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Occupational Profile

Electrical Contractor

Electrical contractors erect, install, repair, service and maintain electrical installations and equipment.

  • Avg. Salary $104,386.00
  • Avg. Wage $48.66
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Down
Also Known As

Master Electrician

NOC & Interest Codes
The Electrical Contractor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations
NOC code: 7212
DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising the activities of workers who install, repair and maintain electrical wiring, fixtures and control devices, power systems, telecommunication systems and cablevision systems; and in ensuring that standards for safe working conditions are observed; may supervise activities of related workers

innovative

Interest in co-ordinating and scheduling the activities of workers; and in resolving problems; may co-ordinate and schedule activities of apprentices, helpers and labourers

objective

Interest in understanding the functioning of equipment and machinery and the production procedures used in electrical trades and telecommunications

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Electrical contractors are master electricians or employ master electricians who apply for and obtain permits for electrical work. They may do various types of construction or service work, or specialize in particular types of projects:

  • residential (for example, houses, condominiums, apartment buildings)
  • commercial (for example, office buildings, shopping malls)
  • institutional (for example, schools, hospitals, government funded projects)
  • industrial (for example refineries, factories).

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another but, in general, electrical contractors:

  • negotiate project requirements with customers
  • estimate material, equipment, labour and other costs
  • prepare bids for the electrical work involved in construction projects
  • negotiate contract terms with clients
  • plan and schedule work
  • purchase materials
  • hire and supervise electricians and apprentices
  • negotiate with unions and other parties
  • track progress and ensure compliance with architectural plans, blueprints, safety codes, certification and permit regulations and other specifications
  • co-ordinate activities with other construction managers
  • ensure that projects are completed on schedule and within budget
  • prepare progress reports for clients
  • prepare invoices and manage receivables
  • prepare and maintain safety programs.

Electrical contractors usually have a skeleton crew of employees and hire additional help as needed.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Working conditions on construction sites vary considerably from one site to another. Electrical contractors often work long, irregular hours to meet project deadlines. Some travel may be required to visit clients, job sites and suppliers.

On construction sites, electrical contractors must wear personal protective equipment (for example, a hard hat and safety boots) to reduce the risk of injury. Dealing with unexpected delays and unrealistic expectations, and collecting overdue payments can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Electrical contractors need the following characteristics:

  • exceptional organizational skills
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • creative problem solving skills 
  • leadership skills
  • good negotiation skills.

They should enjoy directing and supervising the work of others, co-ordinating and scheduling activities and resolving problems, and applying their knowledge of electrical systems and equipment under demanding conditions.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Business success is not necessarily dependent on a particular level of education, however, electrical contractors benefit from related education and supervisory experience. They may be journeyperson electricians or have post-secondary education in electrical engineering. For more information, see the ElectricianElectrical Engineering Technologist and Electrical Engineer occupational profiles. To obtain electrical permits in Alberta, a contractor must have an Alberta Master Electrician's certificate or employ someone who does.

To help electrical contractors operate successful and profitable businesses, the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta offers a Professional Education Program that includes the following courses:

  • Accounting Principles
  • Business and Public Relations
  • Assessing and Finalizing the Tender
  • Legal Implications
  • Project Management
  • Safety Principles.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Electrical Contractor / Master Electrician

Master electricians and professional electrical contractors can obtain electrical permits for electrical installations in Alberta. They may be electrical contractors themselves or work for companies that do electrical contracting work.

Legislation

Master Electrician is a designation awarded under the Certification and Permit Regulation. In Alberta, only Master Electricians awarded a Certificate of Competency by the Safety Codes Council are able to obtain electrical permits (other than homeowners)

Professional Electrical Contractor (PEC), Certified Master Electrician (CME) and Registered Master Electrician (RME) are titles awarded by the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta (ECAA). These titles and abbreviations are protected under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. You do not have to be registered with ECAA if you do not use one of these titles or abbreviations.

Education

Certification as a master electrician requires at least 3 years of experience as a journeyperson electrician (within the previous five years) and successful completion of an approved examination. For information on becoming a Master Electrician, visit the Safety Codes Council’s website or contact the Council.

Once you have Master Electrician certification, additional training through the ECAA may allow you to register as a PEC, RME or CME. For detailed information about registration for these designations, visit the ECAA website or contact the ECAA.

Working in Alberta

Master electricians and electrical contractors who are certified/registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta
17725 - 103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5S 1N8
Phone number: 780-451-2412
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-252-9375
Email: ecaa@ecaa.ab.ca
Website: www.ecaa.ab.ca

Safety Codes Council
Suite 100, 10665 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 3S9
Phone number: 780-413-0099
Toll-free phone number in Alberta: 1-888-413-0099
Email: masterelectricians@safetycodes.ab.ca
Website: www.safetycodes.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Electrical contractors may be public companies, private corporations or self-employed individuals and frequently are contracted by large general contracting companies. Advancement generally takes the form of building an increasingly successful business or being assigned larger, more complex projects.

Electrical contractors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7202: Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,300 Albertans are employed in the Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 3 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As electrical contractors form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for electrical contractors. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Earnings for self-employed electrical contractors vary considerably from contractor to contractor and from year to year.

Electrical contractors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7202: Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations occupational group earned on average from $46.48 to $50.80 an hour. The overall average wage was $48.66 an hour. For more information, see the Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

Construstion Labour Relations - Alberta website: www.clra.org

Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta website: www.ecaa.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Feb 26, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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