Getting Started in Electricity: Jobseekers

If you’re looking for a career with a positive impact on people’s lives and the environment; with work readily available; with job security, good wages, and the potential for innovation—consider the electricity and renewables sector.

What Careers Are There in the Electricity Sector?

According to EHRC’s latest Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) report, employment in the sector is anticipated to grow from 2017 overall by 2% by 2022 and will need to recruit over 20,500 new employees in that time. Any one of those positions could be yours to fill.

From design to construction to engineering, there are a wide variety of jobs across the sector to fit your skills and interest! Explore a selection of career options below to learn more about each one.

Career Options in Design

Working with existing and potential clients and other stakeholders to create a feasible design and business case for an energy/electrical project.

Working Conditions:

  • Design work is typically completed in an office environment using computer-aided design software and specialized design software.
  • Designers and Design Technologists also conduct field visits during the design and implementation phases and liaise with clients, on a regular basis.

Photovoltaic (PV) System Designer

Photovoltaic (PV) System Designers create electrical three-line diagrams for solar electric systems using computer-aided design software, develop design specifications and requirements for solar energy systems, perform computer simulations of solar PV generation system performance to optimize efficiency, provide technical support to installation teams, and perform a variety of analyses for solar systems.

Related NOC code: 22211 – Industrial Designers

Educational requirements: Most designers have extensive experience as Solar PV Installers and/or an engineering degree or engineering diploma.

Courses and certification are available for PV system designers but are not mandatory for practice.

GeoExchange Heat Pump System Designer

Residential GeoExchange Heat Pump System Designers design systems that transfer energy between ground or water and residential buildings for the purposes of heating and cooling. Their design responsibilities include assessing the single-family house and site, determining the optimal equipment and configuration for the system, and collaborating with project-related occupations to ensure quality designs and installations. The authority and limitations of designers of GeoExchange heat pump systems for single-family houses differ among and within provinces/territories according to the authority having jurisdiction.

GeoExchange heat pump systems are also referred to as ground source heat pump systems, ground-coupled heat pump systems, earth-energy systems and geothermal systems. The term “geothermal“ can be confused with utility operations that produce electricity using heat generated in the earth’s core. “GeoExchange” is the preferred term going forward as it reflects industry’s efforts to professionalize and communicate what quality work is to clients.

Related NOC code: 22211 – Industrial Designers

Educational requirements: Most designers have extensive experience as GeoExchange Heat Pump System Installers and/or an engineering degree or engineering diploma.

Courses and certification are available for GeoExchange Heat Pump System Designers but are not mandatory for practice.

Transmission / Distribution Designer

Transmission/Distribution Designers are responsible for developing transmission and distribution line construction designs and plans for various line projects.

Related NOC code: 22211 – Industrial Designers

Educational requirements: Most transmission/distribution designers have completed a degree in professional engineering and have a minimum of 5 years of experience with system design.

Engineering Drafter / Drafting Technologist

Engineering Drafters/Drafting Technologists prepare engineering designs, drawings and related technical information within multidisciplinary design and engineering teams. They use computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting workstations to develop and prepare design sketches and drawings, complete documentation packages and produce drawing sets.

Related NOC code: 22212 – Drafting technologists and technicians

Educational requirements: Completion of a 2-3 year post-secondary educational program in engineering design and drafting technology.

Applicable transferrable sectors: Architecture and construction, manufacturing

Design Technologist

Design Technologists, under the direction of Design Supervisors and Engineers, assist in the development of designs for transmission and distribution products. Technologists are often required to prepare pricing and costs estimates, liaise with clients and customers, and manage all documentation associated with design projects.

Related NOC code: 22310 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

Educational requirements: Successful completion of a technology diploma (such as Electrical Engineering Technology); 4-5 years of experience as a technologist; certification as a technologist may be required by some employers.

Careers in Construction and Installation

Constructing, installing, and commissioning of new equipment and systems, including the procurement of equipment and materials.

