Electricians install and maintain electrical systems. In general, they perform installing, testing, troubleshooting and repairing activities. Construction electricians work for electrical contractors and maintenance departments of buildings and other facilities. Communications electricians work on a variety of communications systems and work for telephone, cable and other companies. Electricians may be self-employed.
A Day in the Life
Listen to A Day in the Life
Electricians may do some or all of the following tasks:
Plan, assemble, install, alter, repair, inspect, verify, commission, operate and maintain electrical systems
Read and interpret electrical, mechanical, civil, and architectural drawings and specifications such as electrical, building, fire and jurisdictional codes to complete electrical installations
Use electrical test equipment to ensure system safety, functionality and compatibility
Negotiate, coordinate and facilitate work with customers, co-workers, jurisdictional authorities and other trades
Install, diagnose and repair systems and components
Act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade
May specialize in restorative, service or retrofit work.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in Elevated demand.
Most of the work in this job is in Whitehorse (90.9% of jobs). Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $54,700 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
Electricians will have both Yukon First Nation and non-First Nation employees and customers and therefore need to have knowledge of First Nations, although the extent of knowledge required will vary. Those who work for Yukon First Nations organizations will require the most extensive understanding.
First Nations have been increasingly involved in business activities as land claims are settled. The activities of First Nation development corporations and governments are increasing Yukon economic activity, with spin off to new construction needs. This activity provides excellent employment opportunities for First Nations people to be involved in the construction industry and as electricians.
Electricians working in Yukon can expect to see the same electronic, telephone and computer services technology here as they would anywhere in Canada.
Electricians work at residential and commercial sites. Some are self-employed but the majority work for construction firms or communications firms. As much of the work available is in the building industry, construction electricians can expect periodic layoffs with the rise and fall of the Yukon economy. There may also be seasonal layoffs.
Although much of an electrician's work is done indoors, some of it may involve being outside. Most electricians have a regular workweek but may be on call for emergency repairs. During Yukon's short-but-intense summer building season, electricians involved in the construction industry can expect to work overtime to keep projects on schedule. Electricians working indoors will not be so affected by Yukon's cold winters, but they often have to work in cramped and dusty conditions.
Some sample job titles are:
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How Do I Get There
Yukon Advanced Education Branch supervises construction electrician and communications electrician apprenticeship programs. A minimum education level of Grade 12 is required in mathematics, science and English. Apprenticeships for electricians last four years, with most of the in-class theory sessions taken at institutions outside Yukon.
Upon completing their apprenticeship, electricians receive a certificate of apprenticeship. They must pass an interprovincial standards examination to receive a certificate of qualification with an interprovincial Red Seal endorsement. Current details regarding apprenticeships can be obtained by contacting the Advanced Education Branch.
Advanced Education also oversees the Yukon Tradesperson Qualification Program, available for people who have gained the required trade experience, but have not been able to access certification through a formal apprenticeship program. It is also a way for people who hold trades certification from other jurisdictions in Canada or other countries to gain Yukon certification.
People in electrical trades should be able to work alone or as part of a team. Possession of a valid driver's licence is important in many occupations. Because the technology is changing rapidly in this field, a willingness to learn new skills and systems is important. With experience, it is possible to move on to supervisory positions in the electrical trades.