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Frequently asked questions

Q: What education level do I need in order to work for a public utility such as BC Hydro or BC Transmission Corp?

A: The education level required varies a great deal from job to job. For a more accurate picture, see the “What’s the commitment?” and “What do I need?” sections of each job profile in the 8 critical jobs section of this website.

Q: Is working in the electricity sector dangerous?

A: The electricity sector has an exemplary safety record and does its best to maintain the very safest work environment possible. Much the same as the fact that new drivers are the highest risk group for traffic accidents, young people starting out their careers are more prone to workplace mishaps. That’s why safety procedures and protocols are the first thing you learn about when starting a job in the electrical sector.

Let’s face it, high voltage can be dangerous, so staying focused is important. Safety is only as good as the weakest link in the chain, which explains why there are always multiple backup systems in place to protect you and the public. What’s more, your co-workers are constantly watching your back and you’re doing the same for them.

Q: If I’m in High School, how do I prepare for a career in electricity?

A: First, it’s important to keep as many doors open as possible by taking Gr. 12 Math, Physics and English. Other science courses such as Chemistry can help, too. Some schools offer part-time Secondary School Apprenticeships, which would allow you to work with a tradesperson such as an electrician. This can be a great way to get your feet wet in an area of interest and learn about the tools of the trade. As with any career choice, it pays to research your options, explore various job possibilities and talk to people in the field.

Q: In which areas will companies be hiring?

A: With a hefty wave of baby boomer retirements just around the corner, there will be openings in virtually every part of the industry. Also, given the strong commitment to energy conservation, people will be demand for jobs such as Energy Efficiency Evaluator or Smart Energy Systems Specialist.

Q: If I’ve worked in the electricity sector in another province, could I work in BC?

A: Depending on the type of work you did, your credentials would be recognized automatically (if you practice a Red Seal trade, for example) or you might have to pass an exam (in order, for example, to obtain your designation as a Professional Engineer in BC.) In any case, the experience you gained elsewhere would serve you in good stead and would greatly increase your chances of getting hired.

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