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Bloggings On PERM Labor Certification

by Joel Stewart

Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Joel Stewart's blog.

March 16, 2009

Inconsistencies in Job Zone Three: Electricians

Recently I discussed a report of Job Zone Five job occupations and commented that out of more than 100 jobs listed in Zone Five, only eight might be used in business or corporate settings. For more details, please look at last week's blog.

However, my curiosity was piqued by the material presented, and I decided to continue my investigation of Job Zones and Occupations in today's blog.

I looked at the list of occupations in Job Zone Three, and decided to review the O*Net classification criteria used to determine those classifications.

Taking into consideration that Job Zone three has an SVP range of 6.0 but less than 7.0 (this means that an employer can only require 1-2 years of SVP -- combined experience, education and training.

Really?

Well, look at the list of occupations in Job Zone Three, and analyze them using the O*Net classification criteria used by the O*Net. It says,

Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam in order to perform the job.

Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.

Job Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

Examples:These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include funeral directors, electricians, forest and conservation technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.

SVP Range: 6.0 < 7.0

Note that under Experience,"an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training."

Under Education,  "most occupations..require training in vocational schools, o the job experience, or an associate's degree....Some require a bachelor's degree..."

Under Training,  "...job training usually needs one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers."

At the same time, the DOL states that Apprenticeship programs usually last 4 years. See United States DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos206.htm.

According to hiss standard, the job of electrician cannot be filled by a person who meets the requirements stated, since a combination of experience, education and training would exceed the maximum to two years SVP permitted. In this case, the journeyman program is four years, and the only training time permitted by SVP is a maximum of two years.

I can only conclude that the labor statistics are in error.

If there is anyone with more comprehensive information about electricians, can you please let me konw what you think?