Are you interested in learning how your community is interconnected with electricity? Become an electrician beginning with this foundations program. As a electrician, you will perform critical duties in keeping our communities interconnected through the electrical grid. This 24-week certificate program can open up opportunities in several areas.
Once you become an electrician, you will be able to work in almost every type of industry. You may be employed by electrical contractors, municipalities, institutions, industrial operations, become self-employed, manage, or own large electrical companies.
Industries in which electricians are critical include:
- Utility and Energy Companies
Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Construction
Manufacturing and Production
Oil and Gas
Institutional and Municipal Facilities
Building and construction
Industry (pulp mills, mining, utility companies)
Institutional (hospitals, schools, municipal government)
What you will learn
In the Electrical Foundation program you’ll learn the skills to assemble, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring; control devices such as switches, relays, and circuit breaker panels; and you’ll splice, join, and connect wires to form circuits and more. Electricians use their skills in everything from lighting to climate control and communications systems.
In the Electrical Foundation program, studies are focused on direct current (DC) electricity. You will learn
- Fundamentals of electricity and how it is electromagnetically induced
- DC circuitry, resistance, and circuit analysis
- Use of meters and test equipment
- Read and interpret prints and drawings
- Basic motor control and industrial power electronics
- Interpretation and application of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC)
The Electrical Foundation program is heavily focused on math and physics. Due to the nature of the CEC, its content will be covered daily (approximately 1 to 2 hours per day).
As well as learning the theory of electricity, the program includes many opportunities for hands on learning. This practical experience is invaluable for preparing you for the electrical trade.
Become an Apprentice
This foundation program will provide entry level practical skills and academic knowledge to prepare you to begin the apprenticeship pathway as either a Construction Electrician or an Industrial Electrician. You do not need an employer sponsor to participate. In fact, one of the main reasons to complete a foundation program is to gain experience and familiarity with the trade, giving you a competitive advantage to finding an employer to hire you as their apprentice.
The Electrical Foundation program is unique in that it provides core training for two Red Seal trades, allowing you to later specialize as either a Construction Electrician or an Industrial Electrician. There also is the opportunity to be dual Red Seal ticketed by completing the specialized 4th level training, and work based training hours, for both programs.
Upon successful completion of the foundation program, you will receive credit with the BC Industry Training Authority (ITA) for Level 1 technical training in Electrician, Common Core. Once you are officially registered as an apprentice with ITA, you will then be able to complete the work based training hours (on the job training) and higher levels of apprenticeship training for your chosen electrical trade.
Apprenticeship programs provide a unique approach to post-secondary education, combining classroom based learning (known as technical training) with on the job training. This enables you to “earn while you learn,” significantly reducing the need for student debt and building your career NOW instead of waiting until you’ve completed your education.
This program prepares you for the electrical apprenticeship program, or for positions such as counter and warehouse personnel in wholesale/distributing outlets. To work in BC, electricians must be either certified in the trade or registered in a four-year apprenticeship program leading to certification.
Electrical Foundation: Program Outline
Locations & Dates
CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.
The admission requirements mentioned below are the minimum requirements.
- English 11, English 045 or Communications 12 or equivalent (with a minimum “C” grade).
- Successful completion of one of the following, or equivalent: Foundations of Math 11, Precalculus 11, or Math 044, or Math 045.
- Successful completion of one of the following, or equivalent: Physics 11, or Physics 045, or Applications of Physics 12.
Students who do not meet the above requirements may wish to consult with a CNC counsellor/advisor to determine their eligibility on the basis of mature student status.
Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.
High school students may be eligible to take this program. See your school counsellor for details.
A program for which seats are filled based on approved selection criteria. Such criteria may include, but are not limited to, assessment, portfolio submissions, interviews and grade point average. Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee acceptance to the program.
Students are encouraged to submit a resumé and handwritten statement indicating reasons for wishing to enter the program as well a complete a test of mechanical reasoning skills, and the College English/Math Achievement Test (EMAT). These items are included in the selection criteria listed below and will be awarded points.
If the program is over-subscribed, students will be selected based on the selection criteria listed below:
- The letter grade for English 11, English 045 or Communications 12 or equivalent will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
- The letter grade for Foundations of Math 11, Math 045, or Math 044 or equivalent, will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
- The letter grade for Physics 11 or Physics 045 or Application of Physics 12, or equivalent, will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
- The mechanical reasoning portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded a maximum of 5 points. Refer to the Mechanical Reasoning Grading Scale in the CNC Calendar.
- Passing the English portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded 1 point.
- Passing the Math portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded 1 point.
- One or more trades-related courses at the Grade 12 level with a grade of “B” or higher, or successful completion of any foundation-level trades training program or documented experience of one year in a trade will be awarded 3 points.
- Credit for submitting a résumé and personal handwritten statement indicating their reasons for wishing to enter this program will be awarded a maximum of 3 points.
Maximum points available = 25
Note: High school graduation with English 12, Math 11 and Physics 11 (where applicable) is recommended and required by some employers in order to be indentured as an apprentice.
Invest in your future
The estimated cost for this program is $3,200*.
- Tuition: $2,071
- Student fees: $658
- Medical/Dental Fee (Fall semester only): $260
- Tool Deposit: $200 (Refundable)
*Please note these fees are for the FALL intake. These costs are an estimate and do not include books. Student fees vary by campus. Check the fee schedule for more details.
Books for this program can be purchased from the bookstore.