Thursday, February 9, 2012

Become a Construction and Maintenance Electrician In Two Years

Construction and maintenance electricians enjoy working in a variety of career areas that include: service, installation, repairs sales and design. Of course, duties within each area of the field vary but all construction and maintenance electricians must know how to: read and interpret drawings, circuit diagrams and electrical code specifications to determine wiring layouts for new or existing installations; install, replace and repair lighting fixtures and electrical control and distribution equipment; splice, join and connect wire to fixtures and components to form circuits; test continuity of circuits using test equipment to ensure compatibility and safety of system following installation, replacement or repair; troubleshoot and isolate faults in electrical and electronic systems and remove and replace faulty components; and more.

To learn these skills, future construction and maintenance electricians can attend a program such as Centennial College's Electrician: Construction and Maintenance – Electrical Engineering Technician. This offering takes two years to complete and results in an Ontario College Diploma. Designed as a co-op program, it allows students to train as apprentices in the electrician trade while obtaining a two-year post secondary engineering technician diploma in the electrical engineering field. Those interested in becoming construction and maintenance electricians must first complete an application process, which includes possessing at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older). In addition, applicants must have the English Grade 12 C or U or equivalent, or skills assessment as well as the Math Grade 11 M, C or U or Grade 12 M, C or U, or equivalent, or skills assessment. Lastly a questionnaire, resume and references to determine apprenticeship employability as well as an employer interview may be required.

The construction and maintenance electricians who attend this offering obtain a thorough grounding in electrical engineering sciences and skills, including electrical circuits, maintenance of electrical instruments or devices, operation of electrical motors and power transmission as used in the industry. This is achieved through a project approach that simulates actual workplace assignments. It also includes combining in-school theory and lab experience. Specific courses that students take to become construction and maintenance electricians include: Electrical Theory (familiarizes students with electrical fundamentals from the atomic structure to series, parallel and combination dc circuits by applying Ohm's and Kirchhoff's Laws); Installation Methods (designed to give students the knowledge and skills to work with: operation of common hand and power tools; install common switching devices, outlets and enclosures; correctly terminate conductors; demonstrate the installation procedures for non-metallic sheathed cable, armoured cable, mineral insulated cable, rigid conduits, flexible conduits, light tight conduits, electrical metallic tubing, electrical non-metallic tubing following all appropriate Canadian Electrical Code rules; and more); Ethics in Technology and the Environment (examines ethical issues governing social, technological and environmental policies, and the impact of their implementation); and many others.

These construction and maintenance electrician students spend eight months of the program time on a co-op placement arranged by the college. The hours earned during the co-op placement are counted towards the practical part of apprenticeship training. This experience not only allows for application of the skills learned in school but it is an opportunity for students to network while being compensated.

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