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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 $52,596.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.19
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
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: Power System Electricians (7243) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Power System Electricians (H213) 
  • 2011 NOC: Power system electricians (7243) 
  • 2016 NOC: Power system electricians (7243) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

85%
85%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Power System Electrician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Power System Electricians
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 31, 2020

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

In power generation, power system electricians work with systems and equipment such as:

  • Generators
  • Wind turbines
  • Solar arrays
  • Biomass and associated equipment

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. Based on data from demand meters, recommendations can be made to improve the company’s cost effectiveness.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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. They may find themselves working at heights or in confined spaces, with frequent walking and climbing of ladders and stairs. They may also encounter lots of bending, kneeling, reaching and crawling, with the added exertion of pushing, lifting and pulling up to 25 kg.

Shift work may be required, and power system electricians should expect to work away from home for extended periods. Although a 40-hour 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 over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Power system electricians need:

  • Strength and stamina
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Good colour vision
  • Attention to detail and precision
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer and math skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Creativity and problem solving skills
  • The ability to understand the theoretical background of their work
  • The ability to work safely and follow safe work practices and procedures
  • The ability to work alone and in a team
  • Adaptability to changing work locations and conditions

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3, and Science 10, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

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:

  • 1,590 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training in the first and second year
  • 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 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 admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


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

Southern 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

Power System Electrician

Power system electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power generation, transmission and distribution systems and equipment. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Power System Electrician Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

What You Need

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

  • 1,590 hours of on-the-job training and 7 weeks of technical training in the first and second year
  • 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in the third and fourth

Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Power system electricians trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on “Contact Us” on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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.

In Alberta, 85% of people employed as power system electricians work in the Utilities [pdf] industry.

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 Utilities industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • 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 31, 2020

Journeyperson power system electricians wage rates vary but generally range from $40 to $55 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices 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

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 $36.00 $47.60 $37.41 $36.00
Overall $38.70 $50.67 $40.19 $38.70
Top $41.40 $69.02 $44.82 $41.40

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
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

85%
85%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

0%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • 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

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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