How to Become an Electrician in Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s most populated province and is one of Canada’s fastest growing. That means that there is constant construction going on with new apartment buildings and housing developments being built. This has created a huge need for qualified electricians and contractors in the area as the current work force struggles to meet rising demand. With many baby-boomer electricians seriously eying retirement this is a perfect time for someone interested in becoming an electrician in Ontario to begin their journey! Though highly rewarding, becoming an electrician is often times a confusing route. So, how to become an electrician in Ontario?

Step 1 – Education (Optional)

Although it is possible to become an electrician in Ontario by directly apprenticing to a master electrician, those electricians who went to a trade or vocational school first are often preferred when it comes to being hired. The North American Trades Schools campus in London, Ontario is a great choice if you’re interested in becoming an electrician or if you’re interested in pursing a different skilled trade.

Step 2 – Apprenticeship

Once you’ve obtained a diploma or degree from a trades school ti is time to start an apprenticeship (you can begin an apprenticeship without post-secondary education as long as you meet the requirements). You’ll want to contact your local IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) office in order to request information about possible apprenticeship opportunities. They will try to find you a company that is currently looking to hire an apprentice.

IBEW – Main Site

IBEW Local 120 – London, Ontario

IBEW Local 353 – Toronto, Ontario

IBEW Local 636 – Mississauga, Ontario

During your apprenticeship you will work with a master electrician performing various electrical installations and repairs. Tasks you will do include running wires, hauling equipment, installing lighting fixtures, helping create electrical plans, and more. You will also need to attend some classroom lectures and classes that will educate you on electrical theory and techniques. An electrician apprenticeship in Ontario lasts 9,000 hours or roughly 5 years.

The Average Requirements To Become An Apprentice Electrician in Ontario Are

  • Completed Grade 12 w/ Math, Physics, and English
  • Physically Capable
  • Drug Free
  • Some companies will require first aid training

Step 3 – Becoming A Journeyman Electrician

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship you’ll need to take an exam in order to become a journeyman electrician in Ontario. The exam will test your knowledge of electrical code, installation, techniques, safe practices, and electrical theory. Once you’ve passed you will be a journeyman electrician and will be qualified to carry out electrical installation and work in the province of Ontario. If you’ve performed well over the course of your apprenticeship it should be easy to find a position, if you’re having trouble contact your local IBEW representative.

Step 4 – Becoming A Master Electrician

The final licensing step in the electrician ladder is to become a master electrician in Ontario. To qualify to write the master electrician exam you’ll need to have completed 3 years of work in the electrical sector within the province of Ontario and be able to prove it. The exam takes roughly 3 hours and will test your knowledge of electrical theory, electrical planning, and local electrical code. Once you’ve passed the exam you’ll be qualified to supervise journeymen and apprentice electricians within the province of Ontario.

Now you know everything you need to about how to become an electrician in Ontario. Be sure to speak with an IBEW union representative if you have any questions or concerns.