British Columbia Electrical Association

Building Community through Education & Advocacy

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Welcome to the Electrical Industry!


Careers in the electrical industry...
... an exciting and dynamic place to be!

A career in the electrical industry can be very rewarding. The electrical industry is always changing to keep up with the latest in technologies, products and services. The whole scope of the industry is so wide and varied, that there really is something for everyone.

Here are five major areas of the electrical industry, and the job opportunities in each:

There are also several different occupations that are associated with our industry. WorkBC has put together very detailed job descriptions as well as education requirements. We recommend visiting the WorkBC website to find out more information about the related occupations in the industry.

To see what companies are involved in the electrical industry, please view the BCEA Member Directory.

Electrical Engineer


Electrical Engineers design systems and equipment to be installed into facilities. Engineers review new products and technologies, and specify which will be supplied/installed by a contractor building the facility. The contractor builds from the engineer’s design.

The Electrical Consulting Engineer is part of a design team usually involving an architect, structural engineer, and mechanical engineer. They design systems to meet the requirements of building/facility users, occupants and owners. Electrical engineers also: document designs using AutoCad computer drafting; review and specify materials and systems to be installed into buildings; and take professional responsibility that designs meet code.

The Electrical Engineer also reviews the contractor’s work during construction to ensure compliance with design documents and applicable building codes.

Education/Professional Requirements for the Electrical Engineer
  • Bachelor of Applied Science or Engineering Degree in Electrical or Electronic Engineering from an accredited university (4-5 years, dependent on the university)
  • Registration as a Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (or the equivalent in the province or country of practice).
WorkBC Profile Link
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Electrical Distributor


A distributor is a link between the manufacturer and the end user. The distributor passes on extensive product knowledge, understands its customer’s business and carries the inventory necessary to service the industry. A distributor is the primary channel of electrical products to the end user.

Different jobs opportunities available with a distributor are: warehouse; counter sales; inside sales; quotations/projects; marketing; accounting; purchasing; product specialists (lighting, wire & cable, telecom, etc.); and outside sales representatives.

Education Requirements for the Electrical Distributor
  • Most distributors require a minimum of Grade 12.
  • Post secondary education at a university or technical institute may be necessary or an asset to be employed in some of the above listed positions.
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Manufacturer


Over 300 different manufacturers of electrical products can be found in British Columbia. Every manufacturer has sales support in B.C. in the form of direct manufacturers or manufacturers' agents. Most of these manufacturers have plants in eastern Canada or the United States. Many of them have numerous plants located throughout the world. However, about 15 manufacturers have plants here in B.C.

There are numerous and varied positions available in manufacturing, depending on the size and needs of the company. There are two main functions - sales and manufacturing.

Jobs available in sales with a manufacturer include: outside sales; inside sales; quotations; support staff; management; and marketing. Positions available in manufacturing include: Cad operators and designers; wiremen; technicians; assembly; management; accountant; support staff; shippers and receivers.

Manufacturing is a growing industry with a lot of opportunity for advancement and career path changes.

Education Requirements for the Manufacturer
  • Educational requirements for employment with a manufacturer vary depending on what area you are looking to enter.
  • While some areas require little background or experience, others require computer skills, university, or technical training.
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Electrician


Electricians install and repair electrical wiring and related equipment in buildings. Because electricity is used for a variety of purposes, including climate control, security and communications, electricians need to be proficient in many applications of electricity. They are employed by electrical contractors, maintenance departments of large institutions such as hospitals or industrial plants, or they may be self-employed. Electrician apprentices are included in this group.

Electricians work on new construction sites and on renovations to existing buildings. They ensure that all electrical connections are safe and meet the electrical code.

Electricians interpret architectural drawings and electrical code specifications at construction sites. They install lighting fixtures and electrical equipment as well as connect electrical wire to fixtures and components to form circuits, according to the plans. Also, they test circuits to ensure the compatibility and safety of systems. In many cases, they are called on to troubleshoot faults in electrical and electronic systems as well as to connect sound and visual communication equipment, signaling devices and heating and cooling systems. At some sites, they conduct preventive maintenance programs.

Education and Training Requirements for an Electrician
  • To work as an electrician in B.C., it is necessary to hold a Certificate or Qualification in the trade, or be registered in a four-year apprenticeship that will lead to qualification.
  • The Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission (ITAC) recommends that all secondary school students planning to become an apprentice complete a grade 12 education that includes appropriate English, mathematics and science courses.
WorkBC Profile Link
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Electrical Utility


An Electrical Utility ensures that the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is planned for and executed safely and efficiently.

