Building a Brighter Future: The Value of Apprenticeship in the Electrical Industry for Aaron Fenbers [Student Spotlight]

Aaron Fenbers finds satisfaction in the fact that he is positively contributing to people’s everyday lives. Fenbers is a third-year apprentice electrician from Leesburg, Florida. His interest in becoming an electrician stemmed from his desire to have a career where he could work with his hands and with something vital in people’s everyday lives. “I was at a point in my life that I realized I needed a career and not just a job,” he said.

Aaron Fenbers works on a job site in South Florida
Aaron Fenbers works on a job site in South Florida as a part of his electrical apprenticeship with Electric Works of Florida

Working and training have been incredibly helpful to Aaron, as he can see both sides of his work. “It’s one thing to do something, but it’s really great also to understand why you’re doing it,” Fenbers said. Thanks to working directly in the field, his apprenticeship has helped him to determine wire sizes accurately, which is crucial in his work. “I’m now able to use the formulas learned through the apprenticeship program to properly size feeder wires. This is something that I wouldn’t learn if I weren’t also physically doing the work,” he said. Aaron credits the apprenticeship experience with gaining valuable skills in interacting with inspectors and learning the proper terminology to use on the job site.

Aaron is completing his apprenticeship with Electrical Works of Florida, based in Leesburg. A typical work week for Aaron consists of traveling to South Florida Monday through Thursday to restore power to those affected by Hurricane Ian. “It always feels good when you hear someone’s A/C finally kick on when they have been without power for weeks, and then to see the look of appreciation on their face that follows makes you feel proud,” Fenbers said of his work. It’s a reminder that his work makes a difference in people’s lives.

When he isn’t on the job site, Fenbers studies in the evenings to enhance his skills and knowledge in the electrical industry and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology and regulations. “Since my work week is condensed into four days, I strive to maximize my productivity during that time,” said Feinberg.

Aaron’s career goals are to get his Journeyman’s license and study to become a master electrician. Ultimately, he would like to own his own electrical business one day. “I don’t ever want to stop learning; every day presents a new opportunity to learn and grow.”

Aaron’s advice is simple for anyone considering an electrician apprenticeship: “Go for it! You won’t regret it!” Lake-Sumter State College offers a GNJ Electrician Apprenticeship program in collaboration with local industry partners, including Electrical Works of Florida. The four-year program offers the opportunity to gain paid work experience while learning the necessary material. Aaron’s experience highlights the benefit of the apprenticeship model for building experience in the electrician trade.