Frequently Asked Questions

Please select your question category from our most frequently asked questions.

General Information

1What is the Sound & Communication Apprenticeship Program?
  • It is a 3-year systematic program of learning - Apprentices can obtain all essential knowledge and skills necessary to become a Telecommunications Installer/Technician.
  • 4,800 Hours of On-The-Job Training - Apprentices train to proficiency on all skills required to install, maintain, and troubleshoot various systems associated with voice, data, and video.
  • 480 Hours of Related Supplemental instruction (minimum) - Apprentices will study theories relating to all job tasks important to the trade. Classroom, hands-on lab and online training helps to reinforce skills learned while doing on-the-job training.
2What type of work does a Sound and Communication Apprentice do?
Telecommunications Installers/Technicians work in new and existing construction environments. They install cabling and equipment for Telephone, Computer Networks, Video Distribution, Security and Access Control, Audio/Video, Fire/Life Safety Systems and other low voltage systems.
3I would like additional information on what the Apprenticeship program is about.
Our website is the best place to learn about the Sound and Communication Apprenticeship program. In the event you still have questions you can contact us by calling (510) 560-2032 or using the Contact Us Form.
4Where is the program offered?
The Northern California S&C JATC covers 44 county's and 11 IBEW locals. We currently train at two locations.
5Is the Apprenticeship full time or part time?
As an Apprentice, you will be working full time completing your on-the-job training and related supplemental instruction.

Application Process and Requirements

1What are the steps of the application process?

Step 1: Complete an application and submit all requirements

Step 2: Pass the Aptitude Test

Step 3: Attend Oral Interview

Step 4: If selected, attend Orientation

2Where and when can I apply?
Locations and times can be found on our Official Announcement. The Apprenticeship is constantly accepting applications throughout the year.
3Can I get the application to apply?
Currently the application process requires you to complete the application at the location of your choosing. Please refer to our Official Announcement for the requirements, time and location to apply.
4What do I need to fulfill the algebra requirement?
Show evidence of successful completion of: one full year (2 semesters) of High School Algebra or one semester of College Elementary Algebra with a minimum grade of “C” or equivalent or provide evidence of having successfully completed the Electrical Training ALLIANCE Tech Math Course (available online at http://www.electricaltrainingalliance.org/Learning/OnlineTechMath). Pre-Algebra does not meet this requirement.
5What if my transcripts indicate that I completed a Math course, but does not state Algebra? (Ex. Math A or Math 1)
Your transcripts must indicate that you completed an algebra course or any course above Algebra 1. If your transcripts specify that you completed a Math course, you must attach an additional letter from the school stating the description of the Math course. The description must specify that the Math course consisted of Algebra 1.
6Will my Bachelor’s Degree Fulfill the algebra requirement?
No. An Associates, Bachelors, or Master’s degree will only qualify for the diploma requirement. You must submit Official Transcripts from the school where you completed the algebra course to fulfill the algebra requirement (If you transferred schools, the credits transfer but not the courses; therefore, new transcripts won’t show your Algebra completion).
7What If I don’t have the algebra requirement?
One option is to enroll at your local college and complete an Algebra course. Or, the second option is to complete the Electrical Training ALLIANCE Tech Math Course (available on-line at http://www.electricaltrainingalliance.org ).
8Where am I in the application process?
If you have successfully applied, you will be notified by mail of the next step in the application process. For further information, contact the NorCal S&C Technology Training Center by calling (510) 560-2032 or by using the Contact Us Form. See our application flow chart.
9What if I don’t have official sealed transcripts?
Only official sealed transcripts are accepted. Copies are not accepted and will not fulfill the requirement. The NorCal S&C Technolgy Training Center must have an official transcript on file for you to be a complete applicant.
10What if I have foreign transcripts?
Foreign transcripts are accepted as long as they are translated in English.
11Does a CHSPE certificate count in lieu of a high school diploma?
No. You must be a High School graduate, have a G.E.D., or have a two-year Associate Degree or higher.
12What if I have telecommunications industry experience?
Individuals who have accumulated a minimum of twenty-four hundred (2,400) hours of telecommunications work experience, shall be qualified for oral interview. The applicant must provide the JATC with the proper documentation that defines their prior experience and must be comprised of official documents such as tax/payroll records or notarized statements. The JATC will examine all documentation submitted before qualification is acknowledged.
13What’s next after I submit 2,400 hours of experience?
Upon approval of industry related experience, you will bypass the aptitude test battery and be scheduled for an oral interview. Oral interview invitation letters are sent by mail once an interview date has been established.
14I have a lot of experience and would like to bypass the Apprenticeship Program and become an Union Installer/Technician.
Contact the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in your area to inquire further information about joining the Union.
15What if I have a learning disability?
Please notify the NorCal S&C JATC prior to being scheduled for the aptitude test. Reasonable accommodations will be made.
16Do I need a driver's license when I apply?
No. You will need a valid photo I.D. when applying. However, you will required to have a valid driver's license if accepted in the program.