Working Conditions:

  • Construction and installation occupations are typically physically demanding. Many equipment and system Installations take place outdoors and although work is completed during favourable weather conditions, workers may be required to deal with fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, and adverse weather conditions to complete their work.
  • Assembling and installing systems and equipment involves handling and moving objects. Some of this handling and moving is manual, but heavier loads are conducted using lifts and assistive devices.
  • Workers are on their feet and constantly moving when completing their installations.

Photovoltaic (PV) Installer

Photovoltaic (PV) Installers assemble and install photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. Utility-scale installation requires a wider skill set related to high voltage interconnection and substation knowledge.

Related NOC code: 73200 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers

Educational requirements: Most provinces in Canada regulate that the connection of the system to the grid MUST be completed by a certified electrician. Individuals with previous experience in construction and roofing are able to install the racking, panels and associated equipment, but cannot connect the system to the power grid.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations – Industrial/Construction Electricians; Roofers; Carpenters

Solar Thermal Hydronic Installer

Solar Thermal Hydronic Installers install customized systems that collect radiant heat from the sun at low, medium, or high temperatures for a variety of heating purposes in residential, commercial or light industrial settings. The solar thermal collectors may be mounted on the ground or built on the roof or walls of buildings. The heat is transferred from the collectors throughout the system using a heat transfer fluid.

Related NOC code: 73200 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers

Educational requirements: Training and/or certification in plumbing, HVAC or electrical is common for Solar Thermal Hydronic Installers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations – Industrial/Construction Electricians; Plumbers; HVAC Technicians

Level 2 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Installer

Level 2 EVSE Installers install Level 2 (240V AC) electric vehicle supply equipment intended to supply electric energy to the onboard charger in an electric vehicle in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code and jurisdictional requirements. Installation activities include connecting the conductors, connectors and all associated fittings, devices, power outlets or apparatuses mounted at the premises that are directly involved in delivering energy from the premises’ electrical distribution to the electric vehicle supply equipment (aka electric vehicle charging station).

An EVSE Installer must be a Qualified Electrician.

Related NOC code: 72200 – Electricians (except industrial and power system); 72201 – Industrial electricians

Educational requirements: Certification as a qualified electrician (i.e., construction electrician, industrial electrician) is required. Certification requires the completion of a recognized college/apprenticeship program and a certification exam (provincial and/or interprovincial) after completing the formalized training.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Industrial/Construction Electricians

Power System Electrician

Power System Electricians install and maintain electrical power distribution equipment such as transformers, generators, voltage regulators, switches, circuit breakers, capacitors and inductors in generational stations or powerhouses. They also inspect and test installed electrical equipment and apparatus to locate electrical faults and check their operation using various testing equipment and instruments. They complete necessary repairs on faulty equipment and complete testing and maintenance reports.

Related NOC code: 72202 – Power system electricians

Educational requirements: The training for Power System Electricians varies by province, with some jurisdictions offering a 4-year apprenticeship program. Voluntary trade certification is available in Manitoba, Alberta, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Utilities may offer their own, in-house training/apprenticeship programs.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Construction and Manufacturing

Electrical Inspector

Electrical Inspectors check and verify (i.e., inspect) all types of electrical installations to ensure compliance with the electrical safety codes enforced within their jurisdiction (i.e., provincial/territorial, Canadian). They also examine electrical drawings to confirm compliance prior to installation. They provide advice to customers and tradespersons based on their knowledge of electrical codes and prepare and maintain electrical inspection records. Electrical Inspectors are called upon to investigate reports of electrical fires, accidents, and customer complaints. Due to the nature of the role, most employers require Electrical Inspectors to have a driver’s license.

