Union Electrician Apprentice Qualifications?

In todays paper there was an advertisment in the help wanteds, the IBEW local is accepting applications for indoor wireman testing. One of the
qualifications is that you must have at least 1 year of Algebra in High School. They want you to bring your birth certificate and a sealed envelope with your H.S. transcripts.
I'm trying to figure out what purpose the test serves if they can't even test for basic knowledge of Algebra? If you need to know Algebra why would they care if you took it in H.S. or learned it elsewhere. It just seemed extreme to want High School transcripts (I didn't even know they existed) to be able to take a test. Why don't they just put some Algebra problems on the test to see if the applicant has the knowledge required for the job? It just seemed odd to make someone get high school transcripts when a few algebra questions would reveal if the person remembered it, I would think remembering algebra would be more important than proving you once knew it long enough to pass the class.
I was considering applying, I've had 2 years of Algebra in H.S. plus college Algebra, but I'm kind of thinking it's a waste of time to try to get a sealed envelope proving I've had HS Algebra. I'm kind of wondering what kind of union hall tests their applicants but can't even test their Algebra abilities?
RogerN
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I understand your point but generally if you want to join an organization they get to set the rules and qualifications. If there is a problem you should talk to the union representatives and see if it can be resolved. They might be interested in your point of view. You are not likely to get far by disparging their current methods. Generally you only have to request it and perhaps pay a nominal fee to get a transcript.
Don Young
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I just thought it seemed funny for them to want high school transcripts, I guess college transcripts aren't good enough. I never thought of graduation as the end of my learning, more as the foundation and beginning of my learning. I would like the $10/hr increase in pay but the jobs I find interesting often require a 4 year degree. I've heard of jobs wanting HS diploma or GED, but this is the first time I've heard of one wanting HS transcripts, never knew there was such a thing. I just didn't see a lot of point in high school transcripts if they are going to test anyway.
RogerN
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Maybe they're looking for more out of the transcripts than just your level of Algebra completed, like absenteeism. Also, most (not all) of those that join the union have not gone onto college but have completed high school. By using the high school transcripts instead of the college ones, it makes it easier to compare the various applicants on the same level.
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That makes sense, it's better to compare apples to apples. The position I'm in now is supposed to be an electrical maintenance technician. I repair automated equipment in a factory. Normally we have contractors to do the installations, run conduit, pull wires, etc., the IBEW workers do that work, we repair equipment. Lately production has been having me run conduit and pulling wires, the jobs that normally go to the IBEW workers. If I wanted to run conduit and wire for a living I would prefer to do it as an IBEW worker and make $10 per hour more than I do now. I have been watching the help wanteds for union electrician jobs thinking I might want to test.
RogerN
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Making more per hour is always a good thing, but watch out for the downside. As low man on the union totem pole you're the last one given work and the first one to lose it. So although you're making more per hour, you could end up not working for periods of time, making your overall income less.
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Rich. wrote:

Agreed. As an apprentice, what he's saying is that you'll likely be out of work in the winter.
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Woof! I admit to being prejudiced against unions in general, but ... a college diploma doesn't carry any weight over a HS diploma or GED? That seems awfully odd. I was a member of IBEW at one time at Square D near Chgo and don't remember anything remotely close to that kind of thing.
Just curious is all; flames ignored.
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Twayne wrote:

I agree, and as a holder of a college degree that I worked very hard for, I was really surprised when they said that isn't worth the paper it's printed on, go get the high school one. But I just went with it, and placated them. It's all about choosing your battles.
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I think it depends on the job. A college degree is required for many jobs and helps in getting many others. But for some jobs a college degree doesn't help and for some it can even make you "over-qualified" and less likely to be hired.
Don Young
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