Aptitude Test

1What’s next after meeting all minimum requirements?
You will be scheduled to take the aptitude test battery. Once an aptitude test battery date has been established, you will be notified of the time, date, and location via mail.
2How often are aptitude tests scheduled?
Aptitude tests are scheduled as needed.
3What does the aptitude test consist of?
The aptitude test consists of reading comprehension, and algebra.
4How can I prepare for the aptitude test?
When you receive your aptitude test notification letter, you will also receive a booklet with additional information and sample questions.
5How long is the aptitude test?
Please plan on spending approximately 3 hours at the Technology Training Center on your scheduled test day.
6What if I already tested?
If you have tested within the last two years, after submitting an application, please notify the S&C JATC.
7What if I can't make it to the aptitude test?
You must provide written documentation stating why you won't be able to attend. Please submit documents no later than 72 hours prior to your scheduled test date. You may be excused from the test based upon S&C JATC approval and re-scheduled.
8What if I am running late to the aptitude test?
Unfortunately, late arrivals will not be permitted. Therefore, arriving late will stop your application process and you will need to reapply and wait for the next scheduled test date.
9What is a passing score?
To proceed in the application process for the S&C Apprenticeship, you must score a "4" or higher on the aptitude test battery.
10How will I be notified of my test result?
Pass/fail letters will be mailed out as soon as we receive test scores (approximately 2-3 weeks after completing the test).

Oral Interview and Ranking

1What happens after I receive a letter stating that I passed the test?
You will be scheduled for an oral interview once an interview date has been established. You will receive an interview notification letter by mail indicating the time, date, and location of your oral interview. A pamphlet will also be attached informing applicants of what to expect at the interview.
2Can I interview again?
You may request consideration for an additional interview after one (1) year of your first interview. You are required to submit documentation that you have gained at least 1,000 hours of electrical construction work experience or successfully completed two or more post-secondary, and trade related classes. Requests will be reviewed by the S&C JATC to determine if another interview would be warranted based on the information submitted.
3What happens after I interview?
Approximately 1-2 weeks after your interview, you will receive a letter notifying you of your ranked score (not position).
4How long will I be on the rank list?
Your rank score is valid for up to two (2) years. Please keep in mind, all ranked applicants may not be selected, and selections are not always made immediately following the interview. Very often, several months may pass before actual selections are made.

Selection and Orientation

1How will I be notified if I have been selected?
Upon selection, you will be contacted by the phone number we have on file. Please keep your contact information up to date with the S&C JATC at all times.
2What happens after I accept the offer of Apprenticeship?
If you accept your offer of Apprenticeship, you will receive an email providing you with a drug screen requisition form and the time and date of your orientation at the NorCal S&C JATC Technology Training Center. An electronic orientation packet will also be attached to the email.
3What if I cannot attend the scheduled orientation?
Orientation is required. If you are unable to attend, please notify the S&C JATC 24-hours prior to your scheduled orientation.
4What is the cost of the program?
Before being registered as an Apprentice, selected applicants will need to purchase their own hand tools that will cost approximately $350.
5If selected, will I receive advanced placement if I submitted 2,400 hours of experience?
Advanced placement is possible. You must request to have your experience assessed in writing in order to be scheduled for the skills assessment exam. This can only be requested by applicants who have submitted and qualified for the 2,400-hour rule.
6What if I know an employer and they want to sponsor me/request me by name?
Applicants cannot be selected by name. Applicants are selected strictly by their rank score.
7When are new classes brought in?
Applicant selection is driven by the needs of the Sound and Communication electrical construction industry. Therefore, registration dates for new Apprentices vary.
8When will I begin related supplemental instruction "classroom training"?
Next semester, respectively, based upon registration date. Apprentices are notified by mail of their class dates and times.

CA State VDV and Fire/Life Safety Certifications

1I am an Apprentice and I passed my VDV or Fire/Life Safety exam. What do I do now?
You must submit a copy of your test results to the NorCal S&C JATC office.