Becoming an electrician in Ontario requires scaling a few hurdles and one of them is getting a licence. This piece will walk you through what you need to kickstart your career as an electrician.
There are tons of skilled trades available for people looking to earn from it as a side hustle or their primary source of income. If you enjoy using tools and solving problems, or generally you love fixing things, becoming an electrician might be the right career path for you.
Do you fall under the category mentioned above and are a resident of Ontario? This article will work you through all you need to know about becoming an electrician in Ontario.
What do Electricians in Canada Do?
Generally, an electrician is a tradesman who specializes in the electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and any related equipment.
Electricians are contracted to install new electrical components and the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure. The job of an electrician is not limited to buildings alone; they also specialize in wiring ships, airplanes, cable lines, data, and other mobile platforms.
Electricians in Canada generally work for 40 hours a week, although you may be required to work overtime when your services are in high demand. Electrician wages vary depending on the contract, location, company or client, and overtime.
The payment range of electricians through all the experience levels from an apprentice to a highly experienced electrician in Canada is between CA$32000 to CA$75000 yearly. As an electrician, you may decide to work under electrical contractors or building maintenance departments or even be self-employed.
Working as an electrician is a physically demanding job that requires skill. It is an in high demand job and is among the best paid skilled tradespeople in Canada. Some of the duties of an electrician include:
- Installing and repairing electrical equipment and lighting fixtures
- Connecting power to electrical devices
- Carrying out maintenance programs (corrective and preventive)
- Replacing faulty parts in electrical systems
How to Become an Electrician in Ontario
First, you must know that you cannot work as an electrician in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada without a license. To get your license, you have to complete an electrical apprenticeship. The apprenticeship program involves classroom studies as well as on-the-job training.
You will be supervised by a certified electrician (journeyperson). You will also earn a wage at the rate of about 40% of the journeyperson’s hourly rate as you are learning. The rate will increase as you continue to advance in your apprenticeship program till you reach the total rate.
For the apprenticeship, these are the following requirements;
- You must be at least 16 years old
- Have at least completed grade 10 level of education as required by the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act.
However, most programs in the trade union sector of the industry require grade 12 level of education with Maths, English, and Physics. In Canada, the apprenticeship program typically takes up to 4 years with a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.
This, however, varies by province, and in Ontario, as stipulated by the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, apprenticeship takes about five years with 9000 hours of training.
Some require a pre-apprenticeship program before your acceptance into the program if you are taking a union program. Having related work experience or completing an electrical program at a college or vocational institute can reduce the duration of your apprenticeship.
After the training program has been completed, you will then write a final certificate exam to get your license. Once certified, you can write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal, which allows you to work anywhere in Canada as an electrician.
Suppose you have a license from a foreign country. In that case, you will be required to get certified by the Province of Ontario by writing and completing the Certificate of Qualification Exam.
Career Opportunity after Certification
Becoming an electrician in Ontario or other provinces and territories in Canada is quite broad. It has a range of fields you can select from as long as you are certified. Some of these fields include;
- Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Sector
Electricians under this field are called Construction and Maintenance Electricians. Their job involves wiring and repairing electrical systems for residential buildings, offices, schools, and other commercial and institutional structures. An industrial electrician install, fix and maintain large electrical systems for electrical facilities in industries like mining and agriculture.
They are also called Powerline technicians, and they are involved with repairing or installing high-voltage electrical lines and equipment. This sector is restricted to the high voltage and utility sectors.
Getting your certification is just the first step; there are different career opportunities to choose from, such as;
- Electrical engineer
- Project manager
- Electrical contractor
- Safety inspector
To become an electrician in Ontario, you need to get a Journeyperson Certification, for which you will need to undergo an apprenticeship program that may take up to 5 years. After getting your certification, you can choose a career path to follow and build your skill and experience.