There are countless opportunities for rewarding careers in the electricity industry. As part of its mandate to help industry strengthen its workforce, Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) actively promotes careers in the industry.
A number of our initiatives aim to encourage and facilitate careers in the industry.
- National Occupational Standards
- Bright Futures BC
- TradeUp for Success
An inventory of the skills, competencies and knowledge that are required to competently perform a specific job.
Promoting careers in the electricity and renewables sector, providing young people with all the information they need to consider a future in the industry.
A national effort to promote to trades in the electricity sector to youth across Canada.
Other resources you might find useful
- Red Seal – The Industry’s Standard of Excellence since 1959, through the Program, tradespersons obtain an endorsement on their provincial/territorial certificates by successfully completing an interprovincial exam.
- The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum – A national non-profit organization that connects Canada’s apprenticeship community.
- Canadian Nuclear Association – a non-profit organization established in 1960 to represent the nuclear industry in Canada and promote the development and growth of nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes.
- Women in Nuclear (WiN) – a world-wide association of women working professionally in various fields of nuclear energy and radiation applications.
- Engineers Canada – the national organization of the 10 provincial and 2 territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country’s more than 260,000 professional engineers.
- Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists – CCTT is the national voice on issues such as pan-Canadian standards, national and international mobility, and national accreditation of technology programs.
- Trade Secrets Alberta – A resource for apprenticeship in Alberta
- NEW: Electricity Related Renewable Energy (RE) Training Programs in Canada – CANSIA listing of renewable energy programs
- NEW: General Electricity Related Educational Programs in Canada – Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance listing of electricity programs
- Links to colleges and employers
- ATCO Electric’s Teaching Power Tools: These include a variety of electricity educational materials for use with students from grades four to six.
- Canadian Nuclear Association: Nuclear Science Technology High School Curriculum website is a tool developed to explain concepts, issues and people related to energy and in particular nuclear energy. The website was developed for the public, for teachers and specifically for students in grades 9—12.
- Electricity Human Resources Canada: Bright Futures BC website is a tool developed to raise awareness in talented young students of the diverse and exciting career opportunities in the electricity sector so they can make informed decisions about their futures. The website offers teachers’ lesson plans and student guides.
- Electricity Human Resources Canada: Labour Market Information Fact Sheet for Educational Institutions provides 2008 labour market statistics for the electricity sector.
- Manitoba Hydro: The Learning Zone has ideas and tools to help you teach children about energy and safety.
- Ontario Power Authority: Kid’s Corner offers resources that can be used by students to achieve expectations from the Grade 6 Understanding Matter and Energy strand, “Electricity and Electrical Devices” topic, in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Science and Technology.
- Ontario Power Generation: The Learning Zone offers teachers’ resources and students’ resources for grade 5 to 12.
- Youth Science Foundation Canada: Helps Canadian youth develop skills and knowledge for excellence in science and technology. It showcases an annual Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF), held on a rotating basis across Canada. Over 450 students and 200 adult delegates participate in the annual event, with awards totaling more than $130,000 in cash, scholarships, trips and other prizes.
- Birmingham Grid for Learning – The Electricity Book: A simple tool for learning about electricity.
- Canadian Wind Energy Association – Education: This website is an initiative of wind energy companies to provide fact-based answers to common wind energy questions.
- DC Planet – Destination Conservation: Building a better planet, one classroom at a time.
- Earth Rangers – EarthRangers.com: Empowering and educating children about conservation.
- Energy Quest – Energy Story: What is Electricity?
- The Franklin Institute – Electrified Ben: Ben Franklin, lightning, and the discovery of electricity.
- Green Learning: Resources for all grades.
- Resources for Rethinking – Education for Sustainable Development: Provides students with the knowledge, skills and experiences required for responsible citizenship.
- SEEDS Foundation: Energy Literacy Series
- TechTopics: Electricity
- US Energy Information Administration: Energy Kids Page
Career Opportunities and Descriptions
Below is a list of just some of the rewarding jobs available to those charting their future career paths.
Arborists clear trees and branches from around power lines. Their job is physically demanding and requires significant safety training to work near high-tension power lines. Arborists are especially busy following windstorms, snowstorms and periods of freezing rain when uprooted or damaged trees cut off power to homes and businesses.