Related NOC Code: 22233 – Construction inspectors

Educational Requirements: Electrical Inspector must have a Journeyperson trade certification. The trade certification varies across jurisdictions but could include Electrician or Maintenance and Construction Licensing. Inspectors require an extensive knowledge of electrical theory and electrical codes and safety regulations. Typically, Inspectors will have a minimum of 5-7 years of experience in their respective trade (e.g., as an electrician).

Careers in Power Generation

Generating electrical energy from sources of primary energy, including hydro, nuclear, fossil fuels, natural gas, wind, solar and geothermal.

Working Conditions:

  • Individuals working in power generating facilities and plants spend the majority of their shifts on their feet completing their tasks which can include monitoring, servicing, and testing.
  • Typically, work is completed in 12-hour shifts, which include days, nights and extend over weekends and holidays to ensure 24/7 power generation.

Power Station Operator

Power Station Operators operate power generating equipment such as boilers, turbines, and generators to convert the power created from primary energy sources (e.g., coal, natural gas, and water) into electricity. They monitor and control equipment and auxiliary systems from both the station floor (aka field) and control room(s) to ensure the equipment and systems are operating safely, efficiently, reliably and within the prescribed limits to meet regulatory requirements, achieve productivity and efficiency goals, and provide reliable electricity.

Related NOC Code: 92100 – Power engineers and power systems operators

Educational Requirements: The educational requirements for Power Station Operators are dependent upon the type of generation facility and the equipment being used. Fossil fuel and natural gas generating facilities that use boilers may require operators to have certification as a Stationary Engineer. In other facilities, such as hydro stations, operators may possess a variety of trade certifications (i.e., electricians, industrial millwrights) or training as an electrical engineering technician/technologist.

(Non-Licensed) Nuclear Operator

(Non-Licensed) Nuclear Operators work in streams that include generating units, common services, fuel handling and heavy water handling. They monitor the status of equipment and systems, identifying out-of-limit conditions and other abnormalities, troubleshoot, and take corrective action with direction from control room operators. They carry out routine tasks such as equipment inspections, sampling, testing and administrative duties. Non-Licensed Nuclear Operators (NLOs) plan, perform and document their tasks according to standard operating procedures ensuring their work is completed thoughtfully, rigorously, and safely, and contributes to the public’s confidence in their organization.

Related NOC Code: 92100 – Power engineers and power systems operators

Educational Requirements: Non-Licensed Nuclear Operators receive extensive, and ongoing, training by their employers to develop the skills needed to perform the various tasks associated with field operations, which also may include wet and dry fuel handling. New hires come from various background and requirements for hire are dependent upon the employer and the posted position. Typical prerequisites include completion of high-school as well as post-secondary training in electrical engineering technology or a similar program.

Qualifications must be renewed or refreshed every one to three years depending on the task and stream of the Operator. Qualifications can also be upgraded to move into positions of enhanced skill and authority.

(Non-Licensed) Nuclear Operator opportunities for Advancement (Source: Bruce Power):

  • Supervising Nuclear Operator
  • Authorized Nuclear Operator
  • Control Room Operator
  • Fuel Handling Control Room Operator

These positions require extensive training, above and beyond the training period required for the operator position. Nuclear Operators do not become eligible for control room operating positions until they have demonstrated competency in the Nuclear Operator position for several years.

Radiation Safety Technician

Radiation Safety Technicians provide radiation safety and radiation emergency preparedness technical advice and assistance to internal and external personnel. They obtain, analyze, and evaluate radiation operating, maintenance and technical data. They carry out special projects and participate in work planning through the evaluation of safety impacts. Radiation safety technicians prepare work plans for radiation safety in accordance with established guidelines and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of radiation equipment instruments and control devices. (Source: Power Workers’ Union)

Related NOC code: 22232 – Occupational health and safety specialists

Educational Requirements: 2-3 year Technician/Technologist, post-secondary training program; completion of in-house radiation protection training program.

