Sector: Skilled Trades
Type: Career Profile
Industrial Arts, Math, Physics, Science, Technology & Engineering
I really enjoy trouble shooing when things don’t work the way it was planned. Figuring out the problem and then finding a solution so things will work properly is really motivating.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be heavy equipment operator. My father was an operator and I spent a lot of time around machines. But when I graduated high school, there were few jobs available for operators. My father and grandfather talked into doing the electrical program. As it turns out now, this was a good decision. I love what I do and I have worked most of the time since I started.
I enrolled in the construction electrician program at Academy Canada. This is a 9-month program that prepares you for the job site. In addition to learning about electrical theory, creating circuits, adding devices to circuits, and the different electrical devices, you learn how to read blueprints and get safety training. After this I became an apprentice. Over the next four years, I worked with more experienced electricians on real job sites. There I used what I learned in the classroom in real situations. I also learned new things from these electricians. After I had completed the necessary amount of apprentice training, I went back to school to prepare to take the examinations in order to become a Red Seal electrician, which is what I am now.
The type of work I do has changed over the years. When I started out, I worked only in residential construction for about three years. Then I worked on a mix of residential and commercial building for another four years. I found working on commercial buildings to be more interesting as you get to do many different things and add to your skill set. Now I am working in industrial settings. I find this the most interesting of all the work I’ve done. Industrial electricians install, maintain, test, troubleshoot, service and repair industrial electrical equipment. A lot of this work includes equipment that is directly connected to electrical power such as motors, generators, pumps and lighting systems. There is always new stuff to learn so I never get bored!
This is a good trade to be in. While the work cycles ebb and flow, there is always a demand for electricians. It is a very interesting trade that can lead you to working in a variety of work settings.
When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family. I like to do renovations around house, play guitar, go driving on my quad, or hunting duck and moose. I still love heavy equipment and will rent pieces of equipment to do certain jobs at home or for friends.
The type of work that I do will change depending if I am working on residential, construction or industrial buildings. I install electrical wiring for the circuits that put heat and light into a building. This includes adding electrical receptacles such as switches and outlets (plugs and sockets) to the circuit. Sometimes I work on electrical motors. You have to follow the blueprints and building plans and make sure everything is up to provincial codes. Lately I’ve been doing work with installing heat traces. These are heating elements that keep pipes from freezing.
There is a lot of decision-making and problem solving involved in the work I do. If something doesn’t work, you have to track down the problem and figure out how to fix it. Bottom line is when someone flicks a switch, they expect it to work properly. Part of my job is making sure everything on the building’s circuit works properly. I use math a lot, as I use electrical formulas to figure out the amperage something is drawing or to calculate resistance in a circuit. For example, if I know the resistance on a circuit, I can determine the type or the number of heaters needed to heat a room. You have to know what the numbers mean so need to understand the science behind what the numbers say. Ohm’s law from physics is basis of pretty much everything I do on the job.
I was born/grew up in: Gander, NL
I now live in: Old Shop, NL
I completed my training/education at: I completed the construction electrical certification program at Academy Canada. This apprenticeship program includes classroom instruction and time working at real job sites as an apprentice
When I was
- Business & Economics
- Industrial Arts
- Physical Education/Health
- Enjoyed doing things on my own
- Always wanted to be outside
- Liked helping people
- Enjoyed working with my hands
- Engaged in volunteer activities
- Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
- Never wanted to be in the classroom
- Didn't really care about grades
- Learned best “by doing”
- Liked to take things apart to see how they worked
- Liked to design or build things
- Engaged in activities such as fishing, berry picking and hunting