Apprenticeship: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.1 When can I apply for the Apprenticeship Program?
A. The Operating and Maintenance Engineers Apprenticeship and Training Trust for Southern California accepts applications every two years.
Applications will be accepted:

Monday, May 1, 2017 through Saturday, May 6, 2017 9:00 AM to Noon ONLY and
Monday, May 8, 2017 through Friday May 12, 2017 9:00 AM to Noon ONLY at:

2501 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Q.2 Who can apply? What documents are required?
A. Anyone at least 18 years of age who is a US High School graduate, or has a General Education Diploma (G.E.D.). You must also have a U.S. Birth Certificate. However, if you were not born in the United States, we will accept a Permanent Resident Card, a US Passport, or a Naturalization Certificate. Please note that all documents must be original, and you will be required to present these documents at the time of applying, along with a photo ID. You must be able to speak, write and read English, and be able to do math calculations.

Q.3 I do not have my Birth Certificate. What can I do?
A. We also accept a Permanent Resident Card, a US Passport or a Naturalization Certificate in lieu of a US Birth Certificate. Please note that a driver's license is not considered proof of citizenship.

Q.4 I have lost my US High School Diploma. What can I do?
A. You may obtain a certified copy of your transcripts from your High School. If you receive a copy of your transcripts please make sure it contains the following information: your full name, date of graduation, state seal on the envelope and the signature of the person who sent it to you.

Q.5 I cannot find my US High School Diploma but I have a college degree (ie AA, BA etc.) Will that be accepted in lieu of a US High School Diploma?
A. Yes, if the US College required a US High School education in order to attend classes. You must bring your diploma with an original letter from the college, indicating that their college does require a US high school graduate. Most trade schools and community colleges do not require a high school diploma.

Q.6 I do not have a US High School diploma or GED how can I obtain one.
A. You can contact the GED office in Los Angeles at 1646 S. Olive Ave, Room 503, Los Angeles, CA 90015 or by calling 213/765-2573 to schedule an appointment to take their test. You must be 18 years of age and have a valid California ID. The cost varies between centers.

Q.7 I took the GED exam recently, but have not received my diploma. What should I do?
A. We will accept an official letter from the center where you took the GED exam. The letter should state the date you took the exam and your score.

Q.8 My High School Diploma (or college degree) is from outside the US. What do I need to do?
A. You must have your diploma evaluated by a credentials service. You may contact the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. by calling 310-258-9451 or visiting You will be charged a fee for their services. Once you apply and pay the fee it will take approximately 30 days to receive your evaluation report.

Q.9 What happens after I complete the Application for the Apprenticeship Program?
A. At the time of the application you will be scheduled to take the exam in June 2017.

Q.10 What if I cannot take the test on the day I am scheduled?
A. The exam is only administered during a few days in June. If you cannot take the exam on your assigned day, please contact the Apprenticeship office immediately by calling (213) 385-2889 x115 or x116. You should call no later than one week before your scheduled exam date. We will try to reschedule your exam date; however, we cannot guarantee it.

Q. 11 What if I am late, or miss the exam? A. If you are late, you will not be allowed to take the exam. If you do not attend on the day you are scheduled, you will not be rescheduled.

Q.12 How long will the exam take?
A. The exam will take approximately two and a half (2.5) hours.

Q.13 What will the exam cover?
A. It covers Reading Comprehension, Math Computation, Applied Math, Language, Vocabulary, Language Mechanics, and Spelling.

Q.14 When will I know my test scores?
A. You will receive your test scores by mail within three weeks after taking the exam. PLEASE DO NOT CALL the Training Center to find out your test scores. The Training Center will not release your scores to you over the phone.

Q.15 How will I know where I placed on the Apprenticeship list?
A. When you receive your test scores, you will also be notified what the highest score was on the exam. You will then be able to judge how your score compares with the top scores. This is how you are ranked on the Apprenticeship list.

Q. 16 How many people on the Apprenticeship list will be able to begin Apprenticeship training?
A. Passing the Apprenticeship exam does not automatically ensure that you will be able to enter the Apprenticeship Program. If you pass the exam, you are put on a list, and you are ranked according to your score. We use this list to call applicants when an apprentice position is available, and when a prospective employer wants to schedule an interview. During a two year period we currently place approximately 10 to 15 apprentices.

