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Apprenticeship

Power System Electrician

Power system electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power generation, transmission and distribution systems and equipment.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
NOC & Interest Codes
The Power System Electrician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Power System Electricians
NOC code: 7243
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to inspect and test installed electrical equipment and apparatus to locate electrical faults

innovative

Interest in analyzing power systems to repair and replace faulty electrical equipment and apparatus

methodical

Interest in speaking with co-workers when installing and maintaining electrical distribution equipment such as transformers, generators, voltage regulators, switches, circuit breakers, capacitators, inductors, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems

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 08, 2016

In general, power system electricians work in distinct areas: substation equipment, protection and control and metering.

In substation equipment, power system electricians work with high voltage equipment such as:

  • circuit-breakers
  • transformers
  • switches
  • switchgear.

Their daily work involves adjusting relays, working on safety devices and general maintenance of large switch gear.

In protection and control power, system electricians work with a variety of equipment such as protective relaying and controls and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. 

In metering, power system electricians work with a variety of recording devices such as:

  • supervisory controls
  • indicating and recording devices
  • switchboards and equipment circuitry found in generating stations and powerhouses.

This work includes the calibration and installation of metering equipment (meters). For example, they may install demand meters when a client company wishes to review the way it is billed for power usage. On the basis of data from demand meters, recommendations can be made to improve the company's cost effectiveness.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Power system electricians work both indoors and outdoors. The hazards of working with live electricity are reduced by the use of special equipment and training in safe work practices and procedures.

Shift work may be required. Although a 40 hour work week is normal, power system electricians may be on call at designated times and may be called upon at any hour in an emergency.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Power system electricians need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to work safely and follow safe work practices and procedures
  • the ability to meet the physical demands of the trade, such as handle heavy switch gear
  • the ability to work with precision instruments to fine tune equipment
  • the ability to understand the theoretical background of their work
  • the ability to pay careful attention to details
  • the ability to work as a team member
  • be willing to adapt to changing work locations and conditions.

They should enjoy variety and thinking of new ways to do things.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

To work in Alberta, a power system electrician must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

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.
  • must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire post-secondary technical program graduates or high school graduates who have good marks in math, physics and drafting. 

The term of apprenticeship is 4 years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of:

  • 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training in the first and second year
  • 1,425 hours of on-the-job training and 10 weeks of technical training in the third and fourth.

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.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

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

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Power system electricians are employed by utility companies, large industrial facilities and their subcontractors.

Experienced power system electricians may advance to supervisory positions such as foreman and electric services superintendent. Alberta certified journeyperson power system 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.

In Alberta, 85% of people employed as power system electricians work in the Utilities (PDF) industry.

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 Utilities industry)
  • 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.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Journeyman wage rates vary but generally range from $40 to $55 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates).  Apprentice power system electricians earn at least 50% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 60% in the second, 67.5% in the third and 75% in the fourth.

Power system electricians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7243: Power system electricians.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Power systems electricians occupational group earned on average from $35.93 to $70.60 an hour. For more information, see the Power system electricians wage profile.

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 Mar 08, 2016

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.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 31, 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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