You are considering becoming an electrician, but what does an electric - knoweasy

Free shipping over 12.99 丨 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee 丨shipping: 2-3Days

You are considering becoming an electrician, but what does an electrician do?

July 10, 2024


Recommended books for electricians

1.10 must-read books for electricians in 2021! Recommended by Master Electricians

2.Best Books For Electricians|Must-read books for those who want to become electricians

3.5 Best Home Electrical Wiring Books for Beginners | Electricians Guide

4.Top And Best Books And Guides For Electricians And Apprentices | Knoweasy Electrician Guide

5.The Best Electrician Books For Beginners: Top Six Sellers In 2022

6.12 Must ReadBooks For Electricians In 2022 Recommended By Master Electricians| Knoweasy Electrician Guide


Q: I'm considering my career options andknow I want to work in the trades, so I'm looking into becoming a licensed electrician. However, I'm not sure if I want to become a residential electrician or if I want to specialize in a particular area. What exactly does an electrician doand how do I decide which path to take?


A: Electricians are skilled professionals responsible for ensuring that electrical installations in residential and commercial buildings are safe and functioningproperly. They have a thorough understanding of electrical systems and can performa variety of maintenance tasks, from basic wiring installations to complex electrical fixtures. Becoming an electrician can be a great career choice; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electricians earn an average annual salary of $60,240, or $28.96 per hour.

Many electricians focus on residential customers and aim to help homeowners with electrical repair or maintenance issues, but the scope of an electrician's expertise extends far beyond thesecommon situations. Understanding the specific roles and servicesoffered by licensed electricians can help prospective electricians decide which career path to pursue.

When looking for a job, electriciansneed to be clear about the services they provide. "Homeowners may neglect to hire an electrician for tasks such as upgrading electrical panels, installing new outlets, or fixing flickering lights," explains Michael Branover, owner of Los Angeles-based electrical contracting company Branover Contractors, Inc. "However, you should hire a licensed professional to ensure compliance with safety codes and to prevent electrical hazards."


Here are the different types of electricians that individuals need to know about and thedifferent tasks they can perform.


Electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, maintaining, and upgrading electrical systems ina variety of settings.


According to Lincoln Technical College, electricians work ina variety of environments, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Residential electricians specialize in installing and maintaining electrical systems in homes, ensuring that lighting, heating, and power distribution operate safely and efficiently. Commercial electricians typically work on large projects such as wiring office buildings, retail stores, and other commercial establishments. These locations require a reliable electrical infrastructure. In industrial environments, the work of electricians becomes more specialized, as it usually involves complex machinery and high-powered electrical systems in factories and manufacturing plants.

Regardless of the environment, any professional licensed electrician must have somelevel of training and experience to ensure they understand the basics of installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems. David Walter, founder, and CEO of Electrician Mentor, a master electrician and electrician training website, notes that licensing requirements vary from state to state, but electricians typically need at least five years of electricalexperience, plus about 150 to 200 hours of classroom learning per year.Electricianstypically receive formal training through apprenticeship programs or vocational schools, he adds.

"Many seek certifications, such as those issued by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) or the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)," Brannover says.Electriciansalso have the option of attending one of the best online electrician schools to help them start their careers or acquire additional skills that will help them advance in their careers.


Electricians can read and understand technical documents such as blueprints and circuit diagrams.


According to the New England Institute of Technology, an essential skillthat electricians must possess isthe ability to read and understand technical documents, including blueprints and circuit diagrams. Proficiency in reading these documents is critical to several aspects of electrical work. It enables electricians to effectively operate and repair existing electrical systems - identifying potential problems and implementing solutions based on the detailed layouts provided by these documents.

Additionally, this skill is essential when electricians plan and execute electrical wiring in new construction. By interpreting these technical documents, electricians can ensure that the electrical infrastructureis designed efficiently and safely.


Electricians can troubleshoot and diagnoseproblems with electrical systems and can perform inspections to ensure that a building's electrical system meets safety codes.


Electricians specialize in troubleshooting and diagnosing problems within electricalsystems; a skill that is vital to the safety and efficiency of a building. Having this expertise allows them to quickly identify the cause of a problem, whether it's a power outage, flickering lights, or faulty equipment. This diagnostic process typically involves inspecting wiring, circuits, and electrical components to identify discrepancies or malfunctions.

