Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Electrician, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 40 per cent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for Electrician Apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. In most provinces and territories, you must be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 12 education or equivalent to enter an electrician apprenticeship program. You may find it helpful to have courses in English, physics and math.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as an Electrician.
Apprenticeship training programs for electricians vary across Canada, but generally involve four 12-month periods, including at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, four 8-week blocks of technical training and writing a final certificate exam.
Related work experience or completion of an electrical program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in all provinces and territories. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as an Electrician, you usually need to complete a four- to five-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a Journeyperson certificate.
As a certified Electrician you may write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as an Electrician anywhere in Canada.
To keep their skills current, electricians have to keep up with new technology developments by reading, speaking with other electricians and attending upgrading seminars.