During national Apprenticeship Week, we’re taking a look inside Ideal Energy’s electrical apprenticeship program and the careers that are reshaping our energy future

Apprentice Spotlight: Corbin Shy

Corbin Shy began with Ideal Energy in 2015 and is now completing his on-the-job training for his electrical apprenticeship. Corbin is excited to share his experience with anyone looking for a fascinating and boundless career.

As Corbin nears the end of his apprenticeship, the next step for him is the Journeyman test – a licensing exam that elevates electrical workers from “apprentices” to qualified electricians, and which allows them to work with other apprentices to grow their knowledge and experience

Q: Electrical apprenticeship seems fairly involved. Can you tell us about how big an undertaking it is?

It’s big, but it should be big to work in this field. You have to get a 2-year degree, so that’s one part of it, and the other part is that you have to log a certain number of supervised hours working as an apprentice and learning on the job. That’s what you have to do to take your Journeyman test.

You can get your schooling out of the way before you begin an apprenticeship, or you can start as an apprentice and do your schooling and hours requirements while working for a good company like I did with Ideal Energy.

Q: What makes it worth the effort?

It’s definitely worth it. It’s pretty good pay as an apprentice, and no matter what happens, if and when I pass my Journeyman test I can go pretty much anywhere I want to go and find a good job. But I like Fairfield and I am comfortable here. I like working for Ideal Energy, and I like the renewable energy field, so I think I’ll be here for quite a while.

Q: Is electrical work stressful by nature?

Stress is optional. It’s entirely optional. But no – I think even though there are definitely frustrations, enjoying the people and the job makes a big difference. I like it here and I really like the people I work with. It’s a nice family-type setting – all of the people here are friends.

Q: As a Journeyman you have a lot of flexibility and employability, but do you think you’d like to take it further? Getting your Master Electrician license?

I certainly could with what I’ve learned here, and I know it’s a goal some people have, but I think that level of work isn’t for me. I like the kind of work I’m doing – hands-on, putting the pieces together, knowing the code, applying it to what I’m doing. It’s very satisfying.

Q: Would you like to explore the renewable energy field more?

Well, we keep growing here – doors are opening up here all the time, so you never know what you’ll get to learn and work on next. It’s great.

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