 7,000 hours, there are specific amounts of required types of training. An apprentice may be in the program beyond the 7,000 hours while working on the specific type of training. Some apprentices finish in less than four years.

How do the classes work?

Classes are held at our training center in Indianola, IA.  All apprentices are required to attend week long(Monday-Friday) classes, two to three times per year. All classes start at 8:00AM and may last for up to 10 hours. Each apprentice is assigned to a specific class that he/she attends on the scheduled dates.

How much traveling do I get to do?

Due to the fact that power lines cannot be built in a factory and shipped to the job site, employees have the opportunity to work in many different locations.  After completing their apprenticeship, many Journeymen Linemen choose to travel and work all across the country.  Some even take jobs overseas working on power lines for foreign companies, while others prefer to stay working in one area.

How much does this training cost?

The tuition the Apprentice will pay for the training covered is an hourly payment of $1.00 due for each hour worked, up to 7,000 hours, during the apprenticeship the Apprentice is employed by a Contributing Employer. 
Apprenticeship books will be provided to the apprentice under this agreement. If the apprentices does not have hand tools and climbing tools at the completion of Orientation Week, the tools will be provided to them. If the apprentice does not complete the apprenticeship, the total money for the books and tools will be owed to Missouri Valley Apprenticeship.

Is this apprenticeship for the contractors or utilities?

Missouri Valley apprenticeship is operated by and for electrical contractors and the IBEW union.

About the Benefits

What is the pay scale?

There are seven step levels in the program and apprentice's pay rate is based on their step level. Each step level is a percentage of the Journeyman Lineman's wage rate for that local (each local is different). A first step, entry level apprentice makes 60% and each level after that is a 5% increase. So a 7th step (highest level) makes 90% of the Journeyman Lineman's wage.

After an apprentice completes all the requirements and passes the Final Exam, their apprenticeship is then complete and they make 100% of the Journeyman Lineman's wage. The AVERAGE Journeyman Lineman's wage for this area is around $50.00 per hour. Contact the local union to find out the current Journeyman Lineman's wage for that local.