Electrical Apprenticeship – A Career with a Future!

Partners in Training

The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario (IBEW CCO) and the Province of Ontario’s governing body for apprenticeship are in partnership to provide quality training and develop a highly skilled workforce necessary to meet client needs. The programs sponsored by ECAO and IBEW CCO exceed the minimum training standards required by the government of Ontario.

Electrical Programs

The ECAO and IBEW CCO offer apprenticeship and training for the following trades:

  • Construction & Maintenance Electrician, 309A
  • Domestic & Rural Electrician, 309C
  • Powerline Technician, 434A
  • Network Cabling Specialist, 631A
  • Instrumentation and Control Technician, 447A


Pre-apprenticeship is an alternate entrance into the unionized electrical industry. Some local unions offer a pre-apprentice program for the Construction &  Maintenance Electrician. For further information, contact a local union in your area.

Your Questions

What will I learn while I am in Trade School?

At Trade School, you will be taught all aspects of the electrical trade. Some of the components include:

  • Fundamentals of Building Construction
  • Electrical Code
  • Print Reading and Drawing
  • Electrical and Electronic Theory
  • Installation Methods
  • Communications Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Programmable Logic Controls (PLC)
  • Fire Alarm and Building Automation Systems

How long is the 309A electrical apprenticeship?

The length of the 309A electrical apprenticeship is  9,000 hours, which is broken down into five terms of  1,800 hours.

How/where do I apply?

Please contact the local in your area for more information on becoming an apprentice.

Financial Rewards

One of the advantages of apprenticeship is that you are paid while you learn. The electrical trade is governed by the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship  Act (MSTAA), which sets the rate of pay for an electrical apprentice. The rate of pay for the first term of training is 40% of the journeyperson rate. It increases by 10% each term. The pay rate is 80% in the fifth term.

Skilled tradespersons are in steady demand and are well paid in the electrical industry. Advances in technology impact the electrical trade more than any other trade. There is an increasing demand for well-trained people. Wages are generally higher in urban centres than in rural areas and will often be better in the unionized sector than the unorganized sector.

Earn While You Learn
40% during 1st term of on-the-job training
50% during 2nd term of on-the-job training
60% during 3rd term of on-the-job training
70% during 4th term of on-the-job training
80% during 5th term of on-the-job training
… of the hourly wage of a journeyperson electrician.

An Electrician …

The scope of practice for the trade of construction and maintenance electricians includes the following:

  1. Laying out, assembling, installing, repairing,  maintaining, connecting or testing electrical fixtures,  apparatus, control equipment and wiring for systems of alarm, communications, light, heat, or power in buildings or other structures.
  2. Planning proposed installations from prints, sketches or specifications and installing panel boards, switch boxes, pull boxes and other related electrical devices.
  3. Measuring, cutting, threading, bending, assembling and installing conduits and other types of electrical conductor enclosures that connect panels, boxes, outlets and other related electrical devices.
  4. Installing brackets, hangers or equipment for supporting electrical equipment.
  5. Installing or pulling electrical conductors through conductor enclosures.
  6. Preparing conductors for splicing of electrical connections, securing conductor connections by mechanical or other means and reinsulating and protecting conductor connections.
  7. Testing electrical equipment for proper function.

Apprenticeship (309A)

As one of the most established forms of education and training in the world, apprenticeship is a recognized method to develop skills for successful careers in the skilled trades.

In the beginning, you are indentured to a sponsor, either an employer or a Local Apprenticeship Council (LAC). They agree to hire you, provide training during the terms of the apprenticeship, and pay you the scheduled apprenticeship rate while you are working. In an apprenticeship, you literally earn while you learn.

In turn, you must fulfil your work obligations, attend trade school, pass examinations and fulfill a specific number of hours of on-the-job training in order to receive your Ontario Certificate of Apprenticeship (C of A) and be eligible to write your Red Seal Certificate of Qualification (C of Q). Electrical apprenticeship training is divided into five terms of 1,800 hours each. As well you will also be required to attend Trade School for Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced training sessions in trade theory, shop practice and related topics, totalling 29 weeks. Trade school is offered by the Community College system in most urban centres in Ontario.

Many local union training centres offer supplementary training over and above what is delivered at Trade School. Also, individual contractors may promote further specific training pertaining to their business requirements.

Educational Requirements (309A)

The eleven ECAO and IBEW CCO areas across the province of Ontario have educational requirements that exceed the minimum currently required by legislation. Those requirements may vary slightly from area to area. Generally, candidates are required to have completed:

Ontario Secondary School Diploma

Subject requirements will vary from area to area and may include some of the following:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Candidates for Apprenticeship may also be required to successfully complete an aptitude test and undergo a selection interview. For more information, contact the local union office in your area.

Your Questions

What role can technology play in a career as an electrician?

IBEW CCO electricians benefit from the best training in the country to ensure they are ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest advances in technology. They may have the opportunity to learn and work with a host of exciting products featuring the latest in technology, including BIM, AI, Drones, virtual reality and tools such as AutoCAD, Revit, 3D modelling, etc.

Where do I go to attend Trade School; do I attend during the day or at night?

Apprentices attend full-day trade school courses at a local community college through Block Release, which is five days per week for eight weeks (Basic), ten weeks (Intermediate), and 11 weeks (Advanced).

Is Trade School mandatory, and does post-secondary education count as an exemption from all or part of it?

All apprentices, regardless of their post-secondary education, are required to attend Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Trade School.

For more information, contact:


The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario is the management association for electrical contractors. ECAO represents more than 550 electrical contractors. 


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario is the largest electrical union in North America. In Ontario, the IBEW CCO represents over 18,000 Electricians, Communication Workers, Powerline Technicians and Apprentices.