Q.17 How will I be notified of a job interview?
A. Depending on where you are ranked on the list, you will be contacted by phone to schedule an interview. Therefore, it is extremely important that you notify us if your phone number(s) have changed. We will not notify you of a job interview by mail.

Q.18 Will I have to join the Union to become an Apprentice?
A. The Apprenticeship program is Union and Employer supported. You will be required to join the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 501.

Q.19 How much are dues and does it cost anything to be in the Apprenticeship program?
A. The only cost to you to enter the Apprenticeship Program is the IUOE, Local 501 initiation fee which is approximately $250.00 when you join the union and another $250.00 when you complete the Apprenticeship Program. Your union dues will be twice your hourly rate plus the International Union per capita tax. The Apprenticeship Program pays for all your classroom training and books, so your education is free.

Q.20 If I took the Apprenticeship exam before, why do I have to take it again?
A. The State of California-Division of Apprenticeship Standards requires that we update our list of applicants every two years.

Q.21 If I took the test two years ago, why do I have to bring in verification of diploma, birth certificate, etc., again?
A. The State of California-Division of Apprenticeship Standards requires that the applicant provide us with a US Birth Certificate, US High school Diploma, etc., each time he/she applies to take the Apprenticeship exam.

Q.22 I passed the exam the last time I took it. Why didn't I get called?
A. When we have an apprentice opening, we call the top applicants (listed by the highest score on down) on the Apprenticeship list. The applicants with the top scores will have the best chance of being called to go on an interview.

Q.23 I scored extremely high on the test, why wasn't I called or scheduled for an interview?
A. The number of applicants called from the Apprenticeship List for interviews is based on the number of apprentice positions that become available during the two years that the Apprenticeship List is valid. If you are in the low end of the top scorers, and only 10 jobs open up during the two years, you may not be called.

Q.24 When will I hear that I'm in the Apprenticeship Program?
A. You will not hear from the Training Center unless you are called to go to an interview. You become an apprentice once you are hired. Therefore, it is extremely important that you notify the Training Center office of any changes to your telephone number, e-mail address and home address. If your phone numbers are invalid when we call you for an interview, a notation will be made on your records, and we will call the next person on the list.

Q.25 Do I have to accept an interview with any company you send me to?
A. No, but your refusal will be noted in your file. Unless you can give valid cause as to why you do not wish to go on said interview (being too far away is not just cause), we will continue going down the Apprenticeship List.

Q.26 How far down the Apprenticeship List do you get?
A. The number of apprentice positions is dependent on the number of apprentice openings with the participating employers during the two-year period that the Apprenticeship List is valid.

Q.27 How long is the Apprenticeship Training?
A. The Apprenticeship Program is a four-year training program. During the four years you will be working 40 hours per week. You will be learning the trade from experienced engineers and attending classes at the Training Center twice a week in the evenings.

Q.28 What if I have taken classes in stationary engineering at another college (i.e., LATTC)? Will those classes count and will I get out of the program in less than 4 years?
A. The State of California requires that an apprentice attends a minimum number of classroom hours during the term of the Apprenticeship. Therefore, you must attend classes during the 4 years you are an apprentice. Our classes are designed specifically for the Stationary Engineer Apprentice and are hands-on oriented. Typically, previous coursework will not apply. Individual cases may be considered by the Training Director.

Q.29 Can I bring copies of the required documents?
A. No. Only original documents will be accepted at the application time. No late submission will be accepted.

Q.30 Can another person submit the documents on my behalf?
A. No. The applicant must be present with all of the original documents.

Q.31 How long does it take to complete the application?
A. The application itself will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. The wait time can vary depending on the amount of people who are waiting in line.

Q.32 What is the cost of the apprenticeship training?
A. There is no cost to the applicant for training.

Q.33 Can you mail the application to me?
A. We do not mail out and/or email applications. All applicants must show the required documentation in person in order to receive an application.

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