Held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds, the contest included a written test of knowledge, a safety Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) inspection, and taking a project from a blueprint to its completion.
To compete in the Watson Electrical Apprentice Contest, apprentices must have completed Level II of the NCCER curriculum and 4000 on-the-job hours. The apprentice contest comprises the knowledge test and the skills project. Based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), the knowledge test consists of typical questions one would find when working in the electrical field. During the test, apprentices are allowed to consult the NEC book. The real challenge is being able to find the correct answer. Of course, questions can be intricate and, if not read carefully, can result in the wrong answer.
The second part, the skills project, is a tapestry of complicated components. The apprentice builds the project from blueprints and is to complete the project within the 4-hours. The project blueprints contain conduit bending, 3-way and 4-way switches, panel and junction boxes, lights and outlet receptacles (regular and GFCI), smoke detector, photocell (for sensing day vs. night), telephone outlet, panel labeling, and other items seen in electrical work. But installing these components according to the blueprints is only part of the skills challenge. Neatness, productivity (completing the project in the allotted time), and measurement accuracy are also significant factors in scoring an apprentice’s work.