Electricians perform a variety of tasks on the electrical systems of buildings and other structures. Their responsibilities range from layout and planning of wiring to installation, troubleshooting and repair of circuits and electrical devices.
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People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 3,740
Electricians perform some or all of the following duties:
Electricians typically work 40 hours per week and may occasionally work overtime. Workers are usually indoors, though the work area can often be noisy and dirty.
Work may take place from heights or in confined spaces, and may require lifting of heavy objects. Safety is a big concern and precautions are followed to reduce the risks of injury from accidental electric shocks and falls from heights.
Source: 2016 Census
To work as an electrician in B.C., it is recommended that a person have completed:
Trade certification for this occupation is voluntary in B.C. However, an employer may require it. There are also electrical installation permit requirements with Technical Safety BC. Find more information at https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/electrical/electrical-installation-permits.
For more information, please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.
The electrician apprenticeship requires a combination of work experience and in-school instruction that:
Interprovincial Standards Red Seal certification is available to qualified electricians through the Industry Training Authority.
Workers with 9,000 hours of documented, directly related work experience can challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Electricians who are certified for that occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority of BC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
Demand for these workers depends largely on growth in the Construction industry. Over the last decade, low interest rates and a growing economy resulted in an increase in construction activity in B.C., which led to increased demand for electricians.
Over the next few years, the pace of residential construction is expected to slow, while industrial construction is expected to remain stable. Demand for these workers will remain, despite the shift in construction activity.
In general, those working as maintenance electricians tend to find more stable employment than construction electricians. Employment in the Construction industry is typically project-based, so workers may experience gaps in employment between projects.
Work performed by electricians is expanding to include alternative energy supplies, such as solar power, wind power and fuel cells, wiring for smart homes and automated systems for high-tech industries and complex computer offices. Electricians who specialize in new technologies are expected to be in demand.
As with many trades, apprentices are often chosen from a company's current employees, such as construction labourers. Experienced electricians can advance to supervisory positions as foremen, superintendents, estimators or electrical inspectors. Some experienced electricians may choose to start their own contracting businesses.
Some electricians may also choose to work as industrial electricians. This requires further education and is generally considered to be a lateral change.