Electrical Apprenticeship Program

IEC Chesapeake Electrical Apprenticeship Program Overview

Enroll in an IEC apprentice training program and earn while you learn!

IEC Electrical Apprenticeship Programs combine the on-the-job training and formal related technical instruction you need to prepare you for this high-demand field. This means you get paid to work while you receive a top-notch education in the electrical field. Where else can you do that?!

Students will receive CPR/First Aid and hands-on training as part of their classroom activities. Our instructors are trained in using an interactive approach. Students are encouraged to ask questions, allowing instructors to not only train, but to mentor apprentices.

IEC Chesapeake currently offers the following programs:

For more information on each of these programs, click the links above and/or refer to the Frequently Asked Questions & Apprenticeship Overview section below.

"Hands-on apprenticeships, where workers earn and learn at the same time, are a proven path to good, secure middle-class jobs. In fact, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000. And apprentices earn a significant premium for their skills — as much as $300,000 more than their peers over a lifetime, according to some studies."

Let's Compare 4-Year Programs

Are you aware that it takes an electrician 4 years, the same as a traditional degree, to complete their program? A Master Electrician trains as long as doctor studies, having at least 8 years on the job and the 4 years of classroom study. As with many professions, an electrician must also be licensed. So let's compare your two options, using University of Maryland (2014) stats:




Annual Tuition & Mandatory Fees*
$9,427-$29,720 (resident vs. non-resident)
On Campus Resident Hall Room, Cable & Phone
Meal Plan (Average)
Books & Supplies**
Local Transportation & Incidental Costs**


$24,352-$44,645 (resident vs. non-resident)


That's Only $13,960 For All Four Years!

As compared to traditional university, four years of study (undergraduate program) will cost a resident of Maryland $97,408 for all 4 years (assuming fixed cost). He or she may or may not have a job during this time, and is not likely working in the field of study while in school. At graduation, he or she may or may not have a job; may take up to a year to find work within his/her field of study, and the graduate may have a school loan debt ranging from $15,000 to $100,000.

In stark contrast, IEC Apprentices are looking at $13,960 for all 4 years, work throughout the entire 4 years they are in school; many, in fact, work for our association member electricians. *Many members choose to set up a reimbursement program with good students, based on performance and grades. In some cases, most of the apprentices’ school expenses are entirely reimbursed. The apprentice finishes the program employed and with no school debts, and...

...graduates of the IEC Apprenticeship Program leave school employed, with no school debts to carry, and the typical pay ranges of graduates are: $40,000-$80,000 a year!

Path to Career Diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

We have designed our FAQ to answer all the most commonly asked questions concerning the Apprenticeship Program. We ask that all potential applicants please read through the entire FAQ before contacting us with additional questions.


Why should I become an electrician?

Are you interested in pursuing a career where you can work with your hands, encounter versatile and challenging tasks, and enjoy high compensation and job security? With a growing shortage of qualified electrical workers, it has never been a better time to join the electrical industry. There are plenty of job opportunities available in this high demand field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electricians will have a 23 percent growth rate between 2010 and 2020, which is higher than the national average! Electricians are among the highest paid jobs in the construction sector, according to the U.S. News “Best Construction Jobs” Rankings.

What is Apprenticeship?

As published on the Maryland DLLR Website, “apprenticeships are jobs. The apprentice works full time and receives training from the sponsoring organization. […] Apprenticeships are designed to meet the workforce needs of the sponsors. Because of a need for highly skilled workers many sponsors use apprenticeship as a method to train employees in the knowledge necessary to become a skilled worker.”

The IEC Apprenticeship Program is a combination of classroom and on-the-job training over a four-year (three-year for Low-Voltage) period of time. The program is designed to provide the apprentice with the necessary theory and practical training to earn the status of electrician.

What Apprenticeship Programs does IEC Chesapeake offer?

IEC Chesapeake currently offers a 4-year Electrical program, a 3-year Telecommunications Technician program, and a 4-year HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) program. Contact us for more information about the Low Voltage and HVACR Programs.

