Schools Training

Top 5 Reasons to Become an Electrician

29 MAY 2012
Career Path : Apprenticeships

You’ve been thinking about becoming an electrician, but can’t decide for sure. Here are five reasons that may help you make up your mind.

Income

Electricians earn an annual salary of between $42,000-57,000 (approximately $20.00-30.00 per hour). This salary varies depending on the province and sector an electrician works in. Either way, the starting salaries are quite appealing, and are likely to rise with experience.

High in Demand

Most trade industries face a perpetual shortage of skilled and trained workers, which means jobs are likely to be available throughout the year. Although every industry is at risk during economic slumps, trade jobs can be more secure than those in other industries, such as real estate or finance.

Option of Union

Many electricians are part of a company-based or independent union. A well-known multi-national union is International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents men and women all across North America and other parts of the world. Founded in 1891, IBEW represents approximately 750,000 workers, the majority of which are skilled electricians.

The principal advantage of being a union member is job security and salary protection, as well as other benefits. Electricians are not forced to be a part of a union, but the option is most definitely there for those who wish to go that route.

Ongoing Challenge

Just by looking at the last decade, we can see how developments in technology have changed the way we go about our everyday lives. By the looks of it, technology will just continue to be moving forward, and will undoubtedly continue to make an impact on how electricity is used.

What this means for current and prospective electricians is that they can anticipate a career that is consistently challenging by way of its ongoing evolution. Being an electrician doesn’t just mean limiting your skills to what you learned in school. It requires the ability to continue learning as technology changes in order to remain an expert in the field.

Apprenticeship Opportunity

One of the most appealing features of the electrician trade is the apprenticeship option aspiring electricians have available to them. Most apprenticeships are administered at a trade college or university in conjunction with a licenced employer who agrees to train a student while they are studying. The ability to go to school while also working puts apprentices at an advantage because they are gaining valuable work experience while also earning their diploma.

Most companies will prefer to hire candidates with experience behind them, which can be a difficult requirement to meet for students who are fresh out of school. But students can dodge that hurdle by participating in an apprenticeship program.

There are typically two different types of electrician apprenticeships. There is the industrial apprenticeship, which leads to the following employment opportunities:

  • Administrative and Support Services
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Federal Government Public Administration

And there is also the construction apprenticeship, which can lead to the following employment opportunities:

  • Industrial, Commercial and Government Organizations
  • Engineering or Research Assistants
  • Light and Heavy Manufacturing
  • Pulp and Paper, Steel Mills, Chemical Plants, Refineries and Power Utilities

These are just five highlights of an electrician career. There are many different sectors and opportunities within the electrician industry, making it a very appealing and rewarding career venture.