Industrial Electrician Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) as the Red Seal standard for the Industrial Electrician trade.

Red Seal Occupational Standard Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Électricien industriel/électricienne industrielle

NOC: 7242

Designation Year: 1966

RSOS Products for Download

The Industrial Electrician Red Seal Occupational Standard is developed by Canadian trade representatives. It collects information about the trade as it is practiced across Canada.

This RSOS information is combined in several ways to generate several RSOS Products, each these is based on information contained in the complete RSOS, and is geared to user needs:

Product

Purpose

Red Seal Occupational Standard - Industrial Electrician

A complete description of all trade activities, skills and knowledge. The Standard defines the trade by collecting and organizing elements together.

Red Seal Occupational Standard Poster - Industrial Electrician

Charts trade activities on a poster format.

Trade Profile - Industrial Electrician

A quick snapshot of all trade activities in the standard. It can be used to self-assess experience. It can be used to introduce a concise summary of all trade activities to those wanting to learn about the trade. It can also be used for gap analysis.

Curriculum Outline - Industrial Electrician

Organizes the Knowledge elements of the standard and provides recommendations for training levels. These are meant to assist in developing and delivering technical training curricula.

Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Industrial Electrician (PDF, 637 KB) Use this self-assessment tool to rate your own understanding and experience with the tasks of the trade that are on the Red Seal examination.

General Information

Description of the Industrial Electrician Trade

“Industrial Electrician” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title approved by the CCDA. This standard covers tasks performed by an industrial electrician whose occupational title has been identified by some provinces and territories of Canada under the following names:

NL

NS

PE

NB

QC

ON

MB

SK

AB

BC

NT

YT

NU

Electrician (Non-Construction)

x
Industrial Electrician x x x x x x x x x

Industrial electricians install, maintain, test, troubleshoot, service and repair industrial electrical equipment and associated electrical controls. These include equipment or components directly or indirectly exposed to electrical power such as motors, generators, pumps and lighting systems. Industrial electricians are employed by electrical contractors and maintenance departments of plants, mines, manufacturing facilities, government, and other industrial establishments.

Industrial electricians must read and interpret prints, drawings and codes for layout and installation of electrical equipment. They install, service and maintain electrical components such as lighting fixtures, switches, conduit and electrical controls. They test electrical systems and continuity of circuits using test equipment to ensure system safety and compatibility. They conduct preventative and predictive maintenance programs and keep maintenance records. Industrial electricians may specialize in maintenance functions in areas such as high voltage and process control.

Industrial electricians must possess manual dexterity, and good planning, organizational and communication skills. They also require strong analytical, mathematical and problem-solving skills in order to read and interpret schematics, drawings and specifications. They should have good mechanical aptitude to install, troubleshoot and repair equipment. It is important for industrial electricians to have a good grasp of digital technology because many of the skills and technology for an industrial electrician are computer based. They must also have good vision and hearing, the ability to distinguish colours and a willingness to upgrade their skills to adapt to new developments in the trade.

The work environment of industrial electricians can expose them to hazards. Their work is performed indoors or outdoors in extreme climate conditions, and may be at variable heights or in confined spaces. Occupational risks include electrical shocks, arc flashes, falls, and injury from lifting and kneeling.

This occupational standard recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of construction electricians, powerline technicians, instrumentation and control technicians, electric motor systems technicians, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians, telecommunications technicians and industrial mechanics (millwrights). Industrial electricians also work with process operators, engineers and inspectors.

With experience, industrial electricians may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to managerial, inspection, facilitation or teaching positions.

Essential Skills Summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

A series of CCDA-endorsed tools have been developed to support apprentices in their training and to be better prepared for a career in the trades. The tools can be used independently or with the assistance of a tradesperson, trainer, employer, teacher or mentor to:

  • understand how essential skills are used in the trades;
  • learn about individual essential skills strengths and areas for improvement; and
  • improve essential skills and increase success in an apprenticeship program.

Tools are available online or for order.

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the skills and knowledge which support each sub-task of the trade. The most important essential skills for each sub-task have also been identified. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

In their daily work, industrial electricians read and comprehend several types of text. These include work orders, safety and workplace documents as well as more complex technical electrical codes, regulations and equipment manuals.

Industrial electricians must use workplace documents such as electrical diagrams and schematic drawings, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and shift schedules. They must be familiar with electrical codes. It is necessary for industrial electricians to seek service and repair information from manuals and other sources.

Industrial electricians use writing skills to record comments or notes in logbooks or work records. They write messages to colleagues or management to give work details or reply to requests for technical information. They also write longer service reports to describe problems and their solutions.

Industrial electricians use oral communication skills to coordinate work with production crews and equipment operators. Clear communication of technical and complex information is very important to avoid injuries and promote efficiency. Industrial electricians also use communication skills when working with co-workers and supervisors, and mentoring apprentices in the trade. Good listening skills are also required of industrial electricians for comprehension and understanding such as the ability to repeat back clearly what has been stated or learned.

Industrial electricians use a range of complex math skills in their day to day work. These include scheduling, measurement, conversions and calculations. They use electrical theory by applying formulas from electrical codes to determine equipment and wiring specifications and to analyze measurements.

Industrial electricians require strong analytical skills to troubleshoot and diagnose malfunctions in equipment. They use logic and memory to determine the faults. They must use decision‑making skills to perform work planning and prioritizing. Decisions about when to perform shut-downs have important implications on safety in their workplace.