Job opportunities with an electrical utility are very broad. Some of the positions within a utility are: line person; cable splicer; electrician; mechanic; meter reader; operator/area dispatch; power line technician; telecontrol technician; accounting/finance; and customer service. Careers are also available in the emerging fields of information technology, electricity trading, environmental science, occupational safety and health, and marketing.

Education Requirements for an Electrical Utility
  • Educational requirements for jobs at an electrical utility vary as greatly as the diversity of the positions listed above. Some positions require little educational background, while others might require a university degree.
  • Many of the positions provide on the job training.
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Other Occupations in the Electrical Industry


Administrative Business and Finance
Administrative Officers
Administrative Support Clerks
Bookkeepers
Clerical Occupations, General Office Skills
Conference and Event Planners
Finance and Insurance Clerks
Financial and Investment Analysts
Financial Auditors and Accountants
Library, Correspondence and Related Information Clerks
Mail and Message Distribution Occupation
Office Equipment Operators
Personnel and Recruitment Officers
Professional Occupations in Business Services to Mgmt
Purchasing Agents and Officers
Recording, Scheduling and Distributing Occupations
Specialists in Human Resources

Engineering and Electronics
Physical Science Professionals
Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering
Other Engineers
Computer Systems Analysts
Computer Programmers
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
Electronic Service Technicians (Household and Business Equipment)
Aircraft Instrument, Electrical and Avionics Mechanics, Technicians and Inspectors

Counselling and Training
Policy and Program Officers, Researchers and Consultants
College and Other Vocational Instructors
Employment Counsellors

Communications
Policy and Program Officers, Researchers and Consultants
College and Other Vocational Instructors
Employment Counsellors

Sales
Sales and Service Supervisors
Other Occupations in Personal Service
Other Sales and Related Occupations
Technical Sales Specialists, Wholesale Trade
Retail and Wholesale Buyers
Sales Representatives, Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)
Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks
Front Desk Agents

Contractor
Underground Miners, Oil and Gas Drillers and Related Workers
Mine Service Workers and Operators in Oil and Gas Drilling

Manufacturing, Mechanical, and Utility Trades
Trades Helpers, Construction Labourers and Related Occupations
Contractors and Supervisors, Trades and Related Workers
Motor Vehicle Mechanics
Other Mechanics
Stationary Engineers and Power Station and System Operators
Train Crew Operating Occupations
Motor Vehicle and Transit Drivers
Other Installers, Repairers and Servicers
Longshore Workers and Material Handlers
Electricians (Construction and Maintenance)
Industrial Electricians
Power System Electricians
Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers
Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers
Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers
Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians
Heavy Equipment Operators

Machine Operators and Assemblers
Central Control and Process Operators in Manufacturing and Processing
Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics Assemblers
Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities

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August 2017
Events
Jobs
Info
Dale Carnegie Course Burnaby - Effective Communication and Human Relations
August 24th - November 16th, 2017
Metrotown Tower I - Suite 1028
Dale Carnegie Course Langley - Effective Communication and Human Relations
August 29th - November 14th, 2017
Dale Carnegie Office
Softball Tournament
September 9th - 10th, 2017
McLeod Athletic Park
Thanksgiving Food Drive
September 11th - 16th, 2017
Channel Cup Challenge
September 15th - 16th, 2017
U40 Fall Meet & Greet
September 22nd, 2017
S+L Langley
Introduction to Basic Electricity
September 26th - October 17th, 2017
Camosun College
Greater Vancouver Food Bank Sorting Day
September 28th, 2017
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Introduction to Basic Electricity - Burnaby
October 13th - 14th, 2017
BCEA Office
BCEA's LINK Conference 2017
November 1st - 2nd, 2017
The Marriott Pinnacle Vancouver
Kelowna Holiday Meet & Greet
November 13th, 2017
Account Manager
Torbram Electric Supply
Port Coquitlam
Posted August 9th, 2017
Industrial Sales Rep
Gescan
Vancouver
Posted July 24th, 2017
Outside Sales Position
Cascadia Sales
Lower Mainland, BC
Posted July 21st, 2017
Sales Representative
Rittal
Vancouver, BC
Posted July 17th, 2017
Counter Sales/Warehouse Associate
Gescan
Vancouver, BC
Posted July 17th, 2017
2015 Canadian Electrical Code Book
The most up-to-date safe electrical installation requirements.
BCEA Scholarship Program
Find out about BCEA scholarships.



The British Columbia Electrical Association (BCEA) is a strong industry voice, a united front, designed to education and promote B.C.'s electrical industry. We are dedicated to helping our members and the electrical industry achieve the highest level of success.


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