In addition to resolving emergency issues, electriciansalso conduct thorough inspections of a building's electrical system. These inspections are critical to ensure that all electrical installations comply with local and national safety codes. By performing these evaluations, electricians can detect potential hazards, such as outdated wiring or overloaded circuits, and recommend necessary upgrades or repairs to maintain safety and functionality.


Electricians may have specialized training to operate transportation equipment, motor vehicles, avionics, or solar roof panels.


Electricians often expand their expertise through specialized training that allows them to work witha variety of complex systems beyond the traditional electrical setup in a building. This specialized training may include transportation equipment, where electricians will learn how to manage and repair the electrical components of trains, streetcars, and other transportation systems.

In the automotive field, electricians gain skills to handle complex electrical systems in motor vehicles, including advancedelectric and hybridvehicles.

For thosewho specialize in avionics, electricians delve into the electrical aspects of airplanes, ensuring that navigation, communications, and other critical systems operate flawlessly. Additionally, as the demand for sustainable energy continues to grow, many electricians are trained to install and maintain solar roof panels, a key component of renewable energy infrastructure.


Residential electricians are responsible forthe installation of wiring, outlets, and lighting in homes and apartments.


Whether it's a new home construction, routine repairs, or a complete remodel, residential electricians ensure that the electrical aspects of homes and apartmentsare managed safely and efficiently. Homeowners usually pay electricians to rewire their homes rather than doing the work themselves, which can be difficult and potentially dangerous.This also includes the installation of electrical outlets, which are vital for the daily use of appliances and electronics,as well as the installation of lighting fixtures, which can enhance the ambiance and functionality of a room.

In addition to new installations, residential electricians perform electrical repairs,which may include issues such as short circuits, miswiring, or malfunctioning outlets. Their expertise isespecially valuable in remodeling projects, which often require updating or expanding existing electrical systems.


Commercial electricians perform electrical work in buildings such as offices, restaurants, and stores.


Commercial electricians bring their expertise toa variety of businesses to meet the unique and complex needs of commercial electrical systems. They handle a range of tasks to ensure that the electrical infrastructure meets the specific needs of each business.This includes wiring projects, which are often more extensive than in residential settings and require a detailed understanding ofthe higher electrical demands and safety standardsof commercial spaces.

Another aspect of a commercial electrician's job is installing or replacing electrical panels, which must be strong enough to withstand the heavy electrical loadscommon in commercial environments. Additionally, commercial electricians specialize in installing specialized lighting systems similar to those found in homes, illuminating the space while enhancing aesthetics and functionality.


Industrial electricians perform electrical installations, maintenance, and repairs in factories, workshops, and warehouses.


Industrial electricians are key personnel inthe operation and maintenance oflarge manufacturing and storage facilities such as factories, workshops, and warehouses. They are responsible for electrical installations, ensuring that new machines and systemsare properly and safely integrated into existing electrical frameworks.

Maintenance and repairs are alsoanimportantpart of an industrial electrician's duties. They may resolve problems with high-voltage systems and equipmentthat are common in industrial environments. These electricians understand industrial electrical components, including transformers and motor controllers,which are critical to the smooth operation of heavy machinery. Their knowledge extends to diagnosing and fixing complex problems that may disrupt production or jeopardize safety.

In these environments, the expertise of industrial electricians is critical.This is not only for operational efficiency and continuity but also because strict safety standards must beadhered to.This makes this type of electrician indispensable in the industrial sector.


Marine electricians are responsible forthe installation, maintenance, and repair of marine electrical systems.


Marine electricians specialize in unique challenges and work ona wide range of vessels, from small boats to large ships.They specialize inthe installation, maintenance, and repair of complex electrical systems thatare often exposed to harsh marine environments. These professionals specialize in working with a wide range of electrical components, including critical systems such as lighting (to ensure visibility and safety on board) and wiring that must be sturdy and resistant to moisture and salt.

Electricians specializing in this field also help maintain and repair a ship's navigation and communication equipment,which is vital to its safe and efficient operation.


Maintenance electricians perform testing, inspection, maintenance, and repair in commercial, residential, or industrial environments.


Maintenance electricians have the expertise and versatility to handlea variety of electrical challenges, from performing scheduled maintenance inspections to handling electrical emergencies.Responsibilities include performing thorough testing and inspections to ensure systemsare operating optimally and adhering to safety standards.A large part of their work involves routine maintenance, which helps prevent potential electrical problems and extend the life of electrical components. Whenproblems arise, these electricians are skilled at diagnosing and quickly fixing faulty equipment, minimizing downtime and disruption. Maintenance electricians can easily recognize the warning signs ofdangerous outdated wiring and write a quote on what needs tobe done to fix the problem and how much it will cost.

