Electricians are skilled tradespeople who work in the construction industry, specializing in the design, installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems - and the demand for these skilled workers in the United States is only going to grow.
The projected growth rate for electricians is 10 percent by 2028.
Electricians work in a wide range of specialties, including residential and office building maintenance, as well as commercial/industrial and residential construction.
This article will give you an in-depth look at the different types of electricians.
The types of electricians can be divided into several categories - however, most electricians fall into two main categories.
Linemen (Outside Electricians) - Also known as line electricians, these electricians work outdoors, installing higher voltage electrical transmission and distribution systems. They ensure that power generated by power plants is transferred to substations - and are equipped to manage high-voltage lines in residential, commercial and industrial facilities.
Wiremen (in-house electricians) - Wiremen are electricians who work at the lower voltages found inside buildings and structures. Wiring clerks install, maintain and repair electrical systems that provide reliable power to residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Residential systems, such as solar panel installations, would fall into this category.
Types of Electricians by Certification Level
The first step to becoming an electrician is through an apprenticeship program.
In most states, this requires a high school diploma (or equivalent) to apply. Typically, an apprentice takes several hundred classroom hours before he or she can join a commercial electrician group.
After about three to six years, you can apply for an apprenticeship under a licensed electrician.
After completing the apprenticeship program and meeting all requirements, you can take the exam to become a journeyman electrician, and you will be licensed by a local, state or federal licensing panel.
Certification allows you to work unsupervised and provides you with a certificate to train new apprentices.
Master Electrician is the highest level of electrical certification, and its requirements vary by state.
The primary standard in most states is to perform approximately 4,000 hours of electrical work as a journeyman and then demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the National Electrical Code by passing a licensing exam.
Finally, master electricians work on the most complex commercial and industrial projects and have the experience to train skilled electricians to do the same thing.
Within the two main categories of electricians, there are many different areas of electricians. Different types of electrician jobs also require unique skills and certifications. These fields include
Industrial electricians are tasked with installing, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical equipment in power plants, process plants, factories, and mines.
These types of electricians work with manufacturing systems and large, complex machinery - with some technicians focusing on safety and lighting systems.
As an industrial electrician, you will report to a maintenance supervisor or facility manager. In most cases, you'll need several years of apprentice job training before working in this field.
Commercial electricians who specialize in installing, repairing and maintenance of electrical systems - most of which operate in commercial buildings such as offices and other workplaces.
As a commercial electrician, you may also be required to assist in the design and planning of electrical systems during the construction of new buildings. This is ideal for you if you're the type of person who's willing to take on an extra challenge - a job that often includes having to address public safety issues and local electrical codes.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can also venture out as an independent electrical contractor and continue your own business, hiring more electricians under your belt.
Residential electricians are the most common type of electrician. They are typically responsible for installing, troubleshooting, maintaining and upgrading electrical systems - this includes equipment in residential environments such as homes, apartments and condominiums.
As a residential electrician, you will install and repair security systems, air conditioning units and other household appliances.
Job training combines apprenticeship with formal classroom instruction under the supervision of a journeyman or master electrician. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, you will also be required to pass a state test.
As with commercial electricians, many types of electrical work include working for a building contractor or independently managing a small business.
Maintenance electricians are an important part of the industrial, commercial and residential sectors. As a maintenance electrician, you will be tasked with maintaining, repairing and upgrading existing electrical equipment.
Other maintenance duties include testing, troubleshooting and diagnosing equipment problems.
To work as a maintenance electrician, you'll also need a formal apprenticeship and on-the-job technical training, followed by an electrician's license.
Automotive electricians specialize in automobiles and other vehicles and are responsible for the electrical systems within these vehicles that are critical to safe operation.
To become an automotive electrician, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of vehicle diagnostics to properly check drive trains using high-performance electronic equipment. Technicians also use this equipment for official motor vehicle certification.
Electricians may be subject to injury and must take precautions through safety training such as OSHA. Electricians must also receive on-the-job training on job safety, and employers take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of injury. These can include：
Some electricians must climb scaffolding and often bend down on their knees to make connections in tight places. Depending on your expertise, be prepared to spend most of your time in a dirty and noisy workplace.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for electricians in 2018 was $55,190. This includes an average hourly wage of $28.50. The top 25% of earners made $472,780, while the bottom 255 earners made $41,260. The best states by type of electrician and their salary are New York, Alaska, Illinois and Hawaii.
The highest-paying metropolitan areas in the U.S. are San Francisco, New York, Chicago and San Jose. The highest paying industries for electricians are natural gas and real estate.
The job outlook for electricians in the United States is positive, with many different electrician jobs in the top industries. A career as an electrician is a recommended option for many people who have professional options, room for advancement and a good salary.
At Elite Force Staffing, our primary focus is to provide industrial and commercial skilled workers. We specialize in providing traveling electrician jobs, per diem, conveyor electrician jobs, industrial electrician shutdown jobs, and more!
Whether you are an apprentice, a journeyman, or a master electrician in the industrial and commercial field, there are many benefits to working with an electrician staffing agency like Elite Force. From great pay and benefits to steady job opportunities, no matter where you are in the United States.
Comments will be approved before showing up.