4-Year Electrical

  • Traditional Classroom Instruction
  • Our oldest and most populated program, the IEC Chesapeake 4-Year Electrical Apprenticeship Program is powered by the IEC National Curriculum. Our program has the distinction of being one of few programs that focuses heavily on solar and other renewable energies in the 4th year.
  • Most of our students enroll with the ambition of earning their Journeyman or Master Electricians License, and many of our students go on to become Project Managers, Foremen, Estimators, and upper management.

3-Year Telecommunications Technician

  • Live Online Web-casting
  • A BICSI-recognized program, our Telecommunications Technician 3-Year Apprenticeship program prepares students to excel in low-voltage applications. The Live Online Web-casting format was developed to meet the unique needs of Low-Voltage contractors who regularly move their employees, which makes it difficult to participate in a traditional classroom-based program.
  • Classes are taught by experienced, engaging instructors who encourage students to participate as they would in the classroom.
  • To ensure students are receiving the necessary hands-on training, we require our apprentices to complete labs and skills training under the supervision of a Journeyman or Foreman on the job site.
  • Students are eligible to apply to take the BICSI level one exam at the end of their second year, and can apply to take the level two exam at the end of their third year.

4-Year HVACR Program

  • Traditional Classroom Instruction
  • The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR) apprenticeship program is a combination of classroom and on-the-job learning over a four-year period of time. The HVACR program is designed to provide the apprentice with the necessary theory and practical training to earn the status of HVACR Technician.
  • This is a brand new program launching in 2015. Because Electrical and HVAC are increasingly crossing paths as both industries evolve, it is becoming essential that electricians and technicians have some understanding of where the trades intersect. The HVACR program was developed to provide total training solution to contractors, whether they provide only HVACR services, or if they have both HVACR and Electrical divisions.

Self-Paced Online Electrical Program

  • Our Online Electrical Program is designed to allow flexibility for students who live too far away to commute, or who are currently assigned to evening or overnight work.
  • This 4-year, self-paced program uses an  integrated training model to train online at your convenience. As a state approved sponsor in DC, MD and VA*, the Online Electrical Apprenticeship Program through IEC Chesapeake will meet the same Department of Labor requirements as the traditional live classes
  • To be considered for an Online Program, a student must live more than 45 miles away from the nearest IEC Chesapeake classroom training site or must be maintaining a work schedule that precludes them from classroom training. To be considered for an Online Program, all applicants must include a letter from their employer recommending them for the program.

Spanish-Assisted Electrical Program

  • ¿Hablas español? – The IEC Chesapeake Spanish-Assisted Electrical Program is designed to help non-native English speakers navigate all 4 years of the electrical apprenticeship program. The class is taught primarily in English by a bilingual instructor who provides additional support to students when needed. Our program is the only approved Spanish-Assisted Electrical Apprenticeship Program in the state of Maryland. For more information, click here.

What is the curriculum for each program?

Click on the links below to learn more about each program and to download the curriculum for each:

What are the minimum requirements to become an Apprentice?

All Apprentices:

  • Must be at least 18 years old, or have the permission of a legal guardian
  • Must have graduated high school, or earned their GED
  • Must have a valid State Driver’s License
  • Must have internet access, and a valid email address.
  • Must be able to pass a basic Math and Reading Assessment
  • Must be able to work independently, and as a member of a team

Why do you require all apprentices to have internet access?

In an effort to streamline processes and go greener as an organization, most all IEC Chesapeake correspondence is digital. This includes tuition invoices, school schedules, and other essential communication. You are also required to submit your On the Job Training (OJT) hours online.

It is required that all students have regular access to the internet for these reasons. If you do not have internet access at home, we suggest utilizing local libraries, or discussing the matter with your employer.

How often will Apprentices attend class?

To complete the program, students must attend 151 hours of classroom instruction per year. This typically means two 3.5 hour sessions a week, or one 4 hour session depending on the program and location.

