Top 6 Electrician Skills to Help You Get Ahead in the Industry
When you look at most job endeavours, people either get into a specific line of work for the money or to chase their dreams. Now if you look at being an electrician in Canada from an employment and salary angle, then of course it’s a great occupation. Over the past few years, electricians have been in stable demand across the country with trends indicating that this demand will only increase. However, it’s not all about money. If you want to be paid well in this field you need certain electrician skills that put you above the rest in terms of service delivery. To do well you need the right balance of personal and professional skills. With that said, let’s dive into some of the top skills electricians in Canada should maintain to further their careers.
As an electrician, this comes above all else. Yes, it is one of the more obvious points to note, but that’s what makes it so important. As an electrician in Canada, you need to be able to readily and actively exercise your theoretical and practical knowledge on an everyday basis. You also need to be able to carry out electrical installations and repair work with the highest level of safety. To elaborate, let’s go over some of the basic skills that you need before become an electrician.
For one, you need to be able to read blueprints like you’re reading a book. Of course, you will also need to know how to use power tools, as well as install electrical systems, cables, tubing, conduits, and so on. Aside from the manual work requirements, you also need to have your safety rules and regulations accompanying your every move.
It would help to have a clear understanding and working knowledge of the Canadian Electrical Code (ECE). You also need to know the electrical safety rules and procedures that are based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.“ – Robert Greene, Author
Skill #2: Physical Fitness and Stamina are a Must!
Being an electrician is not your typical 9-to-5 desk job. It’s a profession where you are constantly on the move. While you would have probably known this, new entrants in the business don’t often realize exactly how taxing it is. Do you need to be in the best shape of your life to become an electrician? No — but you do need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The job includes standing for long periods at a stretch, you need to fit into tight spaces at times, lift heavy objects, climb up and down flights of stairs, ladders, and so on.
The bottom line is, you will be moving for most jobs and as long as you are prepared for all this, you will be fine. One thing is for sure, you don’t need a gym membership with this job, as you will get all the exercise you need while working.
“Repetition is the mother of skill.“ – Tony Robbins, Author
Skill #3: Dexterity and Vision are Your Best Friends
If tools are an electrician’s best friend, then so too are your manual dexterity and vision. These are some of the most important electrician skills that you can have. Electrical work is precision work and your motor skills will come into play for every job. Twisting those tiny wires, connecting switchboards on minuscule circuits, navigating your tools in tight spaces all require good hand-eye coordination.
Much like a surgeon, you need to have a steady hand. If you are someone who wears glasses, that’s perfectly fine! But you cannot be colour-blind and do this job effectively. Remember, electrical wiring is often colour-coded, and cutting the wrong coloured wire can turn into a disaster!
Skill #4: Having Good People Skills is a Plus
This is one of those overlooked electrician skills. Think about it, for most projects, you won’t be working alone. Most likely you will be working with carpenters, plumbers, stonemasons, millwrights, and other trades-people to complete projects. If you are new to the job, you might have supervisors or project managers that you will need to report to as well. To truly excel in any field, not just as an electrician, you need solid people skills.
You need to be able to communicate clearly, be a team player, friendly and sociable.
This will not only help in the project going over smoothly but help you expand your industry network. Another area where you might need this skill set is to deal with customers.
Whether you are working independently or with a company, at the end of the day, the customer is the most important person in the room. They give you the business you need. If you want to grow your own business and reputation, you will need people skills. These factors make this one of the most important electrician skills you can have in your metaphorical toolbox.
Skill #5: Being a Problem-Solver
One of the best electrician skills that you can pick up is being a problem-solver. No two jobs are the same and there will always be a unique problem that will need you to think out of the box. Sometimes the conventional solution might not cut it. This is where being a problem-solver comes in handy! If you can fix a problem that no one else can, then you’re one step ahead of the game!
You will still need to adhere to the procedures and safety parameters that you learned in training though. It also doesn’t hurt to have a strong understanding of basic math. No, you don’t need to solve any calculus or anything, but it does help to have the basics like simple algebra at your fingertips.
“There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.“ – Thomas A. Edison, American Inventor
Skill #6: Be Flexible
Like most other people who work in the trades, you might be working on a call basis or in shifts. You should be prepared to go on emergency jobs, work overtime, extra shifts, odd hours, and so on. This is essentially the nature of the job and there is no way around it. This makes this a particularly useful skill or rather mindset to have.
So, there you have it, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to being an electrician in Canada, well, except the hard and fast rules like safety regulations, building codes, and so on. These are just some of the top skills that we think would best benefit your growth in the industry.