Instrument and Control Technician

Instrument and Control Technicians are accountable for the functions associated with the control and instrumentation equipment and/or systems in the Generating Stations. They perform installations, commissioning, fabrications, modifications, overhaul inspections, troubleshooting, predictive maintenance, repair and preventative maintenance on the equipment and/or systems. (Source: Power Workers’ Union)

Related NOC code: 22312 – Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics

Educational Requirements: 2-year, post-secondary Instrumentation Technician program and certification/certificate of qualification.

Careers in Transmission and Distribution

Supporting the transmission and distribution of electrical energy (from power generation disconnect) to customers.

Transmission lines are used to move large quantities of power from generating facilities to substations. Transmission conductors carry high power and are installed on taller structures than distribution. Transmission voltages are typically 69KV up to 765KV.

Distribution systems typically operate in voltage range of 4KV to 46KV. Distribution also includes secondary voltage which operate at less than 1000v and connect electricity to customers’ homes and offices.

Working Conditions:

  • Many transmission and distribution workers complete their tasks outdoors and at various worksites, at any hour and in various weather conditions. Their work always involves travel to and from the worksite, which is often in remote areas, necessitating some workers (like Powerline Technicians) to use a variety of access equipment such as all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, aircrafts, and watercrafts.
  • Occupational hazards include working with high voltage equipment, working in confined spaces and working at heights and in extreme weather conditions. This also could include exposure to asbestos, silica dust, mercury, lead and PCBs.
  • The work of many professionals in transmission and distribution may be strenuous and require frequent heavy lifting, working in awkward positions, carrying and reaching. Some worker groups (like Powerline Technicians) have to climb poles and structures, work from aerial work platforms and enter maintenance holes and underground vaults (i.e., Power Cable Technicians).
  • Other workers, like Power System Operators, complete their work in a control room setting, but shift work is required to ensure the functionality and integrity of the power grid.

Power System Operator/Controller

Power System Operators/Controllers work in control centres to ensure the safe, reliable, and efficient operation of the transmission and distribution system through the use of specialized tools and software.

Related NOC code: 92100 – Power engineers and power systems operators

Educational Requirements: Successful completion of in-house operating training program offered by the employer is often required.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) administers the following certifications that are relevant to power transmission:

  • Transmission Operator (TOP) certification
  • Reliability Operator certification
  • Balancing and Interchange Operator certification
  • Balancing, Interchange and Transmission Operator certification

Transmission Operator (TOP) certification is required for performing all transmission operations. Certification for reliability and balancing/interchange may also be required for operators who perform these functions within their respective control centres. Certifications are maintained by meeting continuing education requirements every three years.

Powerline Technician

Powerline Technicians construct, operate, maintain, and repair overhead, underground and underwater electrical transmission and distribution systems. They install, maintain and repair overhead, underground and underwater powerlines and cables, and other associated equipment such as insulators, conductors, lightning arrestors, switches, metering systems, transformers, and lighting systems. They erect and maintain steel, wood, fibreglass, laminate and concrete poles, structures, and other related hardware. They splice and terminate conductors and related wiring to connect power distribution and transmission networks. In some jurisdictions, powerline technicians may also install and transfer communication devices such as cellular antennas and communication lines.

Related NOC code: 72203 – Electrical power line and cable workers

Educational Requirements: Completion of 4-year apprenticeship and interprovincial certification as a Powerline Technician.

Power Cable Technician

Power Cable Technicians install, operate, maintain, and repair power cables and related underground and above ground infrastructure that are part of transmission and/or distribution systems. They are employed by electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution companies, as well as electrical contractors and public utilities.

Related NOC code: 72203 – Electrical power line and cable workers

Educational Requirements: While Power Cable Technician, unlike Powerline Technician, is not a recognized Red Seal trade, some employers offer in-house apprenticeships to train Power Cable Technicians. Some training in underground cable termination and splicing is provided in the apprenticeship for Powerline Technicians; however, additional and comprehensive training is required to be a competent Power Cable Technician. Within the electricity industry, unlike telecommunications cable workers, Power Cable Technicians are working with high-voltage cables, which can be live (energized).

