Jobs in the Electrical Industry: What’s Available?
Electrical Industry in Alberta
Canada is currently facing a shortage of workers in certain skilled trades, including jobs in the electrical industry, as many of the individuals now working as skilled electricians are facing retirement. According to one study, the average age for Canada’s skilled electricians is close to 50 years and, as greater numbers of workers leave the trade this will increase demand for new, trained individuals to fill that void. This will be especially true in areas that are experiencing high rates of new construction, such as Alberta.
At the top of the list in 2014’s Canada’s Best Jobs, a job as a licensed, certified electrical contractor can be extremely beneficial. Typical salaries have shown double-digit increases in the last few years, with average journeyman wages now hovering near the $35/per hour mark. After completing a 4-year apprentice program that’s a mixture of classroom and on-the-job (OJT) training, a certified electrician can find work with any number of construction, manufacturing or service companies and make a good living.
If you possess entrepreneurial desires, starting your own one- or two-person electrical company can prove even more profitable, although, as a business owner, take-home salaries will vary. For those wanting to get employment as a certified electrician with an established firm, there are positions available across the country, many of which offer great benefits such as retirement, medical/dental, vision, online education/development reimbursement, employee discounts and more.
Canada’s Aging Electric Infrastructure Spells Opportunity
The occupation of an industrial electrician is one of the listings on the POL, or Canadian Priority Occupation List, which details occupations currently deemed in high demand by the Canadian government due to a national shortage of skilled workers now available. By all accounts, those possessing the necessary qualifications should continue to be in demand as The Canadian Electricity Association’s Vision 2050 brings to light the need for sweeping upgrades in the nation’s aging electric system.
These ongoing upgrades, which it’s now apparent are vitally important if the electric producers/distributors are going to be able to keep up with ever-increasing user demand, requires the skills of trained electric workers.
Industrial Electrician Specialization Options
Those opting for a career in the electric industry have lots of choices, however, with an industrial electrician on the government’s Priority Occupations List, this has become a popular option. With a median income of more than $66,000 and, according to Canadian Business Magazine, a wage and employment growth in the next five years estimated at 14% and 22% respectively, industrial electricians are needed and paid well for their contribution to the skilled workforce.
Jobs in the Electrical Industry by Position
Some of the many positions held by industrial electricians include work in:
- Shipyards or other marine environments
- Electric power production and delivery
- Manufacturing plants
- Oil and gas exploration and recovery, and more
As a trained electrician, you should possess the ability to install, maintain, repair and test all types of electric systems, including electronic control units, transformers, generators, regulators, switchgear, etc. You should also be capable of reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings, schematics and specifications set out by the code. This is just a small part of what may be required of an industrial engineer. Someone in this position may also be required to institute a comprehensive preventative maintenance program and to maintain accurate records reflecting all maintenance work done.
With so many additional facets making up today’s national electric system, including renewable resource development and new requirements for efficiency and sustainability, employment within the industry seems a sure bet. Here at Civic Recycling we employ certified electricians for our own testing and production requirements. The need for this type of skilled worker shouldn’t go away.