— It’s easy to take electricity for granted, until the power goes out. That’s why we rely on today’s featured career: the electrician.

— Hi, I’m Viviana.

— Hi, I’m Rob.

— Nice to meet you.
— Uh, my name is Rob Couturier. I’m an electrician. I work in all sorts of fields, from residential, commercial, um to industrial as well. Anything from building houses, where we get to put in uh receptacles and lights, to um working in uh sawmills, and pulp mills, and hospitals, um some schools. There’s so many different things you get to do in this trade. It’s exciting because it’s technology and we grow with technology because electricity is the basis of our technology. This is your worksite.

— What exactly is your role as an electrician within all this wood?

— Our role as electrician, is to make sure that you have all your amenities, all your utilities, your cable, your television, your telephone, your power. Um, so right from the poles outside, right to every room in the house, whether it be your kitchen to your bathroom. So, one of my favorite things, about working uh as an electrician, is working as a team, right from designing, to the carpenters, to concrete guys. We have to work with the drywallers as well. So, you got to make sure everything’s done ahead of time before anybody else can go forward in their trade.

— Rob, how do you know where to put all these holes? And where to put all these wires? And where to put all the receptacles for the appliances? So what you do, is you have a, a plan or a layout. You look at the drawings, you’ll know where um all your appliances are going to be. Then you start saying okay, ah we need a wire over here. Here is a dishwasher, here and the telephones gonna be on the side as well, and all the receptacles that go on the counters. You start drilling holes, and say that’s where I need to go. I mean you need to learn your drawings inside and out. So, you need to be able to read a print very well, be able to pinpoint exactly where something is. Because the last thing you want, is um your kitchen not to be lit properly when you’re trying to get into the fridge. So, let’s go to the control center.

The main part of the house. This is the mechanical room. This is basically where um all the electrical and mechanical stuff, the furnace, everything’s going to be. So, this is the beginning stages of our electrical. There’s only a few breakers in there now. This will be completely full, filled right up by the time we’re finished.

— Um, we’ve got one light switch, and a couple receptacles ready for our first inspection. Yeah, you need to be able to work with your hands. You need to be coordinated I guess, be able to go up and down ladders safely. Um, math is very important. We do a lot of math, building stuff, sometimes it’s design-build stuff, which switchgear and stuff is all numbers based. Everything is lots of different formulas. A grade 12 education is um imperative. You need to have a grade 12 education and then after, after you’ve done that, there’s four years of college, ten weeks a years all you have to do, eight and a half months or nine months of on-site training and then you’ll get your two months of school.

— Hours can range from uh long hours, to you know 16 hours a day, down to eight hours a day. Um, or even less depending on whether it’s slow times or, or not. It is a seasonal trade. Rob, how did you become an electrician? I got an opportunity. My uncle gave me an opportunity to give it a try and I’ve loved it ever since. We have a really good team atmosphere that’s really lots of fun. An annual salary for uh an electrician just starting out, would be you know 30 to 40,000 and then as you get more qualified, becoming a journeyman or better in your field, where you’re running people, it’ll progress you know, 50, 60, 70, 80. Uh, we’ve got guys that make over 130,000 a year. If I had any advice, for uh somebody trying to become an electrician, there’s pre-op program, which is a six-month course, you can take directly out of highschool. You take that, that will give you hours and um work experience just to get you into the electrical field and then uh you go apply, and bust down doors and say hey I need a job. I mean this is what I want to be. I want to be an electrician and it’s a it’s an exciting job. Well thank you so much for today. I had a lot of fun. Me too. Thanks a lot for coming by. I’m Viviana, and this is Career Trek, reminding you, that this career could be yours.