Construction and Maintenance Electricians Deal With Application and Implementation

Did you know that like electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology (EET) deals with the design, application, installation, manufacturing, operation and/or maintenance of electrical/electronic systems? However, according to Wikipedia, EET, which employs the construction and maintenance electricians trained at Centennial College, is generally more focused on application and implementation, while electrical engineering may place more of an emphasis on theory and conceptual design. Electrical engineering technology is the largest branch of engineering technology and includes a diverse range of sub-disciplines, such as electronics, embedded systems, control systems, instrumentation, telecommunications, and power systems.

As mentioned, one specific area that employs EET professionals is the construction industry, in which they are called Construction and Maintenance Electricians. In this industry, construction and maintenance electricians work in areas such as: service, installation, repairs, sales and design. Among these professionals’ responsibilities are: reading and interpreting drawings, circuit diagrams and electrical code specifications to determine wiring layouts for new or existing installations; installing, replacing and repairing lighting fixtures and electrical control and distribution equipment; splicing, joining and connecting wire to fixtures and components to form circuits; testing continuity of circuits using test equipment to ensure compatibility and safety of system following installation, replacement or repair; troubleshooting and isolating faults in electrical and electronic systems and remove and replace faulty components; and more.

Centennial College prepares students for this field in just two years. Because it is a co-op diploma apprenticeship, the offering trains students as apprentices in the electrician trade while seeing them obtain a post secondary engineering technician diploma in the electrical engineering field. As such, courses that the future construction and maintenance electricians attend feature a project approach that simulates actual workplace assignments. Additionally in-school theory is balanced with time in laboratories with courses covering three levels of Electrical Codes and Prints, three levels of Electrical Theory, three levels of Installation Methods, three levels of Electronics, and more.

To ensure that construction and maintenance electrician students are fully comfortable prior to graduation, eight months of the program are spent 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 and gain new knowledge from seasoned professionals while being compensated.

Applicants to this construction and maintenance electrician program are required to have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older). In addition, they are required to have finished 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.

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