Construction electricians wire refineries, petro-chemical plants, power plants and other buildings. They also test electrical equipment to ensure its safe and reliable operation. Through an apprenticeship, they learn key skills like interpreting electrical diagrams, and splicing and connecting wires.
Electrical engineers are university-educated professionals who typically work in offices designing, planning and sourcing power for homes, businesses and infrastructure. Electrical engineers have advanced mathematical skills and must have keen attention to detail.
Electrical technicians rely on basic problem-solving and mathematics skills to install, test and maintain wires, switches and other electrical components in residential, industrial and commercial buildings. They learn their skills and how to follow strict safety procedures at community colleges.
While typically trained in construction, electricians inspect, install and repair wiring in ready-built residential and commercial buildings. For the most part, electricians work indoors with little or no supervision.
Often working in collaboration with engineers or scientists, engineering technicians solve practical technical problems, collect data, test electrical systems and help design and manufacture new products. These workers often work independently and in small teams.
Generation technicians install, inspect, diagnose and repair electrical generators and switchgear. Comfortable working under minimum supervision and with a variety of tools, they also prepare written reports detailing the condition of and repairs to equipment.
Geothermal installers build systems that draw thermal energy from the ground to heat and cool residential and commercial buildings. On the cutting edge of environmentally friendly construction techniques, geothermal installers use their hands to bring detailed designs to life. They typically work independent of others in a casual environment.
Industrial electricians install, inspect and maintain wiring in factories, plants and mines. While their work can be dirty at times, these individuals work independently under little supervision, with the flexibility to work in both rural and urban environments.
Instrumentation and control technician
Instrumentation and control technicians inspect, maintain and repair instrumentation, electronics and electrical equipment. An important part of their job involves recording observations and maintenance activities regularly. Instrumentation and control technicians may also be required to help train new team members.
Often working in close collaboration with others, mechanical maintainers help prevent undue wear-and-tear on mechanical equipment by oiling metal components, fixing leaks and repairing other minor problems. Mechanical maintainers work on a wide variety of machines and perform a diverse set of tasks.
Millwright (industrial mechanic)
Millwrights maintain and service wind turbines, milling machines and other mechanical equipment. Not afraid to get their hands dirty, they calibrate and align machinery in a variety of work environments.
Nuclear engineers typically work at desks researching and developing ways to generate and employ nuclear power and radiation. University educated, they have strong science, mathematics and problem-solving skills and enjoy working in small teams under little supervision.
Operators play an integral role in monitoring and reporting activities associated with electricity production. They can be categorized as Nuclear Operator, Fossil Station Operator, Hydroelectric Operator and Electrical Operator. As an example, Nuclear operators monitor and adjust a facility’s electricity production by checking instruments, panels and other system indicators, and managing boilers, turbines, generators and other equipment. These employees work in high-risk environments.
Photovoltaic designer (installer)
Photovoltaics is the conversion of solar energy into electricity. Photovoltaic designers develop systems that collect and store energy from the sun to power everything from homes and businesses to flashlights and cars. These workers apply their strong understanding of physics to develop reliable, practical and affordable renewable-energy-fuelled products.
Power line technician
Not afraid of heights, power line technicians use their electrician training while working outdoors, inspecting and fixing poles, power lines, pylons, transformers, and transmission and distribution centres. Power line technicians enjoy working in small teams.
Project managers ensure that company activities are performed on time and within budget. Attentive to detail, these workers have strong organizational skills and a clear understanding of the steps required to complete a given project. Continually coordinating the schedules, resources and talent of project contributors, project managers must be good communicators.
Truck (or coach) technician
Truck technicians are highly trained mechanics who service and maintain all types of vehicles and equipment, from bucket trucks to off-road vehicles. They apprentice for five years to develop a keen understanding of how mechanical parts operate. Typically, these workers must be naturally good with their hands and capable of heavy lifting.
Currently in high demand, wind turbine technicians operate and maintain industrial electrical equipment on wind farms. These workers enjoy travelling to rural locations, and are comfortable working more than 60 metres above ground. Typically, wind-turbine technicians are high-school graduates who have some electrical or mechanical training.