Apprentices receive their entire classroom schedule at the start of the year.

Do Apprentices just sit in class all the time??

Absolutely not! The IEC Chesapeake program utilizes hands-on training as much as possible to supplement the classroom curriculum. Just take a look at some of the videos from our year-one students participating in a hands-on lab!

The IEC Chesapeake curriculum is a combination of the most innovative and comprehensive training programs in the country. It emphasizes a hands-on learning experience in conjunction with traditional classwork, utilizing purpose-built labs that give your employees a true real-world experience in the classroom.

Our curriculum exposes students to new and changing technologies in renewable energy, and features numerous third-party presentations from manufacturers and other vendors to provide students with a thorough understanding of the products they use in the field.

Is all classroom time dedicated to learning from a book?

No! Whenever possible, we incorporate our Associate Partners into the curriculum, bringing manufacturing and distribution representatives to teach apprentices about products they will commonly be using in the field.

Not only does it give our students an in-depth look at current and evolving technologies, it also promotes engagement by bring in new and different personalities to teach on different subjects.

What do the lab facilities look like?

So glad you asked. Please take a moment and watch a quick video tour of one of our facilities given by our Associate Director of Education, Donte Lee.

Is the Curriculum State and Federally Approved??

Yes! The IEC Chesapeake curriculum is Federally Approved, and recognized by Maryland, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Does an Apprentice get their Journeyman’s License upon completion of the program?

The IEC Chesapeake curriculum is designed to give students the necessary foundation to pass their Journeyman’s exam.

In general, Apprentices do not receive their Journeyman’s license without completing and recording 8000 on-the-job training hours, and passing the Journeyman’s Exam.

However, different jurisdictions have different rules. Apprentices that complete the program as registered students are eligible to receive a journeyman’s license in D.C., Virginia, or Harford County, Maryland without the need to take an exam.

Is the program easy?

We are up-front here at IEC Chesapeake. When you enter into an Apprenticeship Program, you are looking at 3 to 4 years of working full-time and attending class in the evenings. It is not an easy path by any means, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We find that our graduates leave the program with more confidence and self-awareness, most having been challenged to maintain a rigorous work and training schedule with the demands of their personal lives.

Graduates leave the program knowing what they’re capable of accomplishing. Moreover, as an IEC Chesapeake graduate entering into a booming market, you have proven your dedication to your trade, and shown yourself to be a valuable asset to the industry.

Where will Apprentices go to class?

Apprentices are given the choice between our training locations based upon where they live. Apprentices must attend a physical classroom location, unless they qualify for the online program.

Once the Apprentice chooses a location, they are required to stay at that location for the entire school year. Students may request a change to their training location prior to a new school year.

How many training locations does IEC Chesapeake have?

IEC Chesapeake has training facilities throughout Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia.

IEC Chesapeake Laurel
In conjunction with Anne Arundel Community College
8751 Freestate Drive, Laurel, MD 20723

IEC Chesapeake Dulles
In conjunction with the Northern Virginia Community College
42680 Trade West Drive, Dulles, VA 20166

UDC Community College – Backus Campus
5171 South Dakota Ave NE. Washington, D.C. 20017

College of Southern Maryland
2500 Davis Road, Waldorf, MD 2060

Catonsville High School
In conjunction with the Community College of Baltimore County
Hands-On Portion takes place at IEC in Laurel
421 Bloomsbury Avenue, Catonsville, Maryland 21228

Cecil College
1 Seahawk Drive, Northeast, MD 21091
Frederick Career & Technical Center
7922 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702

Bucks County Community College- Perkasie Campus
One Hillendale Rd.
Perkasie, PA 18944

How do Apprentices qualify for online classes?

Our Online Programs are designed to allow flexibility for students who live too far away to commute, or who are currently assigned to evening or overnight work.

