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Electrical Contractor

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

  • Avg. Salary $83,375.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.34
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 6,200
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Master Electrician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations (7212) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations (H012) 
  • 2011 NOC: Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations (7202) 
  • 2016 NOC: Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations (7202) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

29%
29%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Electrical Contractor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations
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 Mar 31, 2020

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

  • Residential (dwellings, such as houses, townhouses, or apartment buildings)
  • Commercial (for example, office buildings or shopping malls)
  • Institutional (public projects, such as schools, hospitals, and libraries)
  • Industrial (for example, refineries or factories)

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another. 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 rules, permit regulations, and other specifications
  • Co-ordinate activities with other construction managers
  • Ensure project completion is on time and on budget
  • Prepare progress reports for clients
  • Prepare invoices, manage receivables, and follow up with clients regarding payment
  • Prepare and maintain safety programs

Most electrical contractors have a main crew of employees and hire more help as needed.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

On construction sites, electrical contractors must wear personal protective equipment. For example, hard hats and safety boots reduce risk of injury. Dealing with unexpected delays, managing unrealistic expectations, and collecting overdue payments can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Electrical contractors need:

  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiation skills

They should enjoy working on electrical systems and equipment under demanding conditions. They should also enjoy solving problems and co-ordinating / scheduling activities. They should be comfortable directing and supervising the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Business success does not necessarily depend on education level. 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 Electrician, Electrical Engineering Technologist and Electrical Engineer occupational profiles. 

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

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

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

To obtain electrical permits in Alberta, a contractor must have an Alberta Master Electrician’s certificate or employ someone who does. 

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 [pdf]. 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 [pdf]. You do not have to be registered with ECAA if you do not use one of these titles or abbreviations.

What You Need

Certification as a master electrician requires at least 3 years of experience as a journeyperson electrician (within the previous 5 years) and successful completion of an approved examination. For information on becoming a Master Electrician, visit the Safety Codes Council website.

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.

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 in Canada?, the ECAA website, and the Safety Codes Council website.

Contact Details

Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta
17725 - 103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1N8
Canada

Call: 780-451-2412
Call toll-free: 1-800-252-9375
Email: ecaa@ecaa.ab.ca
Website: www.ecaa.ab.ca

Safety Codes Council
Suite 500, 10405Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Canada

Call: 780-413-0099
Call toll-free in Alberta: 1-888-413-0099
Email: masterelectricians@safetycodes.ab.ca
Website: www.safetycodes.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Electrical contractors may be public companies, private businesses, or self-employed individuals. They are often contracted by large general contracting companies. Advancement generally means 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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the H012: Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 3 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Earnings for self-employed electrical contractors vary a great deal from contractor to contractor and year to year.

Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.50 $54.24 $36.66 $33.53
Overall $23.00 $72.12 $41.34 $37.00
Top $26.00 $72.12 $44.96 $43.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Manufacturing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

29%
29%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

33%
33%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

1%
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 Mar 31, 2020

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

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

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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