If you enjoy problem solving, mathematics and working with your hands, you will enjoy working as an electrician. You will 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 will begin by reading and interpreting electrical, mechanical and architectural drawings, specification and applicable code to determine wiring layouts. Next, you will 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 will also install, replace, maintain and repair electrical systems. You will 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)
This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.
Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or gain experience with our Pre-Employment Electrician program.
As an electrician, you will often work in construction or maintenance for contractors, manufacturers or resource companies and will be required to do a variety of electrical work in residential, commercial and industrial structures. Each job will be a new challenge for you and may require you to work indoors or outdoors on scaffolding or in confined and restricted locations.
As a journeyperson, you will likely make a wage between $30 - $50 an hour depending on your employer.
After becoming a journeyperson, you may become a foreman, superintendent, estimator, electrical inspector, technical instructor or move into other management positions. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.
In Alberta, a valid Master Electrician Identification Number is required for permits before electrical work can begin on any project. Alberta-certified Electricians may apply to the Alberta Safety Codes Council to become a Master Electrician following three years of certification. At SAIT, we help you become a Master Electrician with our Masters Code and Applied Theory course.
Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the electrical trades:
- Good communication and reading skills
- An aptitude for mathematics
- Mechanical ability, strength and manual dexterity
- The ability to distinguish colours to work with colour-coded wiring
- The ability to plan, organize and problem solve effectively
- The ability to work at heights and use proper lifting techniques
- Coach, mentor and work well within a team or working alone
- A willingness to keep up with new developments, especially as the Alberta codes are updated
- Work precisely
- Adequate computer skills
- Commitment to safe working conditions
Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded 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.
Admission and Completion
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.
Successful completion of the following courses:
- English 20-2
- Math 20-3
- Science 10
A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:
- English 30-2
- Math 30-3
- Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
- Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
How to register
Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.
After you register
Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.
Depending on the specialization, apprentices will spend two to four periods of technical training and work experience before becoming a journeyperson. See below for an outline of each period.
|Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice|
|Apply as an apprentice with SAIT and your employer|
|Sign contract and receive record book|
|Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts|
|Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1500 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend first period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete second period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend second period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete third period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend third period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete fourth period of on-the-job training (1360 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend fourth period of technical training for 12 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass fourth period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Become a Journeyperson|
|Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam|
Technical Training Performance
To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.
Domestic tuition and fees*
|Period||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||Saitsa fees||Lab & Material fees||2020/21 total|
Student support fee: $25
Student technology fee: $25
Books and supplies*
- Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
- It is recommended that you do not 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 will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.
*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
Membership to the SAIT Wellness centre - including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetteball courts and eight room is available to apprentices at a discounted rate.
Financial planning tool
Our apprenticeship cost calculator can help you make a financial plan by identifying and adding up your expected expenses while attending SAIT — find out exactly how much money you need to save, seek or borrow to get you through your studies.
James, now a Journeyman Electrician, works for Gavco Power Systems. He plans to take more courses and move up the ladder.
"Full of great instructors, lots of fun — everything was good."