To be considered for an Online Program, a student must live more than 45 miles away from the nearest IEC Chesapeake classroom training site or must be maintaining a work schedule that precludes them from classroom training. To be considered for an Online Program, all applicants must include a letter from their employer recommending them for the program.

What is the policy for transfer into IEC Chesapeake?

  1. If a student completes a full year at IEC and misses the following school year, he/she may return to the program with only updating their personal information.
  2. If a person attended IEC for a full year and misses between 13 to 24 months of school he/she may return after completing the Math and Reading assessment, updating personal information and paying the processing fee.
  3. Any person wishing to enroll into IEC Chesapeake who has not attended an Apprenticeship program in over 24 months must take the current Final Exam for the last year they attended. (ex: if he/she completed year 2 in 2011 and wish to return, he/she must take the most recent year 2 Final Exam that was given to a class)
  4. A person may be allowed to transfer in to IEC and take a Skip Test if they have taken 1 year another Apprenticeship program and missed 1 year but has been working for an Electrical Contractor.
  5. A person who has attended “Test, Allstate, or a Trade school” may be allowed to take a Skip Test for years 1 or 2 and Transfer in. Must provide proof. Ex: if a person has completed their classes at a Trade School and feels as though they obtained enough knowledge to take a Year 1 Exam and move into year 2 we shell allow him/her to do so
  6. If a person has attended a school such as ABC or Harford County and then taken off or missed 18 months or more of school, he/she must take an IEC Exam based on the last year completed in their program.


How does IEC Chesapeake help unemployed Apprentices find work?

We do not “place” students with employers.

Once accepted into the program, IEC Chesapeake will provide a list of its Contractor Partners who are currently hiring. While we will offer tips to better prepare the apprentice in the interview process, it is the apprentice’s responsibility to contact potential employers and set up interviews.

Out-of-Work Apprentices will also be listed on our own internal list, which is accessible to our contractor members. When hiring, it is possible that a contractor will reach out to names on this list to set up interviews.

We ask that when a student finds employment, they notify our office so we can take them off the Out-Of-Work Apprentice list.

Can an Apprentice start the program without being employed by a contractor?

Let us be very clear: we strongly recommend that all students be employed full-time prior to class starting in order to gain the most from the experience.

However, economic issues can play a role in an Apprentice’s ability to find employment. Provided the Apprentice has made a good-faith effort to find employment, they are not required to employed by a contractor at the time they start the program.

However, all first-year apprentices must find full-time employment within 1 calendar year of being accepted into the program in order to continue attending class.

What happens if an Apprentice is terminated during the program?

If, for whatever reason, an Apprentice is terminated or laid-off while attending an IEC Chesapeake apprenticeship program, they will be given the same resources as a first-year apprentice to aid in finding new employment. In addition to being directed to other IEC Chesapeake members who are currently hiring, they will also be placed on the Out-Of-Work Apprentice list.

All students who are terminated, or are laid-off while enrolled at IEC Chesapeake have 1 calendar year from their termination date to find new employment.

We ask that when a student finds employment, they notify our office so we can take them off the Out-Of-Work Apprentice list.


How do I apply to the program?

Click here to obtain a detailed description of How to Apply.

Why is there a processing fee with the Application?

The application fee foremost covers the cost of the OSHA 10 training. It also goes towards administrative time required to process applications.

Where do I send my completed application?

All application materials should be sent to the following address:

IEC Chesapeake
8751 Freestate Dr.
Suite 250
Laurel, MD 20723

What are the application deadlines?

While IEC Chesapeake maintains a rolling admission cycle and accepts applications year round, we cannot guarantee entrance into the Fall or January sessions unless you apply by the following dates:

For the Fall Semester:
July 15th

For the January Semester:
December 1st

If you apply after those dates, the application processing fee increases to $105.

We will not start a student after classes have begun.

What is a letter of reference?

As part of the IEC Chesapeake Application, prospective students are required to submit 2 Letters of Reference. A Letter of Reference is a short letter written by a non-family member that speaks to the character and qualifications of the student. It should also explain how the person knows the prospective student.

