Pay and Benefits

Apprenticeship is a program where one "Earns While They Learn" the trade. Apprentices are paid a percentage of the Journeyman Wireman rate for the job they are on. The Journeyman Wireman rate is currently over $25. The percentage paid the apprentice is based on the JW rate:

  1. First Year: 50%
  2. Second Year: 57%
  3. Third Year: 64%
  4. Fourth Year: 70%
  5. Fifth Year: 80%

One can see how an apprentice can earn over $150,000.00 during their apprenticeship and have an income over $50,000.00 per year after completion of apprenticeship. Keep in mind that contracts are negotiated periodically and wages and benefits are subject to change.

College Credits

An apprentice will earn 45 semester hours of College Credit with Pellissippi State Community College for completing this program.

Retirement Plans

There are four sources of income for those retiring from the trade working under the IBEW/NECA program and contracts.

  • Social Security. NOTE: The more you earn, the larger you SS check.
  • The Southern Retirement Plan, through the NECA/IBEW, currently pays $2.65 per hour for Journeyman and a reduced amount to fourth and fifth year apprentices as well as CE members. At retirement, this fund goes directly to the retiree at NO COST TO THE MEMBER.
  • The National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF) pays $32.00 per month for every year one worked under an IBEW/NECA agreement. This is at NO COST TO THE MEMBER.
  • The IBEW pays $4.50 per month for every year one is a member of the IBEW. Union dues support this fund. One can draw out more than they paid in a few short years after retirement.
  • The IBEW also provides a death benefit during your active membership and a reduced amount after retirement.

Health Insurance

Journeyman and sixth period apprentices receive full family coverage at NO COST. First thru fourth year apprentices and CW2 thru CE3 members receive single coverage. Family coverage can be purchased for approximately $145.00 per month. CW1 members are not covered until they advance to CW2 or enter apprenticeship.

RELATED NOTE: We have learned from many applicants with prior experience that they have never participated in retirement plans and many have indicated they did not have insurance though some did but had to pay a portion just for their coverage and an extremely large premium for family coverage. ALWAYS CHECK OUT TO KNOW PROVIDED BENEFITS. It’s just good planning.

Contact Us

To learn more about ETAK programs you should review this entire website. For information about our training programs see the Apprenticeship and CW/CE information areas. If you still have questions after reviewing this site you may contact our office.

Use the form below to email us with any question(s).


6107 Central Avenue Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37912


Local: 865.379.6214
Fax: 865.379.1712