Construction Maintenance Electrician

4 Tips for First-Year Apprentices Working Towards Electrician Certification

January 22, 2020

become a maintenance electrician

After you complete a pre-apprenticeship program you can seek out an electrician apprenticeship, where you get paid while learning on the job. In Ontario it can take up to five years to complete an apprenticeship during which you will learn the tools of the trade from professionals. An apprenticeship also includes some more time in the classroom and is a necessary step to becoming a licensed electrician.

Before you start your apprenticeship, you may have an idea of what it will be like, but there are a few points that may help you adjust to on-the-job training. Also, depending on which province you apprentice in, there might be loans to buy tools as you start and grants to support you during your classroom hours. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you during your first year as an apprentice. 

1. Ask Questions

While it is true that you are doing a job and you are getting paid, an apprenticeship is still training and it is a great time to ask questions. Professionals know that you are learning to become a maintenance electrician and should be prepared to explain tools and procedures to you. This may be as simple as asking “what’s next?” and “why?” Electricians have experiential and sometimes highly specialized knowledge that goes beyond the classroom. This is why they may have special insight and it is worth asking for as much information as you can get.  

2. Record Your Hours 

When you are on your way to electrician certification it will be necessary to record your hours and ensure that they are counted toward the completion of your apprenticeship. The same way you will have to keep up to date with electrical codes and regulations as an electrician, you should stay up to date on your progress as an apprentice. Not only is this necessary, it also helps you keep track of how much you’ve learned.

As you learn from professionals, make sure all your work hours are counted properly
As you learn from professionals, make sure all your work hours are counted properly

3. Stay Healthy

You will get a sense of the physical demands in the first year of your apprenticeship and many electricians say it is important to stay in good shape. Electrician work can involve a lot of movement, stretching and lifting. You will be able to work longer and better in your career if you are healthy. The first year of your apprenticeship is a great time to work exercise into your routine, and make sure you are having nutritious meals.  

4. If You Want to Become a Maintenance Electrician, Take Your Work Seriously

Electricians are highly respected skilled trades people and play an important role in construction and maintenance. When you begin your apprenticeship, remember that you have a big responsibility. It is important to do basic things like show up on time for jobs, but it is also important to remember that you are responsible for maintaining safety standards in whatever setting you work. The more seriously you take your work during the first year, the more you’ll develop good habits in your career that can help you land additional work in the future.

Your apprenticeship is your chance to prove that you are serious about your work
Your apprenticeship is your chance to prove that you are serious about your work

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Construction Maintenance Electrician

Exterior Wall Components for Electrician Training and Beyond

December 13, 2019

become a maintenance electrician

When you study construction maintenance for electricians, you will have the opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to hands-on training. This will include working on skill sets for commercial, industrial and residential electricity, analyzing and preparing machine controls, and building an exterior wall, among other things.

Exterior building walls, on first glance, may just appear to be what you see from the outside. When you look at a building you may see materials like brick, cement, siding, or shingles. However, the construction of an exterior wall that is fit for its environment is a complex process that requires a lot of attention to detail and design. Here are a few important points about exterior wall components.

A Brief Introduction to Components for Electrician Training

During your electrician training it will become clear that understanding a building layout and how walls are constructed is important for maintaining electrical systems. The exterior wall assembly in particular helps protect the interior of a building from outside elements. This not only refers to providing shelter for people, but also keeping systems within the building running properly.

Here is a quick introduction to the components of exterior wall assembly:

  • Exterior cladding: this layer is chosen based on environmental conditions as well as aesthetics. It is the first, but not most important, defence against weather.
  • Air barrier, also known as air paper or house wrap: this is a weather resistant layer that allows moisture to escape.
  • Vapour control layer: moisture can build up in the exterior wall assembly without this component so it is typically required by building codes and regulations.
  • Insulation: this supports interior temperature control.
  • Structural element: this is the load bearing component (or components) that distributes weight and pressure to the structural frame of a building.
Insulation helps keep the interior of the building warm
Insulation helps keep the interior of the building warm

Interface Conditions

After you are introduced to the functions of each component of an exterior wall assembly it is important to understand how each component affects the whole. Essentially, the assembly must be able to control and mitigate moisture and protect the interior, including its electrical systems. The ways in which the components of the wall assembly are separated, joined and installed, are referred to as the interface conditions. For example, elements like flashing and end dams prevent excess rain from entering the dry zone of the assembly and may be necessary around windows, or where the wall meets the roof.