The letters can be typed, or handwritten but must come from a non-family member. We suggest asking your current or former employers, former or current teachers, former or current coworkers, or people who can specifically speak to your character.

Be sure to give your reference plenty of notice, and thoroughly explain what is expected.Both letters must be included with your other documents to ensure your application is processed.

What happens if I do not get accepted?

In the event that an applicant is not accepted into the program, they will be given an opportunity to requalify at the discretion of the IEC Chesapeake Staff, and the Apprenticeship Committee.

How many students are accepted each year?

IEC Chesapeake will accept any and all students who apply to and qualify for the program.

An Apprentice is transferring from another program or has x-number of years in the field. Can they apply for Advanced Placement?

If you think you are eligible to skip a year of our program because of your work experience, and you are certain you know the code book inside and out, you may request an Advanced Placement Test.

Be warned, these tests are not easy. Before attempting to skip a year, be sure to review our curriculum. An Advanced Placement Test requires a $100 nonrefundable processing fee. All Advanced Placement Tests must be taken at least 1 month prior to the start of class.

To schedule a test, email Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com

Can I earn college credit for attending the Apprenticeship Program?

Yes, you are able to earn credits towards a degree through ACE, and through several of our Community College partners.

Contact Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com for more details.


How much does the program cost?

The current IEC Chesapeake Electrical Classroom pricing is as follows:

  • Member: $2,240
  • Non Member: $3,490

 These rates are per school year, and are subject to change.

How do I qualify for the member rate?

The member/nonmember rates are determined by your employer. To be eligible for the member rates, your employer must be a current member of IEC Chesapeake.

In the event that you enter the school year working for a member of IEC Chesapeake and in the first semester of the year you are either terminated, begin working for a non-member, or if your employer does not renew their membership, you will be responsible for paying an additional $500 fee to continue attending class.

To learn about Contractor Membership, please have your employer contact us at 1.800.470.3013.

Are books included?


Who pays for the tuition?

Tuition invoices are sent directly to Apprentices at the beginning of the school year. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the bill is paid online by the deadline to avoid incurring any additional fees.

Contractors have different policies concerning Tuition for Apprentices that range from non-involvement to partial and full tuition reimbursement.

We encourage you to ask your current or potential employer about their tuition policy prior to tuition deadlines.

Please note: Contractors with Apprentices Registered in the District of Columbia are required to pay for their tuition.

When is tuition due?

The early deadlines for Tuition Payment are July 1st for the Fall Session, and December 1st for the January Session. If you pay your tuition by those dates, you will receive a $100 discount.

All Tuition must be paid in full before the first night of class.

If you do not pay your tuition prior to arriving the first night of class, you will be subject to an additional $50 administrative fee.

How do you pay tuition?

All tuition invoicing and payment is done online. Invoices are available after Apprentices are enrolled in classes and assigned a schedule. Please keep in mind that apprentices at different years, or different sites may receive their invoice sooner than others. You can access your invoice by logging in at the IEC Chesapeake website.

If your invoice is not posted in your student account after having received your schedule, contact Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com

Do you offer Student Loan financing?

We do have access to SallieMae Student Loans through some of our community college partners.

Contact Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com for more details.

I am a US Veteran. Can I use my GI Bill benefits for the IEC Chesapeake apprentice program?

Yes, you can apply your GI Bill benefits to apprentice training at specific IEC Chesapeake locations.

Contact Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com for more details.


As a contractor, why should I choose the IEC Chesapeake Program?


1. An Industry-Leading, Hands-on Learning Experience

  • The IEC Chesapeake curriculum is a combination of the most innovative and comprehensive training programs in the country.
  • It emphasizes a hands-on learning experience in conjunction with traditional classwork, utilizing purpose-built labs that give your employees a true real-world experience in the classroom.
  • Our curriculum exposes students to new and changing technologies in renewable energy, and features numerous third-party presentations from manufacturers and other vendors to provide students with a thorough understanding of the products they use in the field.

