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Working as an Electrical or Electronics Engineer [NOC 2133]

Job Description

Electrical and electronics engineers design, manufacture and test electrical and electronic equipment and systems.

You may perform the following duties:

  • Use computer programs to design products, components, or electrical systems
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, and labour needed for projects
  • Develop maintenance and operating standards
  • Supervise manufacturing process
  • Test systems and equipment to make sure they perform as required
  • Prepare contract documents and evaluate tenders for construction or maintenance
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, programmers, analysts and other engineers
  • You may specialize in a number of areas including electrical design for residential, commercial or industrial installations, electrical power generation and transmission, and instrumentation and control systems

Source: WorkBC NOC 2133

Industry Overview

Qualified and experienced electronic and electrical engineers are in demand in B.C. But a shortage of entry level positions is making it difficult for recent graduates to gain valuable on the job experience and additional skills.

Graduates with co-op or internship experience and experienced skilled immigrants with current technology knowledge in this field may have an advantage when job searching.

Future employers include: electric, gas, telephone and other utility companies; alternative and renewable energy resources sector; and business participating in activities in aerospace, oil and high voltage power system industries.
Source: WorkBC [NOC 2133]

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook in BC

Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2015-2025:

Region Expected # of Job Openings Average Annual Employment Growth Expected Increase in Employment
Vancouver Island 140 0.5% 20
Lower Mainland/Southwest 1,650 1.2% 545
Thompson-Okanagan 150 1.7% 65

You can learn more about the engineering sector from

  • Career Cruising database  [profiles for Electrical Engineer and Electronics Engineer]

Types of Employers

Electrical and electronics engineers work for:

  • electrical utilities
  • communications companies
  • manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment
  • government
  • consulting firms
  • a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries

You may work in a more specialized field if you have a master’s degree. If you obtain a doctoral degree, you can contribute to the field through research and teaching at the post-secondary level, or you may find employment in a large firm in your area of specialization.

Salary

In BC, the median annual salary is $83,424. Your salary depends on a number of factors, including experience, level of education, employer, and specialization.

In addition to a salary, most full time engineers also receive benefits such as health and dental insurance, paid sick leave and vacation time. You may also receive further benefits, including performance-based bonuses, use of a company car, and pension plan contributions.

Source: WorkBC & Career Cruising

In its 2016 Report on Members’ Compensation and Benefits, Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) provided these salary figures:

Mean Lower
Quartile
Median Upper Quartile
Engineering Consulting– Electrical/Electronics $104,561 $80,000 $100,000 $119,000
Industry – Electric power & gas utilities incl. BC Hydro $105,873 $80,000 $103,000 $125,272
Bachelor’s degree – Base salary – Electrical/Electronics $104,425 $96,500

Source: Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia

In BC regions you can expect to make:

BC regional hourly wages

Source: Job Bank, Wage Report

Working Hours

You usually work a standard 40-hour week. However, you may occasionally be expected to work longer hours in order to meet project deadlines.
Source: WorkBC Career Exploration

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • a strong aptitude for math and science
  • good written and oral communication
  • strong computer skills
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • project management

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical or electronics engineering or in a related engineering discipline
  • licensing by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in order to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng)
  • Master’s degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required

Qualifications

This occupation is regulated in British Columbia.

Entry level engineering positions do not require professional designation in BC.

You must be licensed by Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) to use the title Professional Engineer in BC.

However, you can work in engineering, even if you haven’t been licensed by a professional engineering association, as long as you are supervised by a professional engineer (P.Eng).

Only licensed engineers are permitted to undertake and assume responsibility for engineering projects in BC.  Licensing is required to approve engineering drawings and reports, and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.)

In order to become a registered member of Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia you require:

  • graduation from an accredited educational program
  • four years of supervised work experience in engineering
  • passing a professional practice examination
  • completion of the law and ethics seminar

For more information:

Internationally trained engineers

If you have completed your P. Eng application process you may qualify as a “Provisional Member” with Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia. This designation provides member status to internationally trained engineering graduates who have completed the academic, experience, professionalism, character, and residency requirements.

For more information:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    (see categories 1630-2019, “Science/Engineering Professionals”)
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For electrical & electronics engineers, look at these related job titles (NOC 2133):

  • Avionics Engineer
  • Control Systems Engineer
  • Design Engineer, Electrical
  • Distribution Planning Engineer, Electrical
  • Electrical Network Engineer
  • Instrumentation and Control engineer
  • Process Control Engineer, Electrical
  • Test Engineer, Electronics

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of potential employers in the electrical and electronics industries. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “electrical engineer” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following pathfinders:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for professional and electrical & electronics engineers in BC and Canada provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples include:

  • Innovation / Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia
    Also available at VPL Central Library, 650.5 B86