Industrial electricians organize the most effective use of their time within the framework of assigned tasks. Routine tasks are generally assigned by supervisors or dictated by a procedure established by the employer. Much of their other work is in response to broken or malfunctioning equipment. They often have to re-prioritize tasks several times a day. Industrial electricians coordinate their work with other trades and production staff, all of whom have different needs and priorities.

Skills in digital technology are increasingly important for industrial electricians. They use general applications such as e-mails, Internet, word processing, databases and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) software to communicate, perform research, organize their work and configure and update electrical equipment operating parameters. More trade specific applications include computer assisted design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software and logic controllers.

Industrial electricians work as part of a team that includes other tradespeople and professionals to install, repair and maintain industrial electrical systems and equipment. They most often work independently, co-ordinating their work with the work of others, but for large jobs they work with a partner or crew.

Industrial electricians often receive in-house safety training to update their certifications such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They also receive training so that they can safely operate equipment such as forklifts, scissor lifts and scaffolding. They learn about new equipment on the job by reading manuals, taking courses and through hands-on experience. They obtain computer training by taking courses off-site and through e-learning.

Trends in the Industrial Electrician Trade

Technology

Technological advancements have improved the way industrial electricians perform their work on a daily basis. Digital technology is increasingly being used for research, communication, programming, ordering, record keeping and diagnostics. New types of test equipment, along with equipment becoming more user-friendly, has reduced the time it takes to diagnose and troubleshoot problems. Control and monitoring of electrical equipment is starting to migrate to both wired and wireless technology utilizing the platform of ‘internet of things’ (IoT).

In the maintenance of industrial electrical equipment and systems, inspection and evaluation is evolving into a more critical area of focus. In fact, inspection is gaining more importance in assuring the health and safety of employees and the continued reliable operation of machinery and components.

Predictive and preventative maintenance programs, using computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs), are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. These systems have enhanced efficiency and organization of the tasks required for maintenance of electrical systems. They also centralize other functions such as trends, component ordering, project control, history, costing, work hours and tool cribs.

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCSs) facilitate the monitoring and control of industrial processes and building controls. This equipment has become more pervasive. Smaller units are readily available for a variety of applications. Human machine interface (HMI) is becoming more integrated to the process control systems. Industrial electricians work increasingly less with hardwired devices.

Reliability centered maintenance and process safety management including safety instrumented systems (SIS) such as safety PLCs, light curtains and area scanners are becoming more common in industry causing a change in focus and duties of industrial electricians.

Digital technology has facilitated the use of new components, making the tracking of energy usage more reliable and efficient. It is simpler to replace many of the old parts and devices now that they are smaller and available in digital format. Data communications has evolved from multiple protocols (data highways, DeviceNet, Modbus) to being harmonized on a global ethernet protocol. Industrial electricians need to constantly upgrade their knowledge of this technology.

Industry in Canada is moving towards efficient and environmentally friendly techniques and energy saving devices such as light emitting diode (LED) lighting, automated lighting control and variable speed drives. Industrial electricians need to be aware of governmental programs and regulations and energy saving initiatives. Industrial electricians may also be involved in the installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems such as solar and wind, and their associated energy storage systems.

In many sectors of industry, robotic technology is being utilized. Therefore, some industrial electricians are now required to develop specialized skills to keep abreast of this new technology.

Safety

The combination of various factors in the presence of a fault may cause an electrocution, arc flash and blast which could result in extreme burns, serious injury or death. Injuries caused by arc flash have led to heightened safety measures. New practices, procedures, safety equipment and jurisdictional regulations have been created and implemented in order to address the issue.

The parameters of work for industrial electricians has increased in process control, environmental control and building control systems. There is now an increased emphasis on accountability for safety in the workplace.

Industry Expected Performance

All tasks must be performed according to the applicable jurisdictional codes and standards. All health and safety standards must be respected and observed. Work should be done efficiently and at a high quality without material waste or environmental harm. All requirements of the manufacturer, company and client specifications, the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and Authority having Jurisdiction (AHJ) must be met. At a journeyperson level of performance, all tasks must be done with minimal direction and supervision. As a journeyperson progresses in their career there is an expectation they continue to upgrade their skills and knowledge to keep pace with industry and promote continuous learning in their trade through mentoring of apprentices.

Language Requirements

It is expected that journeypersons are able to understand and communicate in either English or French, which are Canada’s official languages. English or French are the common languages of business as well as languages of instruction in apprenticeship programs.

Acknowledgements

The CCDA and ESDC wish to express sincere appreciation for the contribution of the many tradespersons, industrial establishments, professional associations, labour organizations, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, and all others who contributed to this publication.

Acknowledgement is extended by ESDC and the CCDA to National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO), who provided advice on the development of the standard.

Special thanks are offered to the following representatives who contributed greatly to the original draft of the standard and provided expert advice throughout its development:

  • Donald Bemko - Ontario
  • Ryan Creaser - Nova Scotia
  • John R.S. (Steve) Gogo - Manitoba
  • Stephane Haché - New Brunswick
  • Ray Hamel - Ontario
  • Tyson Hedge - Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Josh MacDonald - Prince Edward Island
  • Philip R. Nelson - New Brunswick
  • Robert Nelson - Canadian Standards Association
  • Peter Olders - NETCO
  • Rob Pearce - Nova Scotia
  • Shawn K. Spencer - New Brunswick
  • Shane Stirling - British Columbia
  • Wade W. Weatherbee - Nova Scotia
  • Tim Williams - Manitoba
  • Adam Zubczyk - Ontario

This standard was prepared by the Apprenticeship and Regulated Occupations Directorate of ESDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the standards development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division. The host jurisdiction of Ontario also participated in the development of this standard.

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