2. An Online Student Invoicing & Tracking System

  • Your time is valuable. We make it easy to hold your employees accountable. All of our students are tracked for you via our AMPs database.
  • Your designated company contact will automatically receive an email if your employees miss class, or are in danger of failing.
  • Any time of day, you can log-in to check grades, attendance, and approve OJT Hours.
  • At the start of each school year, all students receive their invoices and pay online, eliminating the extra headaches, while lessening the paperwork.

3. We have 8 Different School Locations, with an Available Online Program

  • In addition to our 30,000 Square Foot facility in Laurel, Maryland, IEC has satellite schools in Waldorf, Cockeysville, Rockville, Frederick, Washington D.C., Dulles, Virginia, and Harrisburg, PA.
  • Apprentices choose the location that is closest to them, making it easier to get to class.
  • Are some of your employees working remotely? Do you have a considerable amount of night-work on the horizon? IEC has the only online electrical programs approved by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. We have contractors with students enrolled online all over the country and the world.

4. Our Programs Are Approved Everywhere, Government Work is Easier.

  • Our curriculum is recognized by the Apprenticeship and Training Programs in Maryland, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, and by the US Department of Labor.
  • We regularly work with the Department of Labor to register apprentices for contractors completing government work, and keep up to date on new and changing requirements related to Davis-Bacon Prevailing wage and employee compensation.
  • As a proactive trade association, we also have members sitting on apprenticeship councils in multiple states, and actively participate in new legislation that affects the electrical industry.
  • We fight on the front-lines to ensure our members, our students, and all independent electrical contractors have a voice in new legislation.

5. Our Program Creates Well-Rounded Employees

  • Your best employees are your most responsible employees, on and off the jobsite. They show up on time, always stay busy, work safely, and keep problems from their personal lives from affecting their work. This is why we offer an education beyond technical training.
  • Our students receive CPR, First Aid, and safety training.
  • We also offer opportunities to learn about financial planning, time management, and jobsite etiquette.
  • Most of the younger men and women joining the industry are not properly prepared to plan for the future and make responsible home decisions. You are making an investment by sending your employees to school; we want to provide the best possible resources to offer you the greatest return on your investment.

To set up a tour of our facility, or for questions not addressed in the FAQ, please call 1.800.470.3013 today.

Do you still have questions?

If so, email Apprenticeship@IECChesapeake.com, or call us at 301.912.3013

*The information that appears on this FAQ is subject to change without notice. This information is in no way a legally binding obligation on the part of IEC Chesapeake.

Maryland Apprenticeship Ambassador Program

Events & News Feed

Events & News Feed

IECC Fall Brewery Event

IECC Fall Brewery Event

7/20/2018 12:00:00 AM EDT
3 days ago

We’re Brewing Up Some Fun!

Join fellow members in an evening of food, fun & networking on October 2nd at ...

IEC Convention & Expo 2018

IEC Convention & Expo 2018

7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM EDT
4 days ago

IEC Convention & Expo 2018

September 19-22, 2018

Indiana Convention Center  |  Indianapolis, IN

Register Now

In Electrical We Like it Rough

In Electrical We Like it Rough

7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM EDT
5 days ago

The RoughLyte LED from our friends at Philips/Stonco, hits the spot! Our Associate Partners at Lighting Environments, product reps ...

Fall Apprenticeship Program is Starting Soon

Fall Apprenticeship Program is Starting Soon

7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM EDT
6 days ago

Remember that ad? Parents skipping down the aisles at the store, picking up notebooks, pencils, while sad children followed behind ...

Yep, We Have an AP for That...Lighting Environments and Lightolier

Yep, We Have an AP for That...Lighting Environments and Lightolier

6/26/2018 12:00:00 AM EDT
3 weeks ago

Lighting Environments and Lightolier. Our Associate Partners at Lighting Environments are your Philips/Lightolier specialists. They are excited to share ...