An apprenticeship is the pathway to a rewarding career in the electrical trade. As an apprentice, you take classes and learn your trade by working under the direction of experienced professionals – and get paid while you do it. It takes approximately five years to complete an apprenticeship. Once you complete the apprenticeship requirements, you can challenge the Certificate of Qualification exam. A successful completion of this exam ensures your status as a certified electrical journeyperson for life.
Do you have good communication and reading skills? Are you in good shape and like to work with your hands? Do you enjoy using tools, figuring out plans and solving problems? If you answer yes to these questions then a career as an Electrician could be right for you. Electricians prepare, assemble. install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring, control devises, fixtures and related equipment in all types of buildings and other structures.
Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section below, which lays out the step-by-step process on becoming an electrician. You can click here to review the Apprenticeship website in Ontario which provides a complete overview of Ontario’s system for Apprentices. For additional information please contact the ECA Ottawa office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Step 1 – Find a Sponsor from our list of members or through the IBEW
Step 2 – You must have achieved your Grade 12 diploma with math, and English.
Step 3 – Have your sponsor contact the ECA Ottawa office to schedule an Aptitude Test.
Step 4 – Upon the successful completion of the Aptitude Test you are ready to start your Apprenticeship.
An electrical apprenticeship requires you to complete 9000 hours of on the job training (approximately 5 years) as well as complete 3 levels of Ministry approved trade school. Once your apprenticeship is complete you are invited to write the certification exam. Upon successful completion you will be a qualified electrician.
- Motivated, physically fit, and mechanically inclined are all good qualities to have when applying for an apprenticeship position.
- Completed High School Diploma
(After 1984- 30 credits/ Prior to 1984-27 credits)
- Official transcript including the following: Grade 12 Math and Grade 12 English
- Typed resume with references
Note: A “GED” (General Education Development) Certificate may be accepted in special situations as a substitute for the diploma only. Please contact the JAC.
We suggest that you contact one of the following services in order to obtain the needed course(s):
- Your local Secondary School for information regarding night school
- Local school Board for Continuing Education
- Department for Adult Education Centres.
Step 1 − The JAC will schedule you for a mechanical aptitude test.
Step 2 − Successful candidates will require JAC approval.
Step 3 − Approved Candidates will be added to the list.
Step 4 − Contractor calls for a new start – Contract of Apprenticeship signed.
Complete 30 Hours of Health & Safety Training, WHIMIS, and Fall Protection.
Step 1 − Work for approximately 2500 hours- 40% for the first 1800 hours and 50% for the next 700 hours at Journeyman’s Wage Rate.
Step 2 − Complete Basic Code Book Training and Construction 1- prior to Basic Trade School
Step 3 − Attend Basic Level Trade School for eight weeks (240 hours credit)
Step 4 − Work for approximately 3000 hours- 50% for the balance of the second term, 60% for the third term, and 70% for fourth term hours.
Step 5 − Complete Construction II- prior to Intermediate Trade School
Step 6 − Attend Intermediate Level Trade School for 10 weeks (300 hours credit)
Step 7 − Work for approximately 3000 hours- 70% for the balance of 4th term and 80% for the balance of fifth term hours. You will need to have 8700 hours before attending Advanced Trade School.
Step 8 − Complete Construction Ill- prior to Advanced Trade School
Step 9 − Attend Advanced Trade School for 10 weeks (300-hour credit)
Step 10 − Attend Pre-exam course (week 11) while at Trade School (30-hour credit)
Step 11 − Write Certificate of Qualifications Exam, must obtain 70% for Inter-Provincial Seal.
There is no defined amount of time that this process may take.
There are several fields in which an electrician might work provided they have the appropriate certification:
- ICI Sector – Work in this sector is Industrial, Commercial and Institutional. This is referred to as a Construction and Maintenance Electrician.
- Low Rise Residential Sector – This sector is restricted to housing excluding high rise residential buildings.
- Lineworkers – This sector is restricted to the high voltage and the utility sectors.
What is involved to become an Electrical Apprentice in Ontario?
All Apprenticeships in the province of Ontario require that an apprentice has a sponsor or trainer. You will need a Grade 12 diploma with Math and English. You will need to complete the application. Also, the electrical apprenticeship requires you to complete 9000 hours of on the job training (approx 5 years) as well as complete 3 levels of a Ministry-approved trade school. You need to complete all of this prior to writing the certification exam.
Our purpose is to recruit, select, assess, counsel, and educate electrical apprentices in the Ottawa area. We are a recognized Local Apprenticeship Committee (LAC) under the direction of Local Union 586 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Electrical Contractors Association of Ottawa.
Placements for the JAC are within the jurisdiction of Local 586. The city of Ottawa, the counties of Prescott and Russell, and counties of Lanark and Renfrew in Ontario as well as the counties of Hull, Papineau, Gatineau, and Pontiac in Quebec.
You must provide your own transportation to the job site.
You can obtain your transcript from the school board in your country of origin or contact your local embassy for help. Your marks must also be translated and assessed.
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS): 1-800-321-6021
Ask for Comprehensive Report and state it is for the JAC application process.
You can find out more by contacting the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities
OCOT Apprenticeship Training Standard
Electrician – Construction & Maintenance 309A
Electrician – Domestic and Rural 309C
Ontario College of Trades