ECA Ottawa

Apprenticeship In Ottawa

Industrial, Commercial, Institutional (ICI) & Residential Electrician Apprenticeship

The duration of the ICI apprenticeship is typically 9000 hours and takes about five (5) years to complete. 80% of learning is done on-the-job while under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson.  20% of learning is done through attending the three mandatory levels of Trade School (Basic [8 weeks], Intermediate [10 weeks], Advanced [10 weeks].  The program also requires attendance to mandatory supplemental training Classes at the IBEW prior to being dispatched. It may require some evenings and Saturdays. These classes are designed to provide apprentices with the skills and knowledge they require prior to attending Trade School and to train the next generation of Electricians and to be the very best in the industry.

Apprentices work for a member company of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ottawa ( ECA Ottawa). Apprentices are dispatched by the IBEW Local Union 586 (IBEW L.U. 586). Once dispatched to a company, an apprentice works on jobsites performing the tasks of a Construction and Maintenance Electrician and is paid by their employer (Contractor). The geographical area covered is west via Hwy 17 to Deux-Riviers (past Deep River), east to  Hawkesbury,  north to the Ottawa River,  and south of Perth and Smith Falls. An employer could send an apprentice to a jobsite anywhere within this area. Apprentices are required to provide their own transportation to the jobsite. Most work days begin at 7 a.m.

Once selected for the Program, a successful candidate is placed in a pool. As jobs become available, people in the pool are contacted to attend Safety and Orientation (S & O). Selection from the pool is based on a ranking system resulting from the initial Aptitude Test, Interview and Skills Assessment. Once the safety courses are successfully completed, an apprentice will then be dispatched by the IBEW, LU 586 to  an ECA Ottawa member company.

Sample Aptitude Test Questions

If you have been sponsored by the union or one of the ECA Ottawa member contractors you will have to meet all the above criteria as listed on this website as well as passing an Aptitude Test. It’s a 2 hour exam consisting of 3-parts focusing on Mathematics, English and Technical Reasoning. You will have 2 hours allocated to finish the exam, which requires a minimum 70% in each category to pass. Click here to see a few sample questions.

For more information please contact the ECA Ottawa office at

How To Get Started

First, you need to supply proof that you have successfully completed Grade 12 (or its recognized equivalent). Second, you must find a sponsor from our list of contractors (on our website) or the IBEW. Third, your sponsor will then contact the ECA Ottawa office to schedule an ‘Aptitude Test’. The Aptitude Test is a 3-part exam focusing on Mathematics, English and Technical Reasoning which requires a minimum 70% in each category to pass. Finally, upon the successful completion of the Aptitude Test, you will be ready to start your Apprenticeship. You will be invited to the ECA Ottawa office to register with the Ministry of Labour, Skilled Trades Ontario and either La Cite College or Algonquin College for your educational component.   

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