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Occupational Profile
Apprenticeship

Electrician

Electricians install, alter, repair and maintain electrical systems that are designed to provide heat, light, power, control, signals or fire alarms for all types of buildings, structures and premises.

  • Avg. Salary $87,293.00
  • Avg. Wage $37.66
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 21,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Electrician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
NOC code: 7241
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to test continuity of circuits using test equipment to ensure compatibility and safety of a system, following installation, replacement and repair

innovative

Interest in analyzing to troubleshoot and isolate faults in electrical and electronic systems, and to remove and replace faulty components

methodical

Interest in speaking - signalling to conduct preventive maintenance programs; and in keeping maintenance records

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

Industrial Electricians
NOC code: 7242
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to install, examine, replace and repair electrical wiring, receptacles, switch boxes, conduits, feeders, fibre optic and coaxial cable assemblies, lighting fixtures and other electrical components, and to install, maintain and calibrate industrial instrumentation and related devices

innovative

Interest in analyzing to troubleshoot, maintain and repair industrial electrical and electronic control systems and other related devices

methodical

Interest in speaking - signalling to conduct preventative maintenance programs; and in keeping maintenance records

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 15, 2016

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, electricians:

  • read and interpret electrical, mechanical and architectural drawings, specifications, and applicable codes to determine wiring layouts
  • cut, thread, bend, assemble and install conduits and other types of electrical conductor enclosures and fittings
  • pull wire through conduits and holes in walls and floors
  • position, maintain and install distribution and control equipment such as switches, relays, circuit breaker panels and fuse enclosures
  • install, replace, maintain and repair electrical systems and related electrical equipment
  • install data cabling
  • splice, join and connect wire to form circuits
  • test circuits to ensure integrity and safety
  • install and maintain fibre optic systems
  • install, replace, maintain and repair renewable power sources and related equipment.

Electricians specialize in construction, maintenance and other types of electrical work, or in specific types of installations:

  • residential (housing developments)
  • commercial (office buildings)
  • institutional (hospitals)
  • industrial (plants, factories).
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Working conditions vary from one job to another. Electricians who work indoors may encounter anything from clean, open areas to dirty, cramped spaces. Those who work outdoors may sometimes work on scaffolds. They may be required to lift or move items that weigh up to 25 kilograms. There is some risk of injury due to accidental electric shock.

Electricians usually work a 40 hour, five day work week and overtime when required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Electricians need the following characteristics:

  • good communication skills including reading skills
  • an aptitude for math
  • mechanical ability
  • physical strength and stamina
  • the ability to distinguish colours to work with colour-coded wiring
  • ability to plan and organize
  • the ability to work in high places
  • the ability to get along well with co-workers
  • ability to coach and mentor
  • computer skills and the ability to keep up to date with changing technology
  • the ability to do precision work
  • problem solving skills.

Those who install or maintain equipment in existing homes or businesses also must be neat and have good customer service skills.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, an electrician must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3 and Science 10, or equivalent, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Courses in English, math and physics are particularly important. 

The term of apprenticeship is four years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of:

  • 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in each of the first three years
  • 1,350 hours of on-the-job training and 12 weeks of technical training in the fourth year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Electrician apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Keyano College in Fort McMurray 
  • Lakeland College in Vermilion
  • Lethbridge College
  • Medicine Hat College
  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • Northern Lakes College in Slave Lake
  • Portage College in Cold Lake 
  • Red Deer College
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

Lethbridge College, NAIT and SAIT also offer technical training by distance delivery.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.


Related Education

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

Apprenticeship Trades

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Northern Lakes College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

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

To find more information on the certification process see Electrician Qualification Certificate Program Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 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.

Electricians are employed by construction and maintenance contractors, manufacturers, resource companies and other large organizations. Especially in construction, there may be no guarantee of permanent work. 

Experienced electricians may advance to supervisory, estimator or electrical inspector positions, or start their own contracting businesses. Alberta certified journeyperson electricians who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. 

Membership in a trade union is voluntary but some contractors employ only union people.

In Alberta, electricians are part of two larger 2011 National Occupational Classifications: 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system) and National Occupational Classification 7242 Industrial electricians.

76% of people employed in the Electricians (except industrial and power system) group work in the Construction (PDF) industry

87% of people employed in the Industrial electricians group 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 21,200 Albertans are employed in the Electricians (except industrial and power system) occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.2% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 42 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As electricians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for industrial construction crew electricians. 

Over 6,400 Albertans are employed in the Industrial electricians occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 58 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As electricians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for electricians. 

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $30 to $50 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice electricians earn at least 50% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 60% in the second, 70% in the third and 80% in the fourth. 

Industrial electricians
NOC code: 7242

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 $19.00 $48.35 $30.40 $35.00
Overall $30.00 $48.77 $37.66 $37.13
Top $38.06 $55.38 $46.70 $48.00

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Wholesale Trade
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

51%
51%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

12%
12%

2015 Vacancy Rate

1%
Electricians (except industrial and power system)
NOC code: 7241

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 $17.00 $45.08 $33.57 $36.00
Overall $28.50 $46.30 $37.82 $38.49
Top $35.00 $51.00 $43.07 $42.00

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Public Administration
Educational Services
Manufacturing
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

47%
47%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

12%
12%

2015 Vacancy Rate

1%
Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

Electrical Contractors Association 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 Mar 25, 2015. 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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