Top 8 Skilled Trade Colleges for Electrician Apprenticeship Programs
The skilled trades industry is one of the most lucrative and dynamic industries to work in within Canada. This is especially true when you consider the life of an electrician. Electricians are in high demand across various industrial trades and practices. If there is electricity involved, which let’s be honest, is pretty much everywhere, there is a need for a qualified electrician. However, with such high demands, comes a high standard of regulation, training and best practices. These are all things that one picks up through an electrician apprenticeship program – a key stepping-stone to becoming a full-fledged journeyman in Canada.
The first step to getting into an apprenticeship program is selecting the right one that will give you the skills and resources to get into the line of work that you want. In this blog, we give you a walkthrough of skilled trade colleges in Canada that offer these electrician apprenticeship programs. However, before we dive into that, let’s take a look into the skilled-trade industry and how things have changed so far.
The Ground-Reality of the Skilled Trade Industry
The reality of the skilled trades industry is that it is seeing an improvement in unemployment rates. At the same time, there are indications that the labor market is getting tighter. For instance, according to Statistics Canada, the employment rate as of March 2022, climbed to 337,000 or 1.8% more in February of this year alone. This greatly offset the drawbacks that we saw when Covid-19 surged in early January. Reports also indicated that unemployment rates dropped by 1.0 percentage points or 5.5% in February of 2022. Which is considerably lower than what it was in February of 2020 at 5.7%.
A lot of these gains were the result of employees joining the private sector. The food industry and the communications industries were some of the areas that saw the most growth concerning the above data. What we can take away from this is that more jobs and more people willing to do them. Now is the perfect time to become an electrician in Canada, but at the same time, you will be facing a heavy amount of competition.
Hence, it only makes sense to target the best trade skill colleges to help you on your quest to becoming an industry-leading electrician journeyman. Having said that, let’s dive into it!
1. Niagara College
Located in Welland, this college offers a certificate of apprenticeship to aspiring electricians once they complete a 4-year course. As per their official website, the college mainly caters to the skills of electricians going into the fields of construction and maintenance.
You need to complete 840 hours of college instruction along with four years of on-the-job training as a paid trainee when you enroll in this program.
Niagara College has been consistently ranked as one of the top-tier colleges in Ontario for electrician apprenticeships as per surveys conducted by the province of Ontario. They also have a high marking with regards to the number of graduates who end up employed.
2. Fanshawe College
Having been founded in 1967, this skilled trades college offers students over 200+ programs including certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate studies. So, whether you want to become an industrial electrician or a general electrician, Fanshawe College has a program for you. Unlike some of the other colleges on this list, you can’t directly apply to this program through ontariocolleges.ca. All applicants will need a sponsor or employer who will have to register the candidate with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated.” – Robert Collier, American Author
3. Centennial College
Sometimes, the best way to get into a good apprenticeship program is to do a pre-apprenticeship. The Centennial College offers students a 16-week long tuition-free program that gives them a jump start on their electrician apprenticeship. The program also includes skills training and more importantly, assistance with finding a paid work placement with an employer. The best part is course materials, textbooks, equipment, toolkits and the like are all provided free of cost. Keep in mind that this may not account for the admission and other ancillary fees. Either way, it is a great opportunity to begin a career that is bound to take a lot of leg work.
4. Humber College
According to the Ontario Colleges website, Humber College is recognized as a global leader in polytechnic education. A lot of the courses help students specialize in both theoretical and practical work. As per the Ontario Colleges website, 95% of those who graduate from this college would recommend it to someone else. Additionally, 87% of these grads are employed around 6 months after graduation.
It should be noted that the college offers both an electrician pre-apprenticeship program and a construction and maintenance apprenticeship for students. If you are thinking about enrolling in the pre-apprenticeship program of 10 weeks, you will receive a Level 1 Electrician – Construction and Maintenance certification, along with exposure to domestic and rural applications. There are also work placements with employers, so it is well worth considering as an option.
5. Algonquin College
As per the Ontario Colleges website, Algonquin College has been ranked the #1 in online enrolment among Canadian colleges. The College also boasts around 190,000+ alumni globally. This apprenticeship program is offered in the LEED Platinum Certified Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE). The space within which students are trained is home to multiple disciplines that allows for cross-program collaboration.
It should be noted that like Fanshawe College, you will have to have a sponsor or employer enrol you through the Ontario Ministry of Labor, Training and Skills Development. This is worth considering as an option on the road to doing an electrician apprenticeship.
6. Mohawk College
The Mohawk College electrician apprenticeship program helps those working in the construction and maintenance fields. As per the college’s official website, the electrician apprenticeship program covers technical and technological applications, new industry procedures, materials, installations, wiring methods, schematics and diagram reading abilities and so on.
7. Fleming College
Fleming College has over 100 full-time programs in several areas of style and is well-known as one of the leading trade schools in Canada. With this college’s electrician apprenticeship program you will learn about project electrical layouts, system installation, repair and maintenance, working with various electrical devices and so on. Given its good standing with employers for producing qualified technicians, the placement opportunities after completing the course are healthy.
8. Sheridan College
Founded in 1967, this college has some history behind its walls. Sheridan College started as a local college of 400 students and is now one of the leaders in post-secondary education according to the Ontario Colleges website. With this institution, you have access to both full and part-time training. They have electrician apprenticeship programs for both industrial as well as construction and maintenance electricians. According to the college website, you have a strong chance of a great placement when you complete a course here.
It should be noted that apprentices can choose to write the Apprentice Exemption Test (AET) which allows them to bypass in-class studies if their course marks are above 70%. Again this depends on the candidate’s level of experience. So, there you have it, some of the best-skilled trade colleges to consider if you want to take on an electrician apprenticeship. If you want to explore more trade schools in Canada to pursue other skilled trade careers, check out our blog on it!