In many cases, maintenance electricians also act as emergency electricians, providing critical services around the clock. This readiness to respond at a moment's notice iscritical to solving emergency electrical problems that could pose a safety risk or serious inconvenience. Electricians who provide emergency services want to publicize this fact so that homeowners can easily find local, reliable24/7 electricians and have their phone numbers readily availablein the event of such electrical emergencies.


Exterior line electricians work on power lines, communication cables, and fiber optics.


Outdoor line electricians are professionals who assist inthe installation and maintenance of outdoor electrical infrastructure. Their work primarily involves working with power lines, communication cables, andincreasinglyfiber optics, ensuring that these vital servicesare established and maintained efficiently and safely.

Thistype of electrician usually spends most of their working hours on high-voltage power lines, often at considerable heights.This area requiresnot only technical proficiency but also strict adherence to safety protocols. For this reason, outdoor line workers undergo rigorous safety training to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to deal with these dangerous situations. This electrical training covers a range of safety practices and emergency response techniques to ensurethat they can perform their duties with the utmost care and precision.


A skilled electrician completes an electrician's apprenticeship and receives a license to independently performa range of electrical tasks, such as installation, repair, and maintenance.


Reaching the level of skilled electricians is amajor milestone in the electrical industry. The tasks that this type of electrician may perform include installation, repair, and maintenance ina variety of environments.

To become a Journeyman, an individual mustfirst complete an extensive electrical apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a rigorous period of on-the-job training and education in which they learn the intricacies of the trade under the guidance of an experienced electrician. After training, aspiring and skilled electricians must successfully pass an exam to receive their license. This license demonstrates their proficiency and understanding of electrical codes, safety practices, and the practical application of their skills.


Master electricians have been working in the field for a certain number of years and have received their master electrician licenses from their local government.


Master Electricians represent the pinnacle of expertise and leadership in this industry. As leaders in their field, these professionals mentor the next generation of electricians, passing on their knowledge and expertise to apprentices and skilledelectricians, and shaping the future of the electrical industry.

With their extensive experience and advanced credentials, senior electricians are qualified to oversee major electrical projects. They are also ableto effectively manage teams of skilled and apprentice electricians. To become a senior electrician, not only do you need to have years of practical experience in the field, but you also need tobe successful in obtaining a senior electrician's license from your local government.An electrician earns this license by demonstrating comprehensiveknowledge of the electrical industry through rigorous testing, including an in-depth understanding of electrical codes, advanced technical skills, and the ability to solve complex electrical problems. An advanced electrician ensures that all aspects of a projectare executed efficiently, safely, and in compliance with all regulatory standards.

When potential clients wish to hire a local electrician for a specific project, they need to consider the nature of the taskat hand and the expertise required. Different electrician services are available to meeta variety of needs, from residential wiring to complex industrial installations.Clients must choose an electrical contractorwho not only has a proven track record in the relevant fieldbut also has the best electrical tools and equipment to get the job done efficiently and safely. Electricians will want to clearly state their area of specialization on their marketing materials, including their website and business cards so that potential customers know exactly what types of electrical work they can complete.

Additionally, contractors will want to publicize their averageelectrician hourly rate so that potential clients knowexactly what an electrician will cost. They maychoose to list the hourly rate, the rate per project, or even be more specific about the cost of replacing an electrical panel or installing a home electric vehicle charger. When setting rates, electricians need to consider the complexity of the job, their level of experience, geographic location, and what they want tobe paid as an electrician.

Finally, electriciansneed to keep a list of satisfied customers as a reference for potential new clients. This way, the client can more thoroughly vet the electrician to determine whether or not to hire them. Walter suggestsasking for referrals once the homeowner has confirmed that the electrician has the licenses, experience, permits, and training needed to complete the job. "[Ask] for satisfied customerswho are willing to talk about their experience," he says. "If the electrician doesn't have that experience, you may want to look for another job."

Electrician careers are rewarding, challenging, and lucrative. Individuals have many options when choosing a career path; they canchoose to work on residential projects or specialize in transportation, solar panels, or even marine.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Be The First To Know

Follow Us