Canada’s Best Jobs 2014: Electrical & Telecommunications Contractor

An electrifying career

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electrician

(Design Pics/LJM Photo/Getty)

Median Salary: $72,800
Change in salary (2007–2013): +13%
Total employees: 20,500

For most contractors, success relies on the strength of the construction industry, and observers point to recent drops in housing-starts and building permits to suggest that Canada’s house-building spree may be cooling off. If true, that could slow demand for building trades like electrical contractors—but a looming wave of retirements also promise future opportunity.

How to qualify: Contractors start by becoming certified electricians (a four-year apprenticeship that combines on-the-job training with classroom work). Strong math skills are a must. After that, you can start your own company or work your way up through an existing one.

Money: A typical journeyman electrician’s wage ranges from $30 to $38 an hour. Contractors are business owners, so their salaries vary. The owner of a successful one- or two-man operation can pull in around $70,000 to $80,000 a year.

Opportunity: Canada is expected to face a shortage of skilled trades workers as many approach retirement. The average electrician is close to 50 years old, says Bill Strain, president of Surrey, B.C.-based Villa Electric. “A huge amount of people will be leaving the industry.” That translates to high demand for workers, especially in provinces seeing lots of new construction, like Alberta.

What it’s like: “As an owner, I don’t do a lot of electrical work anymore. I’m a business manager and an entrepreneur,” says Strain, who has 25 employees.” Once his company gets a contract, it’s Strain’s job to keep customers happy. “If you’re running your own company, you’re on call 24 hours a day. If your customers have a problem in the middle of the night, you take the call and either you go or you send somebody.”


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4 comments on “Canada’s Best Jobs 2014: Electrical & Telecommunications Contractor

  1. In Ontario its more like 5 years for your apprenticeship to become a journey person. That is followed by 3 years of work experience as a journey person with another exam following to give you your masters. At that point you can start a company. You cannot legally do you own work outside of a contractors business until you have a masters license.

    Reply

  2. Im not sure where your getting your info from. It is extreamly hard to land a job as an electricien. Maybe in the oil sands but Ive been hearing about all thies tradesmen that are going to retire. But they arent. You cant even get an apprentice card in quebec at the moment. Stop posting stuff like this. It gives false hope to people trying to get work. Talk to the trades not the owners.

    Reply

    • Hello i would like your assistance regarding work opportunities in Canada. I appreciate your honest contribution and would like someone with insight to point me in the right direction, you could please send me a mail on areas to go into since i might be making a career change and i plan on moving to Canada. thanks petregimmajulian@gmail.com

      Reply

  3. Please someone tell me what to do to build my future. I am in toronto driving a taxi but it look a like very dangerous job. I am ready to start anything from now onwords. Next 5 to 7 years i want to stand some where with some qualification.
    Thank u very much for your time and for your suggestion.
    wish you all the best

    Reply

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