Overview

Learn how to install, alter, repair and maintain electrical systems designed to provide heat, light, power, control, signal or fire alarms for all types of buildings, structures and premises.

On the job, you'll begin by reading and interpreting electrical, mechanical and architectural drawings, specifications and applicable code to determine wiring layouts. Next, you'll cut, thread, bend, assemble and install conduits and other types of electrical conductor enclosures, pull wire through conduits and holes in walls and floors as well as position, maintain and install distribution and control equipment such as switches, relays, circuit breaker panels and fuse enclosures.

You'll also install, replace, maintain and repair electrical systems. You'll form circuits by splicing, joining and connecting wire before testing the circuits to ensure integrity and safety.

You may specialize in renewable energy – such as wind and solar – and fire alarm systems. During your career, you may be able to work in specific industries including:

  • residential (housing developments)
  • commercial (office buildings)
  • institutional (hospitals, schools)
  • industrial (plants and factories).

To work in this trade, certification is required. This means that you must either be a registered apprentice who is working under the guidance of a certified journeyperson or you must be a certified journeyperson yourself.

Electricians are individuals who are self-motivated, can work alone or alongside a team and enjoy assisting people. This line of work is most fulfilling for those who enjoy problem-solving and working with their hands.

To thrive in this career, it is important to have the following traits:

  • have strong math skills
  • be a team player and self-motivated worker
  • be willing to keep learning with Alberta code updates and new industry developments
  • ability to differentiate colors for working with color-coded wiring
  • enjoy problem-solving and finding solutions
  • have a passion for technology and be proficient with computers
  • take pride in producing high-quality, precise work
  • excellent communication skills with team members, customers and managers
  • committed to maintaining health and safety standards

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and apprenticeship education periods, graduates will be awarded an advanced diploma in addition to journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Electricians are a Red Seal Endorsed trade –a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

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Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 22310, 72011, 72200, 72201, 72202, 72203, 72204, 72205, 74204, 90011, 92100.

Apprenticeship Training

The term of apprenticeship for an electrician is four years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of apprenticeship education in each of the first three years and a minimum of 1440 hours of on-the-job training and 12 weeks of apprenticeship education in the fourth year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You will start by learning standard workplace safety. You will then learn circuit fundamentals, EMF sources, LAB fundamentals as well as Canadian electrical code part 1 and drawings.

Year 2 | Period 2

You will learn about alternating currents, circuit properties, RLC circuits, heating and cooling systems, magnetic controls and switching circuits as well as Canadian electrical code part 1/plans and diagrams.

Year 3 | Period 3

You will learn three-phase principles, three-phase motor principles, transformers and Canadian electrical code.

Year 4 | Period 4

You will learn machines, control and switching, PLC, fire alarm systems, applications of electronics as well as Canadian electrical code part 1 applications and safety.

Apprenticeship education performance

To succeed in apprenticeship education, you must pass each section of the course and the AIT exam.

The passing grade for each section in a course is 65%. A passing mark on each provincial exam and the interprovincial qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

View Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures

 

Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

An electrician wearing a hardhat and overalls smiles for the camera.

Pre-employment pathway

SAIT’s Pre-employment Electrician program prepares you to enter into an apprenticeship with hands-on skills. Upon successfully completing the program, you’ll qualify to challenge the first-year Electrician apprenticeship exam.

Pre-employment Electrician

Admission requirements

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements

Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 20-2
  • Math 20-3
  • Science 10

OR

A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests

OR

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended requirements

Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 OR Chemistry 30 OR Science 30
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.

MyTradeSecrets

Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

How to register

Available intakes

Costs

2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

The estimated total cost of 2024/25 tuition and fees in each period of technical training.
Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
2 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
3 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
4 12 $1,728 $365 $2,093
Total cost:
$6,536

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the Bookstore.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective until June 30, 2024.

The estimated total cost of 2023/24 tuition and fees in each period of technical training.
Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
2 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
3 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
4 12 $1,584 $355 $1,939
Total cost:
$6,064
A man crosses his arms over planks of wood and smiles at the camera.

Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Financial aid

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact

Have more questions?

Technical training at SAIT

MacPhail School of Energy

Phone
403.284.8451
Email
macphail.students@sait.ca

Apprenticeship training and registration

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services

Phone
1.800.248.4823
tradesecrets.alberta.ca