Electricians install, construct, alter, repair, maintain, commission, test, service, calibrate, and operate related electrical and electronic systems in any premise, place, building or structure. They ensure that all electrical connections are safe and meet standards set by the electrical code.
Electricians may be employed by electrical contractors, maintenance departments of large institutions such as hospitals or industrial plants, or they may be self-employed.
Working conditions for construction electricians will vary depending upon the type and stage of the project. Electricians interpret architectural drawings and electrical code specifications at construction sites. Rough wiring is weather-dependent, and is completed before walls are in place. The indoor installation of electrical equipment follows later, and much electrical work is performed in a standing position, often in confined spaces. Physical risks involved include falling from a height or receiving an electrical shock.
Electricians who are employed by by heavy industry in the industrial sector, such as in pulp mills, mines and smelting operations, working with large electrical motors and massive power supplies. Some electricians specialize in restorative, insurance or retrofit work rather than new construction.
The electrician apprenticeship process requires time spent on the job and in school training. An electrician trainee must complete a four-year program, including 6,000 workplace hours and 1,200 in-school hours of training. After completion of training, a passing grade on the inter-provincial exam will result in the B.C. Certificate of Apprenticeship, B.C. Certificate of Qualification, and the Inter-provincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.
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