Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Construction electricians lay out, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, control devices and related equipment in buildings and other structures.
Working with Others
Depending on the situation, construction electricians work with a co-worker or in a team of construction electricians assigned to complete installations in a particular area. Large construction sites involve the services of several other building trades. Conflicting priorities occur; however, all have a stake in working safely and efficiently. Construction electricians work primarily with other construction electricians but may also interact with a wide variety of workers including apprentices, supervisors, owners' representatives, architects, engineers, inspectors and suppliers.
Because the electrical code is updated regularly, construction electricians are expected to continue to learn and become familiar with changing code requirements. They must also keep up-to-date with changes in technology, such as computer controls or programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Also, fibre optics and data cables are becoming more widely used and trained installers are in demand. Construction electricians enroll in scheduled classes offered by the union, employers, wholesalers, manufacturers or distributors and may also take continuing education classes at their own expense. Some written material is available for self-study.
All essential skills are affected by the introduction of technology in the workplace. Construction electricians' ability to adapt to new technologies is strongly related to their skill levels across the essential skills, including reading, writing, thinking and communication skills. Technologies are transforming the ways in which workers obtain, process and communicate information, and the types of skills needed to perform in their jobs. Construction electricians will increasingly rely on digital skills to install, troubleshoot and repair electrical installations. Workers, who are self-employed, will also increasingly rely on communication, word processing, spreadsheet and accounting software to communicate with customers and track revenues and expenses. Digital technology also provides these workers with tools, such as cellular telephones, which increase opportunities for verbal interaction and can improve workplace safety. For example, workers can access customers, supervisors and medical assistance from their jobsite using their cellular telephones.
Technology in the workplace further affects the complexity of tasks related to the essential skills required for this occupation. Workers need the skills to use increasingly complex software applications. For example, workers may need to install and service heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) control systems, or programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to control the speed and output of machinery. Digital technology can also affect the complexity of numeracy-related tasks. For example, workers can calculate costs, material requirements, conversions, electrical resistance, volumes, rates and offsets using Web-based applications and hand-held devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs).