Apprenticeship Program Helps Fill Labor Shortage For Electricians


Joel Hicks is at work on his future. The 26-year-old is in the final months of a four year paid apprentice program at Randy’s Electric in Brooklyn Park, and he’s chosen a career that’s in high demand.
“It’s really hard to find journeyman electricians,” said Randy Smith, owner of Randy’s Electric. “I’m looking all the time for excellent people.”
Randy’s is currently offering a ,000 signing bonus to fill two open positions, but especially after the recession, it’s been a challenge to find licensed electricians.
“Forty percent of the electricians in Minnesota will be retiring in 10 years, which means there’s huge opportunity for people,” said Smith.
For Joel Hicks, working in the electrical trades is a fit.
“Every customer’s house you go into, you just never know what you’re going to find or what surprise you’re going to find, so probably just the variety of work that we do is what I like the most,” said Hicks.
After starting at a four year college, Hicks realized a four year electrical apprenticeship program suited him better. Hicks said he’s always been good with his hands, and he has a knack for seeing how things fit together. Working as an electrician also brings lucrative prospects.
“Electricians, once you have your journeyman’s license, you will make at least ,000 a year, and some of the guys I employ will make 0,000 this year with bonuses and incentives,” said Smith.
As he finishes his work as an apprentice, Hicks has his sights set on the next big job ahead: taking the journeyman’s electrician test.
“Passing the journeyman test is probably going to be one of the great accomplishments of my life. got married a couple years ago, this is going to be right up there with that,” said Hicks with a smile.
After working a year as a licensed journeyman electrician, there’s also a test that can be taken to become a master electrician.
Alexandra Renslo reporting

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Channel 12 is on Comcast cable in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.

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