Careers in Asset Maintenance

Completing preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and optimization of equipment and systems.

Working Conditions:

  • Many workers, like Utility Arborists and Meter Readers, spend their days outside and are exposed to harsh weather conditions, including intense heat and cold, and adverse weather events (such as snow and ice storms, heavy winds, and rain).
  • Various workers, like Utility Arborists and Wind Turbine Technicians are required to work from heights on a daily basis. They may be required to manually climb trees and must be able to use aerial lifts and bucket trucks.
  • Many technicians, mechanics and electricians are also required to work in confined spaces.
  • Asset maintenance workers often require manual dexterity and some degree of flexibility and physical strength to complete their maintenance and repair work.

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind Turbine Technicians perform preventative maintenance and repair work to keep wind turbines in optimal condition for generating electricity. Their work involves maintaining, testing, and repairing mechanical, hydraulic and electrical equipment.

Educational Requirements: Completion of post-secondary diploma program.
Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Industrial/Construction Electrician

Wind Turbine Blade Repair Technician

Wind Turbine Blade Repair technicians complete internal and external fibreglass repairs of composite rotor blades on wind turbines. Their work involves the safe use of hoisting equipment, working and operating from a suspended platform and within confined spaces. They must be skilled in the use of fibreglass and resin materials, tools and equipment.

Educational Requirements: Many Blade Repair Technicians start their careers as Wind Turbine Technicians, bringing with them their knowledge of turbine mechanics and operation, and familiarity with working from heights and in confined spaces. Blade Repair Technicians receive training (often offered by the employer) focusing on rotor blade mechanics and composition and fibreglass/resin repair.

Power Protection and Control Technician

Power Protection and Control Technicians install, commission, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair the critical system equipment used for detecting and responding to power system faults, controlling system devices, metering schemes and telecom throughout a region or area. They may also perform design functions under the supervision of Professional Engineers. They are employed by electric power utilities and private electrical contractors. Their range of duties and responsibilities is dependent upon the type of operation for which they are employed.

Related NOC code: 22310 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

Educational Requirements: Completion of 3 year electrical/electronic/instrumentation and control program from a college or vocational school is typically required; additional training in relay protection and control (post-secondary or in-house) is often required.

Utility Arborist/Electrical Forester

Utility Arborists (aka Electrical Forester, Utility Tree Trimmer) prune, fell and remove vegetation that is near energized power lines and associated electrical equipment in urban, rural, and off-road sites. They also apply, or oversee the application of, herbicides to control vegetation. Their work is performed from the ground or an aerial device, or by climbing trees. These services, which are provided as part of a utility’s vegetation management program or post-storm clean-up, are essential to maintaining and restoring power for communities across Canada.

Related NOC code: 74205 – Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers

Educational Requirements: Depending upon the province/territory, post-secondary/trade training may be available. In some jurisdictions, utility arborists are trained in-house by the utility; this training may be an apprenticeship program.

Most utilities prefer 3-4 years of experience in utility line cutting, experience in tree climbing and bucket truck operation and valid driver’s license.

Construction Maintenance Technician

Construction Maintenance Electricians work in virtually every kind of generation, industrial, residential, and commercial building. They lay out, assemble, repair, maintain, connect, and test electrical fixtures, apparatus, control equipment and wiring. They also work on alarm, communication, light, heating, and power systems. Construction and Maintenance Electricians also construct and maintain generation, transmission, and distribution stations. (Source: Power Workers Union)

Related NOC code: 72200 – Electricians (except industrial and power system)

Educational requirements: Certification as a Construction Electrician.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Construction

Construction Millwright/Industrial Mechanic

Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics install, maintain, troubleshoot, overhaul and repair stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. This unit group includes industrial textile machinery mechanics and repairers. Construction millwrights are employed by millwrighting contractors.