Examples of Common Materials

There are many standard materials for exterior wall assemblies that you might be familiar with even before you start maintenance electrician training. For example, Tyvek and Typar are two of the most common polyethylene air barriers. They let water vapour out, but eliminate exterior moisture, thus protecting wiring that may otherwise be vulnerable to moisture. Like tarpaper, another common air barrier, they can be damaged by UV rays.

For the exterior cladding some of the most common materials are cedar shingles, vinyl, cement board, stucco, brick, and a few others. Vinyl or steel siding can be applied directly to air paper. However, if you are using brick or stucco, the interface conditions dictate that a layer of rain screen siding may be required. At the very inside, the most common material is drywall. Overall, your expertise on each of these elements will be required as you work with building plans.

Exterior cladding can come in many different materials, such as stucco
Exterior cladding can come in many different materials, such as stucco

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Construction Maintenance Electrician

3 Environments You Might Be Working in After Electrician School

September 09, 2019

become a maintenance electrician

If you’re about to begin a career as an electrician, there are numerous possibilities for where you might work. You could ply your trade in homes, office buildings, construction sites, or industrial factories. Whether you want to work indoors or outdoors, travelling or just at one site, there’s an electrician job for you.

Wherever you end up going, your job remains to ensure electricity safely goes straight from the source to those who need it the most. Here are three places you might find yourself working in after completing your program to become an electrician.

1. You Could Find Yourself Working in People’s Homes After Electrician School

Residential electricians work on wiring and lighting in people’s homes and apartment buildings, among other living spaces. In this career, you could find yourself going to different homes, carrying out the necessary tasks to make sure residential buildings and units have electricity in place, and installing it both indoors and outdoors as necessary.

Your tasks could include determining where equipment and fixtures will be located in the home, working on security and air conditioning systems, and ensuring electricity can travel from the source to the home’s circuit breaker. Whether you’re working on an existing home, or one that’s still being constructed or undergoing renovations, you’ll be able to work on electrical wiring and fuses to keep tenants and families happy and their homes running smoothly.

As a residential electrician, you could be working inside and outside the home
As a residential electrician, you could be working inside and outside the home

2. You Could Work in Any Environment Specializing in Maintenance

If you you’re the type of person who likes fixing things that are broken or not working properly, being a maintenance electrician may be the route for you. Travelling and commuting between different worksites is common for people in this job, so you could find yourself working in various environments. If you want a job where your workplace will change every day, this job could be a great fit.

As a maintenance electrician, you could be performing tasks like troubleshooting using testing devices, performing preventative maintenance, rewiring connections or electrical equipment in homes or businesses, or working on equipment in factories or manufacturing units. Regardless of where exactly your career after studying to become an electrician takes you, your problem-solving skills and ability to carry out the necessary maintenance procedures will serve you well if you want to become a maintenance electrician.

Your electrician career could lead you to working in various environments
Your electrician career could lead you to working in various environments

3. You Could Work in Office Buildings (or Outside Them) as a Commercial Electrician

Businesses need light and electricity during the work day and sometimes even at night, so they need commercial electricians to help set up their electrical systems and keep them running. In this environment, you could be installing lighting, wiring, and/or control and security systems, while adhering to all safety requirements.

Alternatively, you could work as an electrician on a construction site where a new office building is being built, or at a factory as an industrial electrician where you may work on hydraulic and other machinery. Regardless, whether you work in a small corner of an office building or a wide-open construction space, your career after electrician school can lead to you working for a number of successful businesses.

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