Ronda Payne" />
Enter your email below to receive weekly updates from the Ashton College blog straight to your inbox.
By: Ronda PaynePublished On: September 24, 2022
Electricians are tradespeople the modern world couldn’t do without. Imagine what life would be like without all of the lights, power and wiring we require.
There are different requirements for electricians depending on where in Canada you want to work and what type of electrical work you want to do.
Construction electricians install and maintain the electrical systems in buildings.
“Construction electricians plan, assemble, install, alter, repair, inspect, verify, commission, operate and maintain electrical systems. Electrical systems provide heating, lighting, power, security, communication and control in residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and entertainment environments.”
And an industrial electrician is defined as:
“Industrial electricians install, maintain, test, troubleshoot, service and repair industrial electrical equipment and associated electrical controls. Their work includes equipment or components directly or indirectly exposed to electrical power such as motors, generators, pumps and lighting systems.”
Regardless of what kind of electrician you want to be, the Canadian Government offers apprenticeship grants for many trades.
Electricians in BC can work without Red Seal Certification, but having a Red Seal Certificate comes with a number of advantages.
While becoming Red Seal Certified is optional, some employers may require it. The provincial or territorial certification is necessary to work as an electrician.
If you have Red Seal Certification, you do not need to become certified in another province or territory. This certification is recognized all across Canada. If you are moving to a new province or territory and have a Red Seal endorsement as an electrician, you only need to contact that region's apprenticeship and certification office in order to have your qualifications recognized.
When you start your career as an electrician, you are an apprentice. An apprenticeship is when someone who wants to learn a trade agrees to work with an employer. They will learn while they earn money and work towards becoming a certified journeyperson. This includes both on-site training and learning about the trade from other people.
Generally, the classroom/technical learning begins after about a year of on-site experience.
Some electricians choose to specialize in a certain area. For example, they might focus on panels, wiring, pumps, heating and cooling, etc. There are two types of electricians: electricians and industrial electricians. Some people choose to get certified in both areas, but it is a good idea to only do one program at a time because it takes a lot of education and experience to pass the exams. Especially when one considers just how important properly working electrical is for houses, businesses or an entire power grid.
If an apprentice has completed all four levels of apprenticeship training and the required job site hours, they are eligible for a provincial or territorial Certificate of Apprenticeship. This certificate makes them a journeyperson. This process usually takes about four or five years.
They can then also apply and take the exam to become a certified journeyman in the construction electrician and/or industrial electrician trade(s). If they pass, they can add the Red Seal certification to their provincial (or territory) electrician trade certificate.
Electrician journeypersons can work on their own with electrical systems, but apprentices need someone to help them and check their work. Often, when an electrician arrives at a job, they will have one or more employees with them. The other employees may be in various levels of apprenticeship, but the journeyperson must take the time from their tasks to make sure the apprentice work is being done correctly.
Electricians who have 8,340 hours of documented directly-related trade work experience can challenge the Red Seal exam. This is just like provincial and territorial certification exams that can be challenged by those with a certain amount of on-job experience.
Working as an electrician is hard work. You need to know a lot about how buildings and electrical systems work. Electricians need to be able to fix problems with wiring, and they can do this by getting Red Seal certification.
Some people need structure when they study. They also need someone to answer their questions. If you don't have a mentor, you can look into an education provider that offers a red seal exam preparation. These courses provide ongoing assignments, structured sessions, interaction with instructors and others and the ability to review all the material that may be on the exam and determine the areas you need to apply more study time.
The Red Seal Exam Preparation Guide is helpful because it tells you what to expect from the exam. It also tells you what to bring and the format of the exam. You can use this guide if you are a self-study type and can stay focused. In the guide, you will also find out about ways to deal with exam stress and when you can expect the results (up to four weeks after writing the exam). You will also learn how to show your certification to others.