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Electric Motor Systems Technician

Duties

Electric motor systems technicians test, rebuild and repair electric motors, generators, transformers, controllers and related electrical and mechanical equipment used in commercial, industrial and institutional establishments.

Electric motor systems technicians maintain the electric motors and related equipment used to power machinery and equipment in various applications such as production plants and large businesses.

In general, electric motor systems technicians:

  • diagnose problems and dismantle electric motors, transformers, switchgear, electric welders, generators and other electrical and mechanical equipment for servicing, modification or repair,
  • remove and replace shafts, bearings, commutators and other components, referring to blueprints or service manuals as required,
  • wind and assemble various types of coils for electric motors or transformers and reinstall them, and
  • balance armatures or rotors, weld and braze or solder electrical connections, and align and adjust parts to close tolerances to reassemble items.

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.

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Working Conditions

Most electric motor systems technicians work a 40-hour week with some overtime required when equipment breaks down. They work primarily indoors in large shops and production plants. Those who work for firms that contract their services to other organizations may service electrical systems, machines and equipment on the customer's premises, and may have to travel regularly to perform maintenance on customer equipment.

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Skills and Abilities

The work is most rewarding for those who like precision, want security and enjoy variety in their work.

To be successful electric motor systems technicians must have:

  • good mechanical aptitude,
  • manual dexterity,
  • strength, stamina and the ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing up to 25 kilograms, and
  • the ability to pay careful attention to detail.

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Employment and Advancement

Electric motor systems technicians are employed by companies that repair and service electric apparatus and equipment, and by contractors in the field.

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $34 to $50 an hour, plus benefits. It is common for journeypeople to have the opportunity to earn an average of 20% extra in paid overtime hours.

Electric motor systems technicians may progress to positions that involve working with larger and more complicated electric motors, transformers, switchgear or other apparatus, or that involve testing and diagnosing problems to a greater extent. They may also advance to leadership positions, or set up their own contracting firms.

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Working in Alberta

To work as an electric motor systems technician in Alberta, a person must:

  • be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, hold a valid recognized credential , OR
  • work for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of a certified journeyperson, OR
  • be self-employed.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.

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Apprenticeship Training

The term of apprenticeship for an electric motor systems technician is 4 years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.

  • An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the electric motor systems technician trade or holds a related journeyperson certificate and has the employer's recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship. Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprentice representative toll-free at 1-800-248-4823.
  • A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may complete the online Prior Learning Assessment Application.  For more information, see the online Prior Learning Assessment Guide.
  • A high school student can become an apprentice and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

To learn the skills required of a electric motor systems technician in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.

For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.

    • complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
    • pay the non-refundable application fee as part of the application process 
    • complete the required on-the-job training
      - during on-the-job training, apprentice electrical motor systems technicians earn at least 55 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 65 percent in the second, 75 percent in the third, and 85 percent in the fourth year.
    • complete all program requirements as identified in the course outline
    • enroll in technical training
      - select an educational institution that offers training for Electric Motor Systems Technician apprentices, and a time to attend training
      - determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrolment form to the selected institution
    • review books and materials required for training
    • successfully complete all required exams

Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.

When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.

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Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

An electric motor systems technician who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or from another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial Exam and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal is recognized throughout most of Canada.

To prepare for the exam see the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.

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Qualification Certificate Program

For a Qualification Certificate based on a recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.

Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.

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Equivalency Program

A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.

However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.

More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.

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