Pre-Apprenticeship FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pre-Apprenticeship


Q. Is completion of a pre-apprenticeship required to qualify for the apprenticeship?

  • No. A Pre-apprenticeship is a good resume and skills builder for people with little to no construction experience. It helps prepare individuals for the expectations and the culture of construction.

Q. Can I be overqualified for a pre-apprenticeship?

  • A pre-apprenticeship is an opportunity for the industry to foster skills and experience in promising candidates who lack industry experience. Generally speaking, material handlers and applicants with industry experience may be overqualified and may not find the class beneficial.

Q. How many students will be accepted?

  • Class sizes range from 12 – 18, depending on social distancing mandates.

Q. If I go through the pre-apprenticeship and am later accepted into the apprenticeship, will I displace anyone on the ranked list?

  • No. ETAP students do not displace any applicants. We have a projected number of new classes (boot camps) that we are going to take for the year, and we take those off of the ranked list. Those classes are paid for by NIETC (the resources, instructor, etc). The pre-apprenticeship is completed funded through a Department of Labor grant and not paid for by the NIETC, and the pre-apprentices are not merged onto the ranked list.

Q. Will we be assigned homework?

  • Yes, we will assign an average of 2-3 homework assignments per week. Tutoring is available for pre-apprentices at the Training Center or online on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.

Transcripts and Qualifications

Q. Why is this program only open to people on the ranked list?

  • We have found that students are more successful with the apprenticeship curriculum when they already have a strong math foundation because they can focus on industry skills.

Q. I am not on the ranked list because I am having difficulty passing the algebra part of the aptitude test. What are my options?

  • We recommend taking a college placement math test at your local community college to determine your current math level. Take college math classes if you think having a teacher on hand will be helpful. If you don’t need a teacher on hand, you can take classes online (Khan Academy Algebra and Tech Math are good choices). We recommend seeking the help of a professional counselor if you experience test anxiety.

Q. I submitted my transcripts when I applied for the apprenticeship. Do I need to upload my qualifying transcripts?

  • Yes, you will need to upload a new set of qualifying documents.

Q. How do I qualify as a low-income applicant (185% below Federal Poverty Guidelines)?

To calculate where your household fall in terms of percentage of Federal Poverty Guidelines click here and:

  • Divide your income by the poverty guideline listed for your household size
  • Carry the decimal point two places to the right
  • Add a percentage sign, and you have your answer

You will need to submit one of the following:

  • 2021 state, federal, or Tribal tax return 
  • Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
  • SNAP card or a letter verifying SNAP eligibility

Q. How do I qualify as a disability applicant?

  • Please upload signed documentation from your medical provider (within 5 years) of your disability and necessary accommodation.

Q. How do I qualify as a veteran/spouse of a veteran?

  • Please upload your or your spouse’s DD214. If you are on active duty or reserves, please upload your current Military ID.
  • If you are the spouse of a veteran, please upload documentation of the marriage. 

Attendance Policies

Q. Is 100% attendance required? I have a vacation/wedding/graduation/etc. planned.

  • Attendance is critical. Pre-apprentices are required to attend all classroom training and On-the-Job Training. Documentation of any attendance or tardy-related issue is encouraged (tow receipt, doctor’s note, etc.).
  • Absences during Classroom Training: Three absences are allowed over the duration of the classroom training.
    • 1st Absence: Verbal Warning
      2nd Absence: Written Warning
      3rd Absence: Written Warning
      4th Absence: Termination
  • Absences during On-the-Job Training: One absence per 80 hours of OJT experience.
    • 1st Absence: Written Warning
      2nd Absence: Termination
  • Tardies during Classroom Training: Tardy means arriving up to 2 hours late to class in the morning, from break, from lunch, and/or leaving up to 2 hours early. Students with incomplete homework can be sent to a lab to finish it and will be tardy or absent as applicable. Over 2 hours is an absence. Two tardies are allowed. Three equate to an absence.
    • 1st Tardy: Verbal Warning
      2nd Tardy: Written Warning
      3rd Tardy: Counted as an Absence and the above rules apply
  • Tardies during On-the-Job Training: This will vary per contractor policy. Repeated tardiness could be cause for termination.

Direct Entry

Q. Can you explain how Direct Entry works?

  • Pre-apprentices are not guaranteed direct entry. Pre-apprentices who successfully complete all classwork, demonstrate a good attitude, attendance, and aptitude for the trade, and receive favorable reports for their two weeks of on-the-job training will be considered for direct entry into the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy program. This offer expires after 180 days. All application requirements must be met. Think of the pre-apprenticeship as a very long interview. 

Q. Do you offer successful pre-apprenticeship graduates Direct Entry into the Limited Residential Program?

  • No, Direct Entry is only available for the Inside Electrician and Limited Energy Technician Programs.

Wages and Supportive Services

Q. Is there any financial assistance available beyond the $500 stipend?

  • We recognize that the unpaid pre-apprenticeship program may present a hardship. WorkSource and 211 are community resources that may be able to provide assistance. To locate a WorkSource center in Oregon visit To locate a center in Washington visit 211 can be reached by visiting, dialing 211, by emailing, or by texting your zip code to 898211.
  • Pre-apprentices may qualify for childcare and other assistance. The training center will work to connect students to these resources. If you are in need of this assistance, please send an email to

Q.  What are the wages for the on-the-job experience?

  • Wages will be the equivalent of first pay-period wages for the apprenticeship program the pre-apprentice earns entry into. The current first pay-period wage for Inside Electrician is $20.14/hr, and the current first pay-period wage for Limited Energy Technician is $20.78/hr.

Q. Can I qualify for unemployment benefits during the un-paid classroom time?

  • We cannot determine unemployment benefit eligibility. We encourage students who are accepted into the pre-apprenticeship to contact the employment office to determine eligibility.