About the trade

An Industrial Electrician lays out, inspects, assembles, installs, troubleshoots, repairs and maintains (including programming, calibration and preventive/predictive maintenance) electrical fixtures, apparatus, control equipment and wiring for industrial electrical systems.

They also work with equipment and systems such as motors, generators, distribution equipment systems, wiring systems, lighting systems, motor drives, stand-by power systems, instrumentation, communication, security, renewable energy and energy storage systems.

Specifically, an Industrial Electrician:

  • plans installations from blueprints, sketches and specifications and installs all electrical and electronic devices
  • systematically diagnoses faults in electrical and electronic systems and equipment and repairs or replaces electrical and electronic components as required
  • measures, cuts, threads, bends, assembles and installs conduits and other electrical conductor raceways
  • splices and terminates electrical conductors
  • tests electrical and electronic equipment for proper function

In Ontario this trade is voluntary, which means completion of an apprenticeship program is optional and certification is not legally required to practice the trade.

Industrial Electricians make around $85,000 per year, two years after being certified.

Apprenticeship program

The Industrial Electrician (442A) apprenticeship program consists of on-the-job and in-school training. The program typically takes five years to complete and consists of:

  • 8,160 hours of on-the-job training/work experience
  • 840 hours of in-school training

A minimum of Grade 12 high school education or its equivalent is required to qualify for the Industrial Electrician apprenticeship program. 

On-the-job training

An Industrial Electrician apprenticeship involves practical training provided on-the-job by a skilled worker or trainer. The skills or competencies to be developed through this training include:

  • protecting self and others
  • creating, modifying and interpreting schematics, drawings and specifications
  • using and maintaining tools and equipment
  • using and maintaining testing and measuring equipment
  • instrumentation devices and automated control systems

See all skills and competencies in the Apprenticeship Training Standard (PDF). 

In-school training

An Industrial Electrician apprenticeship includes three levels of theoretical training delivered in a classroom, which includes subjects such as:

  • codes, legislation and regulations
  • blueprints, drawings and specifications
  • electrical theory, wiring, installation methods and instrumentation
  • motor starters and controls, transformers and generators, conductors and cables, grounding and bonding
  • distribution equipment, electronics and electrical equipment

See all in-school training subjects in the Curriculum Training Standard (PDF).

Red Seal Program

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program is the nationally recognized standard for skilled trades workers in Canada. In Ontario, this trade is part of the Red Seal Program under the title Industrial Electrician.

If you are a tradesperson who holds a Red Seal-endorsed trade certificate, learn how you can apply to obtain an Ontario Certificate of Qualification in that trade without further training or examination. 

Trade certification for experienced workers 

If you have work experience and/or training in a skilled trade, from another province or territory in Canada, or from another country, you may be eligible for certification through a Trade Equivalency Assessment.  

Canadian Forces (CF) trade qualifications: The Electrical Technician CF trade is equivalent to the Industrial Electrician civilian trade in Ontario. Learn more about how you can be certified through a Trade Equivalency Assessment as a current or former member of the Canadian Forces.

Updated: August 19, 2021
Published: July 27, 2020