Related NOC Code: 72400 – Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
Educational requirements: Completion of 3-4 year apprenticeship program; Voluntary certification is available in all provinces and territories.
Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Mining, Oil and Gas

Meter Reader

Meter readers perform regular readings and verification of electrical meters for all utility customers. (Source: Power Workers’ Union)

Related NOC Code: 14110 – Survey interviewers and statistical clerks

Educational requirements: Most employers require a minimum of a high-school diploma, as well as a valid driver’s license.

Meter Technician

Meter Technicians install, operate, repair, troubleshoot and safely maintain accurate electric metering installations to customers.

Educational requirements: Many employers have an in-house or union supported apprenticeship/trainee program. These programs have a set number of training hours required to be considered qualified.

Inspection Maintenance Technician

Inspection Maintenance Technicians perform non-destructive examinations (NDE) using radiographic, ultrasonic, eddy current, surface, optical/visual or other methods. Prepare non-destructive procedures or techniques for review and approval and perform technical analysis of results of non-destructive examinations using visual display and/or computer techniques to determine the condition of examined material. Operate and maintain assigned electromechanical equipment and perform measurements on conventional and nuclear components. (Source: Power Workers’ Union)

Educational requirements: Required number of certifications in areas including: industrial radiography; ultrasonics; magnetic particle, liquid penetrant.

Careers in Information and Communication Technology

Collecting, analyzing, and storing electrical system and consumer information/data for the efficient operation, management, and optimization of electrical system resources.

This is achieved through the integration of information and telecommunications technology with the power supply, transmission and distribution system, and customers. The use of this technology to collect, analyze and monitor data allows electricity providers to monitor and manage the power system in order to provide customers with sufficient and reliable power.

Cybersecurity Specialist

Cybersecurity Specialists develop, plan, recommend, implement, improve, and monitor security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks, connected devices and information to prevent unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of the information or of the systems on which the information resides.

Related NOC code: 21220 – Cybersecurity specialists

Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer security, computer systems engineering, information systems or completion of a college program in information technology, network administration or other computer science related program is usually required. Certification or training provided by software vendors may be required by some employers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

Information Systems Specialist

Information Systems Specialists analyze, test, and assess systems requirements, develop, and implement information systems development plans, policies and procedures, and provide advice on a wide range of information systems issues.

Related NOC code: 21222 – Information systems specialists

Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering, business administration or a related discipline or completion of a college program in computer science is usually preferred. Experience as a computer programmer is often required. A professional certification, such as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) or another related information technology (IT) designation may be required by some employers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

Database Analyst/Data Administrator

Database Analysts/Data Administrators design, develop and administer data management solutions. Data administrators develop and implement data administration policy, standards, and models.

Related NOC code: 21223 – Database analysts and data administrators

Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or college program, usually in computer science, computer engineering or mathematics. Computer programming and related experience is usually required.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

Computer Systems Developer/Programmer

Computer Systems Developers/Programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for software applications, data processing applications, operating systems-level software and communications software.

Related NOC code: 21230 – Computer systems developers and programmers

Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or college diploma program in computer science, computer engineering or in another discipline with a significant programming component. Specialization in programming for specific applications may required further post-secondary study or experience.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

Software Engineer and Designer

Software Engineers and Designers research, design, evaluate, integrate and maintain software applications, technical environments, operating systems, embedded software, information warehouses and telecommunications software.

Related NOC code: 21231 – Software engineers and designers

Educational Requirements: Degree in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering or mathematics (e.g., Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by a provincial/territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and report and to use the Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) designation; experience as a Computer Programmer is typically required.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

Computer Network Technician

Computer Network Technicians establish, operate, maintain, and coordinate the use of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), mainframe networks, hardware, software, and related computer equipment. Web technicians set up and maintain internet, extranet and intranet Web sites and Web-server hardware and software and monitor and optimize network connectivity and performance.

