Whether you are thinking of becoming an electrician or are just curious what their job entails, you probably want to know what types of electricians there are and what exactly it is that they do. It may seem pretty cut and dry, but there is actually a wealth of things that go into the job. What are all these things, you ask? Midas Electrical Ltd, an electrician in Essex, has helped shed some light on this profession.
In general, electricians install and maintain all electrical systems for homes, businesses, and factories. They usually fall under one of two main categories: construction electricians and maintenance electricians. They both have slightly different jobs, which you will learn about in this article.
A construction electrician installs wiring for new homes and buildings. They are the ones who do the initial wiring when new construction is being done..
This is usually done once the building is partially built, so they must learn to follow blueprints and wiring diagrams to make sure they are wiring accurately.
Responsibilities of a Construction Electrician
A construction electrician has many responsibilities, including but not limited to reading blueprints, installing wiring and electrical controls, following state and local building regulations, and training other electricians in the making, as well as possessing mechanical, math, and troubleshooting skills.
Steps to Wiring a New Building
Since the main job of a construction electrician is wiring new buildings, I will go over the steps with you.
- They run conduit (metal tubing/pipe) inside the walls and ceilings.
- They then pull all the wires through the tubing.
- Once this is done, they attach the wires to outlets and switches.
- Finally, they solder or screw wires to the fuse box, circuit breakers, or transformers.
Note: According to StateUniversity.com, it is required that all electricians follow state, county, and municipal codes in wiring due to safety reasons.
A maintenance electrician is just what it sounds like. They maintain electrical systems by using testing devices to test wiring, fixtures, and other electrical equipment for problems with existing wires. When problems are detected, they then replace or repair the defective elements using hand tools. Depending on the job, he/she could work solo or as a part of a team.
The key difference between a maintenance electrician and a construction electrician is that a maintenance electrician maintains the electrical wiring while a construction electrician is the first one to install wiring in a new building.
A maintenance electrician has more job security than a construction electrician, especially when the economy is down because there aren’t as many new homes or buildings being built and people tend to hold on to their older buildings, which need electrical maintenance.
Responsibilities of a Maintenance Electrician
- Perform routine maintenance procedures and repairs that are due to normal wear and tear.
- Use problem-solving skills and experience to diagnose issues in electrical systems.
- Perform necessary upgrades to existing wiring.
- Use deductive reasoning to diagnose the root cause of an electronic malfunction.
You may see a maintenance electrician replacing breakers, switches, and wiring.
There are many job opportunities for a maintenance electrician. Some of these include working for property management, home repair services, or in an industrial setting.
Training for both types of electricians typically involves all the same things, and there are a few routes to becoming one.
There is the option of apprenticeship, which means they learn from other master electricians in an apprenticeship program (usually through a union or trade organization), and there is on-the-job training, which means that you get hands-on experience and training from a licensed and experienced electrician. You can also go to school and get a degree for it.
The most popular form of training is a formal apprenticeship. During this apprenticeship, apprentices learn applied mathematics, wiring layout, electrical theory, electronics, and blueprint reading.
Most areas require you to earn a master electrician license, which you receive once you have passed a test on knowledge of the trade and the National Electric Code, as well as state, local, and municipal building and electrical codes.
Electricians are the sole reason for our entertainment and comfort in our homes, since without them we wouldn’t have television, heat, air conditioning, lights, or any of the other electrical amenities we are used to.
Now that you know everything an electrician’s job entails, you should have a better idea of whether it is something you want to pursue or not. One thing is for sure, an electrician’s job is never done, so job security is guaranteed no matter which field you choose to take.
Keep in mind, training and requirements will differ from area to area, so it is important to find out what is required where you live or plan to work.