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Construction Electrician

The title "construction electrician" defines a person who, because of his or her knowledge, training and abilities, is capable of laying out, installing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical systems, which provides light, heat, communications, and power to a variety of new and existing residential, commercial, and industrial structures.

Construction electricians read and interpret electrical, mechanical, and architectural drawings and electrical code specifications to determine wiring layout. They cut, thread, bend, assemble, and install conduits and other types of electrical conductor enclosures and fittings. They pull wire and cable through conduits, position, maintain and install distribution and control equipment such as switches, relays, circuit breaker panels, and fuse enclosures, install single and multi-wire cables above and underground, install data cabling, and install and maintain fibre optic and signalling systems.

Construction electricians work in the full range of environmental conditions: from outside in all weathers; inside in dusty industrial plants and mills; to state-of-the-art clean-rooms in hospitals and manufacturing plants. The work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, climbing, pulling, and reaching and may be conducted in cramped, confined spaces or on ladders and scaffolding at great heights. Hazards include electric shocks, burns, and falling objects.

Construction electricians are required to have good mechanical ability, a thorough
knowledge of the principles of electricity, circuitry, and power distribution systems, and familiarity with the materials and techniques of construction.

All construction electricians are required to be competent in the use of hand and power tools and test equipment.

All electrical wiring and installations must conform to the CSA Canadian Electrical Code. Therefore construction electricians must be thoroughly familiar with the latest issue of this document. For safety, permits and other regulations they follow local electrical, building and safety codes. On small jobs, construction electricians may work alone with minimal supervision, and they may supervise an apprentice. On large jobs, they may work under the direction of a supervisor.

Construction electricians interact and work co-operatively with the full spectrum of construction tradespeople, such as carpenters, lathers, cabinetmakers, plumbers, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technicians. They are required to constantly adjust their schedule and work to accommodate the schedule of these other trades since most trades rely on some sort of electrical connections at specific points in the construction cycle.

With advances in technology the work of the construction electrician is changing. Today's wired environment requires construction electricians to be able to install a variety of wiring such as data, audio, video, signalling, and communication cabling. Electrical control systems are also becoming more complex, often solid-state or computer-controlled, which requires the construction electrician to have a greater knowledge of electronic systems.

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