How to get there
The possibilities are electric
If you’re looking for a career in an industry that will always be in demand, the electricity sector is for you. Everybody depends on electricity, even though they often don’t stop to think about all the different people it takes to bring power to their homes. An amazing variety of job opportunities are waiting for you.
Given the highly technical nature of the industry, most people require specialized knowledge. This can come from on-the-job training or university and college degrees in fields such as electrical engineering or environmental science. Whatever your background, a good understanding of the steps and equipment involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power is a must. If you’ve got what it takes, the options are unlimited!
Earn while you learn
If you like to learn things by actually doing them, an apprenticeship is the way to go. On-the-job training counts for about 80% of apprenticeships. You get hands-on experience with real pros who know all about the business. The other 20% involves classroom instruction at a community college or other training institution. This is where you connect your practical know-how with the theory behind it.
One big bonus of apprenticeships is that you get paid while you’re learning. No need to rack up huge student debt in order to get a good job. Once you earn your certification you can write your own ticket…like working in different parts of Canada, being your own boss or teaching others to get where you are.
In Canada, engineering is a regulated profession. This means that by law, no one can practise the profession of engineering without a license from a provincial association. BC’s Engineers are licensed and regulated by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. To find out more, visit www.apeg.bc.ca/.
More than 40 Canadian universities offer accredited engineering programs and each one offers a range of options for specialization. Some schools offer co-op work placements that allow you to gain practical experience between semesters.
For a listing visit www.engineerscanada.ca
Project Management: many ways to get there
People from a wide range of backgrounds find their way into project management. For example, if your area of expertise is computer science, you may be called upon to oversee the development of new information technology systems. If you have experience managing construction projects, you might find yourself in charge of building a new generation plant, substation or transmission line. Given the highly technical nature of the industry, many Project Managers in the electricity sector have a specialized engineering degree. Whatever your background, however, there is no substitute for the experience that you will gain along the way as you turn ideas into concrete realities.
The electricity sector offers such a wide variety of career opportunities that it would be difficult to list them all! Here is a small sample of jobs that are of critical importance to the continued smooth operation of our electrical power system.
Click on the photos to the right for a full description of each position.