Electricians (except industrial and power system) (NOC 7241)

About this job

Electricians prepare, make, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring and electrical systems for buildings and other structures. They work on many tasks, including layout and planning of wiring to installation to finding and repairing circuits and electrical devices.

Electricians typically work for electrical contractors or building maintenance departments. Or they may be self-employed. People in this career have an interest in mechanical process and wiring and they must be detailed and exact in their work.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of an electrician is like.

Common job titles
  • electrician, domestic / institution
  • electrician, troubleshooter
  • electrician, wiring / fixture

Duties

Electricians:

  • Read and understand drawings, circuit diagrams and electrical code specifications for wiring layouts
  • Install conduits on a range of surfaces to route electrical conductors
  • Pull wire through walls and floors
  • Install brackets and hangers to support electrical equipment
  • Install or repair various pieces of electrical components, including lighting fixtures and equipment, switches and circuit breakers
  • Splice, join and connect wires to fixtures and components
  • Test the connection of circuits to ensure that an electrical system is safe and compatible
  • Troubleshoot and repair problems in electrical systems
  • Connect electrical power to audio and visual communication equipment, signalling devices and heating and cooling systems
  • Run preventive maintenance programs and keep records

Work environment

Electricians typically work 40 hours per week. Overtime may be required, depending on the project, deadline, employer and other factors. Electricians usually work indoors, often on a construction site or in a home.

People with this job may need to work from heights or in small spaces. Heavy lifting may be needed, and the work can be physically demanding. Safety is a priority and precautions are followed to reduce the risks of injury from accidental electric shocks and falls from heights.

Depending on the project, some electricians work with other trades on construction/development sites. Others, especially those working on smaller residential projects or repairs, may deal directly with customers.

Insights from industry

Growth in the construction industry affects opportunities for work as an electrician. Residential construction is expected to slow down in the short term, while industrial and commercial construction is expected to remain stable. There will continue to be demand for electricians.

In general, those working as maintenance electricians tend to find steadier employment than construction electricians. Often, employment in the construction industry is project-based, so workers may have breaks between projects.

Electricians are starting to work with alternative energy supplies, such as solar power, wind power and fuel cells. They may also work with wiring for smart homes and automated systems for high-tech industries. Electricians who specialize in new technologies are expected to be in demand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

As with many trades, apprentices are chosen from existing employees, such as construction labourers. Experienced electricians can move up to supervisory positions as foreperson, superintendent, estimator or electrical inspector. Some experienced electricians may choose to start their own businesses.

Electricians may also decide to work as industrial electricians. This requires further education and is generally considered to be a job change rather than a career advancement.

Additional resources