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Building You: Electricians raise awareness of apprenticeships


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A local apprenticeship program is raising awareness of career opportunities for electricians.


The Wichita Electrical Training Center offers an apprenticeship program, where students earn while they learn.


“It’s a great alternative pathway to a great career. College isn’t for everybody, but if you’re looking for a high wage, high demand career, electrician is one of them. And, apprenticeship program is a great way to get there,” said Tony Naylor, training director at the Wichita Electrical Training Center, located at 810 West 13th Street.


Each student becomes an apprentice for a contractor and is paid to work. Apprentices start at $15 per hour, plus benefits.


After the five year program, an apprentice must take a test to become a journeyman electrician.


If that individual passes the exam, he or she can become a certified journeyman electrician and may earn more than $30 per hour, plus benefits.


“It pays good. You work hard and at the end of the day, you go home and you feel like you accomplished something,” said Kristen Whelchel, fifth year apprentice, who recently passed the test. She is currently working for Shelley Electric.


A nationwide effort to bring awareness of apprenticeship programs will be held November 8 to 14 during National Registered Apprenticeship Week.


According to the US Department of Labor, apprenticeships span more than 1,000 occupations.

To find a registered apprenticeship program, click here.

Here is a list of a few local programs: