Electricians are people who help you get your power back, to warm up your home, to light up your office, to turn on your computer devices and to run your business!

Electricians design, install, repair and maintain electrical systems in all kind of premises. They test safety of all electrical wirings and components in order to meet regulations and standards.

They interpret blueprints, drawings and electrical code specifications to determine electrical wiring layouts, ensure compatibility of electrical systems, conduct preventive measures and keep maintenance records.

Due to the high demand for electricians, many young people are interested in becoming electricians but they do not know how and where to start. That is why in this article we want to help you realize your goal and teach you how to become an electrician!




Training options

There are 3 routes for becoming an electrician:

  1. Employer Sponsorship

Apprentice training with employer who will register you with Industry Training Authority (ITA) will provide you with an opportunity to earn as you learn; therefore, avoiding the college and university debt. It also gives you one year of work-based training before starting in-school level 1 construction electrician technical training which is recommended by the industry.

This route is a combination of on-the-job and in-school training. An employer must first sponsor you, meaning that you work and get paid but also spend some time in classroom learning which is typically once per year.

Success in both components and also in the examinations is required to earn a certificate which is referred to as the ticket to become a certified electrician. It is a 4-year program in which each year corresponds to a trade level from 1 to 4. The in-school technical training portion can last from 4 to 10 weeks per year.

  1. Foundation program at a college or university

The second route to become an electrician is under supervision of Trades Training BC which is a consortium of 15 public post secondary educational institutions in order to promote trades training in British Columbia.

The 15 educational institutions include:

  • BCIT
  • Camosun College
  • Coast Mountain College
  • College of New Caledonia
  • College of the Rockies
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  • North Island College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Okanagan College
  • Selkirk College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Vancouver Island University

In order to start your electrical education and training you must meet certain criteria which we will describe through review of one of the most popular schools:

  • BCIT

British Columbia institute of technology (BCIT) offers Electrical Foundation program with the convenience of multiple start dates each year in which working through practical projects, assignments and theory education, you will learn basic foundation of knowledge and skills to be more employable in an entry-level position.

The electrician apprenticeship process requires on the job and in school training. An electrician apprentice must finish a four-year program, which includes 6,000 hours in workplace and 1,200 hours in-school training.

The four levels of electrical training consist of ten weeks of full-time training for each level. After completion of training, a passing grade of 70% on the inter-provincial exam will earn you: the B.C. Certificate of Apprenticeship, B.C. Certificate of Qualification, and the Inter-provincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.

  1. Apprenticeship with EJTC

The Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC) also provides a high quality apprenticeship programs in BC. They are a designated institute with Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of BC.

Membership in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 213 and Union is part of the program along with ongoing training, access to higher wages, benefits and job security.

The EJTC is a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 213 and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) of BC. For more than 100 years, they have been offering apprenticeship training in BC and have an excellent record of quality service.

If you successfully finish the five-year program and pass the interprovincial standards exam, you earn a Certificate of Qualification with a Red Seal endorsement recognized across Canada along with a Certificate of Apprenticeship.

The minimum prerequisites for an apprenticeship program are high school completion with:

  • English 12 (or Communications 12)
  • Precalculus 12 (or Principles of Math 12)
  • Physics 11

However, graduation from an accredited Electrical Foundations Course is sometimes preferred.

To apply, you must submit filled application accompanied with resume, cover letter and education transcript of prerequisite courses.

Skill options

Other than education and training, electricians need certain skills to be successful in their electrical career:

  • mathematical and mechanical aptitude
  • analytical and problem solving skills
  • creativity
  • physical fitness
  • manual dexterity
  • good hearing
  • hand-eye coordination
  • willing to work at height
  • healthy eyesight
  • color vision

With alternative and eco-friendly energies such as solar and wind power rising in popularity along with smart homes and automated systems which are implemented in high-tech industries, oil and gas operations, mills and mines, high tech skills are also becoming a necessity for electricians.

Work options

Electricians can offer residential electrical services, commercial electrical services or industrial electrical services in 3 main categories of Construction, Institutional and Industrial:

  • Construction electricians are either employees who work for a contractor on both residential and commercial projects or are self-employed independent electrical contractors. An electrician is only designated as a Construction Electrician if under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program.
  • Institutional electricians work for large institutions such as universities, hospitals, school boards and other public facilities that should hire at least one electrician for their electrical maintenance.
  • Industrial electricians are staff at large-scale industrial facilities such as hydroelectric dams, pulp mills and mining and smelting operations.


Becoming an electrician has never been easier, more enjoyable and profitable. With the right choice of employer and school you will secure your future.