Industrial electricians (NOC 7242)

About this job

Industrial electricians inspect, install, maintain, test, troubleshoot and repair industrial electrical equipment and associated electrical and electronic controls.

People in this occupation:

  • work for electrical contractors and maintenance departments of factories, plants, mines, shipyards and other industrial establishments
  • need to have strong analytical skills and good manual dexterity
  • should also be comfortable bending, stretching and lifting
  • should be patient and able to work independently and in a team
Common job titles
  • electrician, diesel - railway
  • electrician, mill / mine / plant
  • electrician, rail transport
  • electrician, rig
  • electrician, ship / shipyard
  • installer-maintainer, railway signal

Duties

Industrial electricians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • read and interpret drawings, blueprints, schematics and electrical code specifications to determine layout of industrial electrical equipment installations
  • install, examine, replace or repair electrical wiring, receptacles, switch boxes, conduits, feeders, fibre-optic and coaxial cable assemblies, lighting fixtures and other electrical components
  • test electrical and electronic equipment and components for continuity, current, voltage and resistance
  • maintain, repair, install and test switchgear, transformers, switchboard meters, regulators and reactors
  • maintain, repair, test and install electrical motors, generators, alternators, industrial storage batteries and hydraulic and pneumatic electrical control systems
  • troubleshoot, maintain and repair industrial, electrical and electronic control systems and other related devices
  • conduct preventative maintenance programs and keep maintenance records
  • may install, maintain and calibrate industrial instrumentation and related devices

Work environment

Industrial electricians typically work 40 hours per week, with possible overtime. Shift work is common since industrial electricians often work in pulp and saw mills, smelting and mining and other large-scale resource operations.

Industrial electricians in the Construction industry work both indoors and outdoors. When working outdoors, workers may be exposed to harsh weather conditions. Workers in other industries work mainly indoors.

The work environment can be noisy and dirty with strong odours. Work is also done in cramped spaces and at heights from ladders and scaffolding, so there is a risk of injury from electrical shock or falls. Workers may experience physical injuries such as muscle strains when working in tight spaces.

Industrial construction projects can require workers to temporarily relocate to remote jobs sites.

Insights from industry

More than half of the job openings in the coming years are expected to come from new job growth.

Over the last few years, the combination of low interest rates and a growing economy has resulted in a rapid increase in industrial activity in the province, which has helped to create many new jobs for industrial electricians. Large construction and transportation projects in the Mainland/Southwest may continue to be a source of job growth for industrial electricians.

Automation has had both positive and negative effects on work for industrial electricians. New methods and tools result in fewer people needed to do the same amount of work. However, the increased use of automation in mills, mines, smelting, oil and gas operations and in construction will result in an increase in demand for industrial electricians who can install and maintain these new systems.

The industrial electrician trade has been influenced by enhancements and developments in diagnostic equipment. The result of new technology has been a reduction in the physical requirements of the trade and an increase in the specialized knowledge requirements. As the need for cross-functional workers continues, the flexibility and diversity of tasks accomplished by industrial electricians will expand. There is an increase in overlap among the skills required by the industrial electrician trade and those of construction, millwright, and instrumentation trades.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, workers receive their journeymen papers and are certified industrial electricians.

After gaining experience in the field, some industrial electricians may choose to work as an independent contractor.

Industrial electricians with extensive experience may be promoted to an electrician supervisor position.

Additional resources