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

About this job

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.

Want to learn more? Watch this WorkBC Career Trek video and see what it’s like to work in this type of career.

People in this occupation:

  • generally work for electrical contractors or building maintenance departments or may be self-employed
  • have an interest in mechanical processes and wiring
  • have an eye for detail and the ability to conduct precision work
  • need good physical movement and the ability to work in a variety of places
  • must be capable of distinguishing colours to work with colour-coded wiring
Common job titles
  • electrician, domestic / institution
  • electrician, troubleshooter
  • electrician, wiring / fixture
  • electrician, domestic / institution
  • electrician, troubleshooter
  • electrician, wiring / fixture

Duties

Electricians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • interpret drawings, circuit diagrams and electrical code specifications for wiring layouts
  • pull wire through walls and floors
  • install brackets and hangers to support electrical equipment
  • install or repair various pieces of electrical equipment
  • splice, join and connect wires to fixtures and components
  • test the continuity of circuits to ensure that an electrical system is safe and compatible
  • troubleshoot and repair faults 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 maintenance records

Work environment

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.

Insights from industry

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.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

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.

Additional resources