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Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
Apprentice, 1
Apprenticeship Program
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
   
  Are these paid positions? How much is the starting pay?
  Yes. These are "Earn while you Learn" positions. Starting pay for apprentices is between $21/hr (Utility Construction Worker), $23/hr (Hydro-electrical Maintenance Machinist), and $25/hr (Electrical Apprenticeship Trades) plus medical, vision and dental insurance. Advancement to Journey-level worker increases your pay to around $23/hr (Utility Constructor Worker), $35/hr (Hydro-electric Maintenance Machinist), and $38/hr (Electrical Trades). These are estimates because the City of Seattle’s Cost of Living adjustments change the rate yearly.


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  What are the work hours and where would we report to work?
  The workday for most apprenticeship positions at Seattle City Light is 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM, Monday through Friday. This is a regular 40-hour work week.

Lineworker Apprentices will be assigned to one of two worksites: South Service Center (4th & Spokane Street) or the North Service Center (97th & Stone Way N). Cablesplicer and Meter Electrician Apprentices are also assigned to the North Service Center.

Electrician Constructor Apprentices assignments will be rotated between various substations throughout the Seattle City Light Distribution area.

Hydro-electric Maintenance Machinists will be assigned to the Skagit worksite (Diablo/Newhalem, WA), Boundary worksite (Metalline Falls, WA), or the South Service Center machine shops (4th & Spokane Street in Seattle). Work hours vary from machine shop location.


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  What is the application and selection process?
  When a job opening is announced, (AKA when a job is “open”) most application processes involve the following steps:

  • Fill out an Application apply for the position at www.seattle.gov/jobs - If you show that you meet the minimum qualifications for the position, you will be invited to the written test.
  • Provide a Complete Driver’s Record - This must be current, and complete. Obtain it from the State Department of Licensing.
  • Written Test - A typical paper and pencil test to measure your aptitude for working with mathematics, electrical theory, mechanical reasoning. Basic reading ability and a good worker characteristics survey is also included.
  • Working Test - A hands-on, demonstration of what you can do. This test gives you a chance to show your mechanical aptitude, knowledge of tools and electrical equipment, typical working skills, safety and work speed as well as ability to follow directions.
  • Oral Panel Interview - Applicants will answer questions from a panel of SCL workers representing their craft and management. Questions about work experience and a basic ability to handle typical work situations will be included.
  • Reference check - After the interview, references for each of the most successful candidates are contacted. Those applicants that are among the final choices for employment will be asked to pass a:
  • Pre-employment physical – A medical examination of the candidate to determine whether he/she can perform the mental and physical functions of the job.
  • Drug test - (Note: Only for apprenticeships requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)). Apprentices must have the ability to obtain a Class "A" CDL and under Federal Law they will be randomly drug tested throughout their career.
  • Background Check - Includes criminal history, driving record, education, and employment verification.

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  How long does the apprenticeship last?
 
  • Cable Splicer, Electrician Constructor, and Generation Electrician Constructor Apprenticeship programs are four-year (8000 hour) training programs.
  • The Meter program is a (6000 hour) program.
  • Hydro-electric Maintenance Machinist is a 8000 hour program.
  • Utility Construction Worker is a 3000 hour program.
  • The lineworkers program is a 7000 hour program (not including the six month pre-apprenticeship program).
After successfully completing the on-the-job training, academic related supplemental instruction (night school), with passing scores on crew evaluations from journey-level workers and passing several city, union, and industry exams, the apprentice becomes a journey-level worker.

(* Note: Lineworker apprentices must first complete the 6-month long (1040 hour) PAL: Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Program. See the details above.


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  When does a Pre-Apprentice become an Apprentice?
  Pre-Apprentices become Lineworker Apprentices upon successful completion of the Graduation Physical Fitness, Skills and Pole Climbing Tests. This occurs six months after the initial hire date and when 1040 on-the-job training hours have been completed. New apprentices are then "regular employees" and are probationary for one year.


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  What are the minimum requirements to apply?
 
  1. Must be a U.S. Citizenship or have legal permission to be employed in the United States
  2. Must be at least 18 years of age by the time of
  3. Must have proof of High School Diploma, Vocational School Graduation or GED equivalency.
    Note: UCW Apprentices (Utility Construction Worker) needs proof of successful completion of tenth grade of high school
  4. Applicants for Cable Splicer, Hydroelectric Maintenance Machinist, Electrician Constructor, Generation Electrician Constructor, Meter Electrician, and Pre-apprentice Lineworker, must have successfully completed high school level Algebra, Geometry, or Trigonometry with a grade of "C" (70%) or above.
  5. Must have a valid Washington State Driver's License by the time of hire
  6. Must submit a Complete Drivers Record from the Department of Licensing

Documented proof may be required. Failure to submit documentation may result in dismissal from the program or job termination.