Related NOC code: 22220 – Computer network and web technicians

Educational Requirements: Completion of college or other program in computer science, network administration, web technology or a related field is usually required. Certification or training provided by software vendors may be required by some employers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Information Technology

SCADA Technician

SCADA Technicians are responsible for performing electrical and instrumental tasks for their organizations, including troubleshooting all SCADA equipment and processes using expert technical knowledge. They also help to program and implement software changes for switches in installation. (Source: Payscale.com)

Related NOC Code: N/A

Educational Requirements: An electrical engineering technology diploma or electrical engineering degree may be required, depending upon the employer. Advanced training in SCADA systems, as well as other electrical certifications, are often considered strong assets or essential requirements for this position.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Electrical Engineering Technologist; Electrical Engineer; Manufacturing, Processing

Careers in Engineering

Using scientific principles to design, build and use engines, machines, structures and equipment for the generation, transmission, and distribution of power.

Professional Engineering

Electrical and Electronics Engineer

Electrical and Electronics Engineers design, plan, research, evaluate and test electrical and electronic equipment and systems.

Related NOC code: 21310 – Electrical and electronics engineers

Educational Requirements: Degree in electrical/electronics engineering (i.e., Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by provincial/territorial association of professional engineers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Processing, Transportation

Civil Engineer

Civil Engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports and coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. They may also specialize in foundation analysis, building and structural inspection, surveying, geomatics, and municipal planning.

Related NOC code: 21300 – Civil engineers

Educational Requirements: Degree in civil engineering (i.e., Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by provincial/territorial association of professional engineers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Construction, Transportation

SCADA Engineer

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems Engineers design, configure, and deploy these systems within their organizations. They are responsible for configuring existing systems and planning the deployment of devices, computers and instruments that are part of the SCADA system. SCADA engineers also develop procedures for emergencies and troubleshoot when issues arise. They analyze the system performance and suggest or make improvements where applicable and possible.

Related NOC codes: 21310 – Electrical and electronics engineers; 21311 – Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers); 21301 – Mechanical engineers

Educational Requirements: Degree in electrical, mechanical, industrial or computer engineering (i.e., Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by provincial/territorial association of professional engineers. Knowledge of computer security and programming is a strong asset and may be required by some employers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Processing, Oil and Gas

Computer Engineer

Computer Engineers (except Software Engineers and Designers) research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware and related equipment, and information and communication system networks including mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fibre-optic networks, wireless communication networks, intranets, the Internet and other data communications systems.

Related NOC code: 21311 – Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)

Educational Requirements: Degree in computer engineering, electrical or electronics engineering, engineering physics or computer science (i.e., Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by provincial/territorial association of professional engineers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Information Technology

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineers research, design and develop machinery and systems for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, power generation, transportation, processing and manufacturing. They also perform duties related to the evaluation, installation, operation, and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Related NOC code: 21301 – Mechanical engineers

Educational Requirements: Degree in mechanical engineering (i.e., Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctorate); licensing by provincial/territorial association of professional engineers.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Processing, Transportation

Engineering Technology

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician/Technologist

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians and Technologists may work independently or provide technical support and services in the design, development, testing, production and operation of electrical and electronic equipment and systems.

Related NOC code: 22310 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians

Educational Requirements: Completion of 2-3 year college program in electrical or electronics engineering technology, computer engineering technology, telecommunications technology or an equivalent is required for technologists. Completion of a 1-2 year college program in electrical or electronics engineering technology is usually required for technicians. Certification in electrical or electronics engineering technology is available through provincial associations of engineering/applied science technologists and may be required for some positions.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Communications, Processing, Transportation

Civil Engineering Technician/Technologist

Civil Engineering Technicians and Technologists provide technical support and services to scientists, engineers and other professionals, or may work independently in fields such as structural engineering, municipal engineering, construction design and supervision, highways and transportation engineering, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering and environmental protection.

