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How to Become an Electrician in Ontario, Canada 2024: Career Path, Skills, Wages, and Job Outlook

  • Career Advice
  • By CAYOP Community
  • Published on June 1

Spark your career and brighten your future as an electrician! Join the ranks of skilled people that are propelling the world ahead today.

Quick Facts

(From the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development on Ontario)

  • Job Outlook: Moderate
  • Median Income: $69,500
  • Top Location: Toronto (40%)

Job Description

Electricians are experienced professionals that install, maintain, and repair electrical systems and equipment in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. They use blueprints, schematics, and technical requirements to plan the layout and installation of electrical cabling, fixtures, and components. Electricians utilize a range of hand and power equipment to measure, cut, and install electrical conduit, cables, and wiring in accordance with safety standards and regulations. They test electrical systems and troubleshoot problems to detect and correct electrical defects, assuring appropriate operation and safety.

What Would I Do?

Electricians perform many tasks related to the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems.

  • Reading and Interpreting Blueprints: Electricians begin by reading and interpreting blueprints, circuit diagrams, and electrical code specifications to determine wiring arrangements for new installations or upgrades.
  • Installing Wiring and Equipment: Running wires through pipes and holes in walls and floors, installing brackets and hangers for electrical equipment, and connecting wires to brackets and components to form circuits.
  • Replacing and Repairing Fixtures: Electricians install, replace, and repair lighting fixtures and electrical control and distribution equipment such as switches, relays, and circuit breakers.
  • Testing and Troubleshooting: They carefully check circuit continuity with special equipment to ensure compatibility and safety, solve problems, and, if necessary, isolate faults in electrical and electronic systems.
  • Connecting Systems: Electricians connect electrical current to audio-visual communication equipment, signaling equipment, and heating and cooling systems.
  • Conducting Preventive Maintenance: As part of their duties, they conduct preventive maintenance programs and maintain accurate maintenance to ensure the continued reliability and safety of electrical systems.

Am I Suited for This Job?

Skills/CharacteristicsDescriptionTechnical KnowledgeUnderstanding of electrical systems, codes, and regulations.Problem-SolvingAbility to identify and resolve electrical issues efficiently.Attention to DetailPrecision in installing and maintaining electrical components.Manual DexteritySkill in using hand and power tools safely and effectively.Safety ConsciousnessCommitment to following safety protocols and regulations.Analytical ThinkingCapacity to analyze electrical problems and devise solutions.Communication SkillsEffective communication with team members and clients.Time ManagementAbility to prioritize tasks and meet project deadlines.

These abilities and attributes are required for success in the field of electrical work, since they ensure the safe and effective installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems.

The Environment/The Typical Day

A typical day of an electrician is characterized by on-site work, troubleshooting, and collaboration with colleagues and customers. Electricians often work in a variety of environments, from residential and commercial buildings to industrial plants and construction sites. Their day usually starts early when the team gathers at the workplace or electrical shop to discuss plans and goals for the day ahead. From there, electricians can travel to various locations to perform installation, maintenance, or repair of electrical systems and equipment.

On-site, electricians estimate the scope of work and consult blueprints or engineering diagrams to plan their approach. They use a variety of hand and power tools to install wiring, sockets, switches, and lights in compliance with electrical codes and safety regulations. Throughout the day, electricians troubleshoot, diagnose electrical faults, and design solutions to ensure proper operation and safety of electrical systems. Collaboration with other electricians, contractors, and customers is common as they coordinate tasks, share knowledge, and respond to potential challenges.

Working environments for electricians can vary widely, from indoors, such as residences and office buildings, to outdoors, such as construction sites and power plants. Depending on project requirements and customer needs, electricians may work regular hours, overtime, or be on call for emergencies or urgent repairs. Flexibility is key in this profession as electricians must adapt to changing work environments, weather conditions, and project schedules to deliver quality electrical solutions efficiently and safely.

What Are the Wages and Benefits?

Electrician salaries vary by experience, location, and industry. According to ZipRecruiter and Job Bank Canada, here is a breakdown of typical yearly wages for electricians at various stages of their career:

  • Entry-level Electricians: $34,000 to $40,000 per year
  • Mid-level Electricians: $50,000 per year
  • Senior Electricians: Up to $70,000 per year

Common Benefits:

  • Health Insurance: Comprehensive health insurance plans, including medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Retirement Plans: Access to retirement savings programs such as pension plans.
  • Paid Time Off: Benefits frequently include paid vacation days, sick leave, and holidays.
  • Overtime Pay and Promotions: Opportunities for overtime pay and career advancement through training programs and certifications.

What Is the Job Outlook in Canada?

The estimated total number of new job seekers and job opportunities for the entire forecast period (2022-2031) was taken into account when assessing the labor market situation in recent years. The aim is to assess whether the current labor market situation will continue or is likely to change between 2022 and 2031.

For example, if the analysis of the main labor market indicators shows that the number of job seekers was not sufficient to fill vacancies in recent years, forecasts have been used to find out whether this situation will continue in the forecast period or whether the profession is moving towards balanced terms. Between 2022 and 2031, the number of new jobs (due to growth and renewal needs) is forecast to increase to 45,600 with 37,200 new job seekers available (due to school leavers, immigration, and mobility).

How Do I Become an Electrician?

A high school diploma is usually required to become an electrician. According to the Skilled Trades College of Canada, you are required to have a minimum of grade 10 education for non-union electricians in Ontario and grade 12 for those in a union. Apprenticeships typically last four to five years and include on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced electricians, as well as classroom instruction in electrical theory, code requirements, and safety practices. After completing your internship, you will need to obtain additional licenses or certifications, depending on the requirements of your jurisdiction.

Trade certification for electricians is compulsory in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. It is available yet not mandatory in British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Red Seal endorsement is available to qualified electricians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination. You will have to pass the Red Seal exam by answering a series of 120 multiple-choice questions and passing with a score of 70% or higher. The Red Seal stamp is available to only industrial and construction electricians.

Listed below are links to help you in your journey to becoming an electrician:

Where Would I Work?

Electricians work in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, electrical, and maintenance. They can find work in electrical contracting companies, construction companies, government agencies, or as freelancers. Most electricians work in the private sector, although some may find opportunities in the public sector with government agencies or municipalities. In addition, electricians can work as part of a larger construction team or independently, depending on the scope and nature of the project.

How Do I Find a Job?

Electricians can find employment through a variety of channels, including online job boards, professional networking sites, company career sites, and professional organizations. Additionally, attending job fairs, trade shows, and industry events can provide opportunities to connect with potential employers and research job openings. Building a strong professional network with other electricians, contractors, and industry professionals can also help uncover hidden job opportunities and referrals. Finally, consider contacting local electrical associations or unions for internship programs and placement assistance.

Applying for a Job

When applying for an electrical position, make sure your resume highlights relevant skills and experience related to electrical work. Include details of any internships, training programs, or related work experience and any special skills or knowledge you have, such as experience in commercial wiring or renewable energy systems. Also provide references from previous employers or mentors who can attest to your skills and work ethic. During interviews, be prepared to discuss your experience with electrical systems, your attitude to safety, and your ability to work effectively as a team member.

Where Can This Job Lead?

As you gain experience and knowledge as an electrician, there are many opportunities for career advancement and specialization. Experienced electricians can advance to supervisor or management positions by leading larger projects and teams of electricians. Additionally, electricians can specialize in areas such as residential, commercial, or industrial electrical work, or obtain certifications in specific areas such as renewable energy systems or energy management. In addition to traditional electrical duties, experienced professionals can explore teaching, consulting, or entrepreneurial opportunities, using their skills and knowle

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