Becoming a master electrician is exciting. The certification offers excellent career potential and a lifetime of occupational security, if you put in the work to achieve your goals. Below, we explore what it takes to achieve this designation as an electrician.
Master Electrician (ME) designation in Canada requires specific education and experience. These requirements vary according to your province. For example, in Alberta, it is the Safety Codes Council that provides this recognition after you demonstrate specific aptitude, education and experience. With your certification, you can obtain permits for electrical projects.
Required qualifications for becoming an ME in Alberta include:
- Age of 18 years or older
- Current certification as an electrician tradesperson or journeyperson under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act
- Five prior years’ experience
- Minimum of three years’ electrical industry experience with one of the above trade certifications
- Active engagement in electrical contracting for at least three years under a certificate of restricted ME
- Safety Codes Council ME exam score of at least 75 percent
- Payment of the designated fee
Some provinces in Canada provide out-of-province certifications. For example, if you have current certification as a British Columbia Electrical Field Safety Representative or Ontario ME, you may be eligible for certification as an Alberta ME. You also must pay appropriate fees. Other requirements include having held a Canadian journeyperson electrician certification for a minimum of three years and completing the Jurisprudence examination.
About the ME Exam
The ME Exam tests your electrical equipment installation and repair knowledge. This test includes knowledge of the laws, regulations and rules governing this work. You must also prove in-depth awareness of work supervision, safety and business practices. The two-part test starts with electrical concept-related questions. It also focuses on regulations and codes. The second part of the exam delves into the application of your knowledge and calculations related to code.
To prepare for your ME Exam, you can take a preparatory course at a technical college or other educational institution. This course is not a requirement for testing and ME certification as part of your first two attempts. But it certainly helps you achieve your goals. It is important to remember that you can only write the ME Exam twice before you must take a prep course before another testing opportunity.
Certification and Identification as an ME
After successfully passing your ME Exam, you receive your ME certificate and ID card. You typically can expect to receive this by mail within a month. As an alternative and to receive your certification documentation sooner, you can visit the Council office to pick it up.
Once you receive your designation as an ME, you are legally responsible for its use. This responsibility includes your liability for any work and deficiencies related to an electrical permit received under your ME number.
ME certification requires annual renewal, which can occur through the issuing agency’s website or physical location. Renewal requires a fee.
In most provinces, you must prominently display your ME Certificate in your business location. You must maintain immediate access to your ID card for presentation at the request of a safety codes officer or administrator.
Code of Ethics
Of course, being a Master Electrician means adhering to specific codes of ethics. These typically include ensuring your electrical contractors and their work comply with laws, codes and regulations when performing electrical installations. You must directly supervise electrical contractor and subordinate work, also providing personal planning as part of that supervision. There are also restrictions written into your certification’s code of ethics, indicating things you may not do under your ME Certificate.