Related NOC code: 22300 – Civil engineering technologists and technicians

Educational Requirements: Completion of 2-3 year college program in civil engineering technology or a closely related discipline equivalent is required for technologists. Completion of a 1-2 year college program in civil engineering technology is usually required for technicians. Certification in civil engineering technology is available through provincial associations of engineering/applied science technologists and may be required for some positions.

Applicable transferrable sectors/occupations: Manufacturing, Communications, Processing, Transportation

Mechanical Engineering Technician/Technologist

Mechanical Engineering Technicians and Technologists provide technical support and services or may work independently in mechanical engineering fields such as the design, development, maintenance and testing of machines, components, tools, heating and ventilating systems, geothermal power plants, power generation and power conversion plants, manufacturing plants and equipment.

Related NOC code: 22301 – Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

Educational Requirements: Completion of 2-3 year college program in mechanical engineering technology is required for technologists. Completion of a 1-2 year college program in mechanical engineering technology is usually required for technicians. Certification in mechanical engineering technology is available through provincial associations of engineering/applied science technologists and may be required for some positions.

Why pursue a career in electricity?

The electricity sector provides you the opportunity to help people and the environment, while also offering excellent compensation.

Responsibility

Electricity is essential to the daily lives of all Canadians and people around the world; without it, there’d be no lights, no computers, no household appliances, no temperature control, etc. Working in the electricity sector, there is never any doubt that what you’re doing is important. This is especially true when it comes to renewable energy: the application of non-emitting energy sources (biomass, hydro, nuclear, solar, wind, et al.) and clean energy technology is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If you are serious about environmental stewardship, the electricity sector is where you can make a real difference. This is in part because it is an innovative sector: inventions like microgrids, smart grids, organic photovoltaics, and advanced computer forecasting are transforming the industry, and pioneering minds can find a place at the forefront of this innovation.

Excellent Compensation

On top of the public benefit, the electricity sector is a rewarding place for individuals. It is a growing industry, with 20,500 new hires anticipated from 2017-2022, and that growth is steady. Since energy is a necessity, there are few layoffs in the electricity sector and your skills will always be in-demand. Plus, you will be well compensated for your work: according to calculations made from Statistics Canada’s “Job Bank,” the average wage for electricity sector occupations is approximately $39 per hour, with an average low of $21 per hour and an average high of $59 per hour. There are few industries that can promise stable, rewarding, full-time work at roughly $80,000 a year on average.

How to get started?

If you’d like to explore career opportunities, then you may be asking what you can do to ease your transition into the sector. There are programs and events which you can participate in to prepare you with the skills and information you need to succeed in the job market. These include competency frameworks, mentorship programs, wage subsidy programs, and organizational events.

Competency Frameworks

Competency frameworks contain competencies (skills and knowledge) required by numerous occupations across the electricity and renewable sector. Electricity Human Resources Canada’s (EHRC) National Occupation Standards (NOS) project provides insight into what skills and knowledge are required for specific jobs; this means you can assess your own current skills and career goals against the NOS to identify areas for personal development and career growth. In addition, competency frameworks illustrate what competencies are shared between occupations, therefore are transferable across sectors.

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship provides insider knowledge and useful career tips from industry professionals. Mentors will not offer you a job, but they can help with the job application process and may be willing to act as a reference. Women who are already in the electricity sector and are looking for support to navigate their careers are eligible to apply for EHRC’s Connected Women mentorship program.

Wage Subsidy Programs

Wage subsidy programs create work opportunities, especially within small businesses, that might otherwise be unavailable. EHRC’s Discovering Potential program can subsidize internship or training placements for youth in the green energy and technology subsector. If you are considering entering this innovative subsector than this is a program you should make your future employer aware of.

Organizational Events

Organizational events, such as hiring calls or job fairs, are opportunities to familiarize yourself with what options are available in the sector, and the expectations employers have for potential hires. You can find these on company websites and social media. For news on events EHRC is attending, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.