In addition, for Cable Splicer, Electrician Constructor, Generation Electrician Constructor, and Meter Electrician :

You must meet the Minimum Qualifications list above and also be able to answer "yes" to least one of the items below:

A. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) year of high school training in electrical theory? OR

B. Have you successfully completed at least one half (1/2) year high school training installing, configuring, maintaining or repairing electrical equipment? OR

C. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) semester (at least 15 weeks) of post-high school level training in electrical theory? OR

D. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) semester (at least 15 weeks) of post-high school level training in installing, configuring, maintaining, or repairing electrical or electrical utility equipment? OR

E. Do you have at least three (3) months prior experience (paid or volunteer) applying electrical theory or installing, configuring, maintaining or repairing electrical or electrical utility equipment? OR

F. Do you have at least four (4) months prior experience (paid or volunteer) handling or assisting in installing and/or configuring electrical equipment or electrical utility equipment?

In addition, for Hydro-electric Maintenance Machinist:

You must meet the Minimum Qualifications list above and also be able to answer "yes" to least one of the items below:

A. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) year of high school training in mechanical shop or machine shop? OR

B. Have you successfully completed at least one half (1/2) year technical school training in machine shop or metals fabrication trades? OR

C. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) semester (at least 15 weeks) of post-high school level training in a mechanical trade? OR

D. Have you successfully completed at least one (1) semester (at least 15 weeks) of post-high school level training in installing, configuring, maintaining, or repairing mechanical equipment? OR

E. Do you have at least three (3) months prior experience (paid or volunteer) in applying machine shop theory or installing, configuring, maintaining or repairing mechanical equipment or hydro generation equipment? OR

F. Do you have at least four (4) months prior experience (paid or volunteer) handling or assisting in installing and/or configuring mechanical equipment?



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  What’s on the written tests?
  For Pre-Apprentice Lineworker:
The written test for pre-apprentice lineworker includes high school level algebra, electrical theory, and mechanical reasoning. Candidates do not need to know how to answer lineworker level questions but they will have to show the potential to learn material. Candidates must score competitively on this test to continue to the next stages in the hiring process.

For Cable Splicer, Electrician Constructor, Generation Electrician Constructor, and Meter Electrician:

The written test includes high school level algebra, basic electrical theory, and some elementary mechanics. Candidates do not need to know how to answer journey-level questions but they will have to show some familiarity with the basics. Candidates must score competitively on this test to continue to the next stages in the hiring process.


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  What’s on the working tests?
  What’s on the pre-apprenticeship lineworker working test?

Candidates will be asked to perform work simulation activities using some basic tools and equipment. The purpose is to test the candidates’ ability to accurately follow instructions and use their hands productively to put together equipment using tools such as nuts and bolts. Candidates do not need previous electrical experience to pass this test; only the potential to learn the skills required of the job. Successful candidates will need to work quickly, accurately and safely as well as follow directions completely. Candidates must score competitively on this test to continue on in the hiring process.


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  What’s on the pre-apprenticeship lineworker physical capacity test?
  There are three stations to evaluate physical capacity in upper body strength. These exam stations are for: chin-ups, up-right rows, and a measurement of your hand’s grip strength. Candidates must successfully pass each of the physical tests to continue on in the hiring process.

  What’s on the Cablesplicer, Electrician Constructor, Generation Electrician Constructor, and Meter Electrician working and physical test?
Candidates will be asked to perform work simulation activities using some basic tools and equipment. The purpose is to test the candidates’ ability to accurately follow instructions and use their hands productively to put together equipment using various types of tools. To pass these working tests, candidates do need some knowledge of electrical theory and some previous electrical experience such as installing, configuring, maintaining, or repairing electrical or electrical utility equipment. Successful candidates will need to work quickly, accurately, and safely as well as follow directions completely. Candidates must score competitively on this test to continue on in the hiring process.


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  What are the Apprenticeship Interviews like?
  The interview panel will be made up of several City Light employees. Often crew chiefs, journey-level workers and apprenticeship office staff are on the panel. The panel will ask the same prepared questions of each candidate interviewed. Typical interview questions ask you to describe your past experiences, skills, strengths and why you are the best candidate for this job. You will also be asked to describe your reactions to typical job-site interpersonal interaction situations. Candidates will be asked to bring a resume and three work references with them. They may ask the panel questions when the interview is concluded.


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  Does Seattle City Light do drug testing?
  Yes, for positions requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Those employees who are required to have a "Class A" CDL endorsement will be randomly drug tested throughout their career.


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  What does Veterans’ Preference Mean?
  The City of Seattle honors Veterans’ Preference. In the State of Washington, to be eligible for Veterans’ preference an individual must have been released from active duty within the last eight years and served during a time of war/conflict, or been awarded an armed forces expeditionary medal. If you meet these qualifications and choose to claim Veteran’s Preference, you must notify the Seattle City Light Human Resources Department during the application process.


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