Pay and Benefits

Apprenticeship is a program where you Earn While You Learn trade skills on the job and the science and mysteries of the trade during classroom training. The Journey-level worker and the Apprenticeship rates can be found in the table below. The Apprentice rate is based on a percentage of the Journeyman Wireman rate.


January 1, 2023 June 1, 2023 June 1, 2024
$27.72 $28.97 $30.32


Year January 1, 2023 June 1, 2023 June 1, 2024
First - 60% $16.63 17.38 $18.19
Second - 65% $18.02 $18.83 $19.71
Third - 70% $19.40 $20.28 $21.22
Fourth - 75% $20.79 $21.73 $22.74
Fifth - 85% $23.56 $24.62 $25.77

It is easy to see how an Apprentice can earn $170,000.00 over five years and have no student loans.

NOTE: The rate may change slightly with an increase in Health Insurance. If insurance increases, the Journey-level rate reduces by 50% of the insurance increase. For example: if insurance were to increase 30 cents per hour, the Journeyman rate would be reduced by 15 cents and this would change the Apprentice rate accordingly. Rates will likely be adjusted when the contract is renewed January 1, 2024.

College Credits

Apprentices in the ETAK program earn 45 semester hours of college credit with Pellissippi State Community College. There is no cost to the Apprentice; the ETAK program pays the tuition. A few additional courses, during or after apprenticeship, and a person can earn a degree with Pellissippi.

A graduate also earns 57 semester hours of recommended credit with the American Council on Education (ACE). Over 2,000 colleges and universities recognize and accept some of the ACE credits.

Retirement Plans

There are four sources of income for those retiring under the IBEW/NECA programs.

  • Social Security.
  • The Southern Retirement Plan. This is through the NECA/IBEW and currently pays $4.30 per hour for each Journey Level Member. Fourth and fifth year Apprentices are paid half the Journeyman rate for this plan. The Journeyman rate will increase to $4.55 June 1, 2023 and to $4.80 June 1, 2024. CE Members also participate in this retirement at a lesser amount. This plan costs the member $0.00.$0.00.
  • The National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF). At retirement, one currently receives $32.00 per month for each year they worked under this plan. This plan costs the member $0.00. Here is an example of how this would look: if someone retires with 40 years of service, then they have an additional income of $1,280 per month. After 5 years, a member is vested.
  • Another source of income at retirement is directly from the IBEW. The plan currently pays $4.50 per month for continuous years of membership. This smaller retirement is covered by a member's dues along with coverage for a small life insurance policy. Here’s an example: someone with 40 years of active membership will receive an additional $180.00 per month. In 10 years of retirement, a person will have drawn out their costs for dues and they still have a small life insurance after retirement.

Health Insurance

Journey-level members and sixth period (fifth year) Apprentices receive full family coverage at NO COST. First through fourth year Apprentices and CW2 through CE3 members receive single coverage. Family coverage can be purchased for approximately $164.00 per month. CW1 members are not covered until they advance to CW2 or enter the apprenticeship program.

It is always good to check to know what benefits are provided to you. Our participants receive much more than just Social Security and they have the three other sources of income. We want to help look out for you.

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