What is the Proper Rate of Pay for an 309A Electrical Apprentice?

March 13, 2020

Because You Asked…
By law, what is the proper rate of pay for an 309A electrical apprentice?

The Rate Of Pay For An Electrical Apprentice Is Protected By Ontario Law

The law is posted in the public domain for your reference on the Province of Ontario website, Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act R.R.O. 1990, regulation 1051 (TQAA).

Not to worry, the sections are very short. Your question starts in Section 4 and leads to Section 7 of Regulation 1051 made under the TQAA.

As a starting point, no matter how little the lowest paid journeyman electrician is paid, your hourly wage can’t be less than minimum wage.
It gets better.

Section 4.
“An apprentice training program is established for the certified trade and consists of five periods of related training and work experience training of 1,800 hours for each period…”

Explanation: the 5 periods of 1,800 hours include time spent in school.

Section 7. (1)
The rate of wages for an apprentice in the certified trade whether for regular daily hours of work or for hours of work in excess of regular daily hours of work shall not be less than,

(a) 40 per cent during the first period;
(b) 50 per cent during the second period;
(c) 60 per cent during the third period;
(d) 70 per cent during the fourth period; and
(e) 80 per cent during the fifth period,

of the average hourly rate of wages or its equivalent for journeypersons in that trade employed by the employer with whom the apprentice is working. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1051, s. 7 (1).

Explanation: You’re entitled to the increase by law regardless of whether you have completed a term of trade school. Plus, it’s a formula, not some arbitrary amount… the rate of pay is based on the average for the electrician journeypersons working for the company you’re employed with.

As an example if you complete the hours required to move from your third term to your fourth term and you are scheduled to attend intermediate trade school in 12 weeks, you are entitled to the wage increase when you’ve completed the hours, not when you have successfully completed that level of trade school.

Let’s put a real world dollar amount to that. In our experience it is increasingly common to see a journeyman rate of $40/hour. We’ll use a 40 hour week for calculation purposes.

3rd term rate would be $24 x 40 hrs.= $960/week
4th term rate would be $28 x 40 hrs.= $1,120/week

A difference of $160 per week or in the case of our 12 weeks until school, lost wages in the amount $1,920.

Add to that—a decreased income while in trade school collecting Employment Insurance and the possibility of a lower rate of EI due to wage averaging for your qualifying period—all lost earnings.


It All Matters

Play this example out over three or four terms of your apprenticeship and the financial loss becomes increasingly significant. Law (TQAA) protects your hourly rate as a minimum standard.