Job of an Electrician

 Electricians get electrical power from the grid to homes and businesses. They follow blueprints, test and inspect components and equipment, install wiring and lighting, and perform maintenance and repairs.Electrician

Important skills include color vision to identify wires, communication skills to interact with customers, and physical strength to move heavy components. Electricians also need to be concerned about safety.

Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment in all types of buildings. They work with both residential and commercial structures and can be self-employed contractors or employees of an electrical company. They often need to communicate with construction workers and clients to provide quotes, discuss project details, and determine the best course of action for installation.

Many electricians have a high school diploma and receive their training through an apprenticeship program that lasts four to five years. Others attend a vocational-technical school that offers certificate programs in electrical technology or other related fields. While attending a vocational school isn’t required for becoming a licensed electrician, it can offer valuable training that can help students gain a competitive edge when applying for an apprenticeship or other job opportunities.

The first stage in an electrician’s career is to learn how to safely handle electrical equipment and wiring. This includes understanding the proper safety precautions when working with electricity and knowing how to properly use tools to avoid injury or death. Electricians also need to understand how to read blueprints and other documents and be able to follow them when installing or repairing wiring.

During the installation process, electricians often need to collaborate with other construction professionals, such as engineers and architects, to ensure that electrical systems are properly designed and installed. They also must be able to effectively communicate with clients and end-users, offering guidance on electrical usage, safety precautions, and energy-saving practices.

In some cases, electricians may need to troubleshoot or repair existing electrical systems. This can include replacing old or damaged wiring, receptacles, and switches, or updating circuit breakers or transformers. They might also be responsible for maintaining or ensuring compliance with applicable building codes and regulations.

Some electricians may specialize in specific areas of the industry, such as residential, commercial, or industrial. Residential electricians install and repair wiring in homes and other dwellings, while commercial electricians work on larger-scale installations in offices, retail stores, schools, and other commercial spaces. Other specialty electricians include marine electricians, hospital electricians, and theater electricians, who are tasked with hanging, focusing, and operating stage lighting instruments and equipment.


Electricians are responsible for ensuring that the electricity flowing through a home, office, or industrial building remains safe and functional. They do this by conducting routine inspections, testing, and repairs on a regular basis. The process involves using devices such as voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and ohmmeters to examine electrical systems and equipment. They also review blueprints and schematics to understand the placement of wiring. These electrical industry professionals typically have a large arsenal of tools and supplies that they use to complete their work.

Most facilities will have a maintenance plan or schedule that they follow. This may be based on government regulations or on the type of equipment in the facility. For example, hospitals must ensure that their medical equipment is serviced at a certain interval to keep it in working condition and safe for patients.

The process of maintenance is critical because minor issues can escalate into major problems and even a power outage. This can be devastating to businesses that rely on the flow of electricity for their operations. In some cases, a business may be forced to shut down for hours or weeks until the problem can be resolved. This can result in lost revenue for the company.

Preventive maintenance can help reduce the number of unexpected issues and downtimes. This can save money in the long run as well as improve productivity and efficiency. Electrical preventive maintenance is particularly important for businesses that rely on high-tech machinery, like manufacturing companies and hospitals. This type of equipment often requires a lot of power and must be serviced at regular intervals to keep it running properly.

Performing preventive maintenance can also help reduce the likelihood of fires in industrial settings. According to the National Fire Protection Association, lighting equipment is the leading cause of fires in these facilities, followed by heating equipment. Preventive maintenance can keep these problems from occurring by catching them early on.


The troubleshooting process is a logical and systematic way to analyze a circuit and determine what is causing its faulty operation. It can be a very useful tool for maintenance personnel, who must often deal with malfunctioning equipment in a timely manner to avoid costly downtime and lost productivity.

One of the most important steps in the troubleshooting process is to gather as much information about the problem as possible. This includes knowing how the equipment is supposed to operate as well as identifying any technical documentation that may be available. It is also important to understand the role of malfunctioning equipment within the overall system. This can help you narrow down the source of the problem to a specific component.

Once you have gathered as much information as possible, it is time to start eliminating the possibilities. Use your initial observations to create a list of all the faults that could be responsible for the malfunction. You should then prioritize this list based on the probability that they are the cause of the issue. If a component is very unlikely to be the problem, it should be eliminated from your list.

After you have ruled out all of the potential causes, it is time to perform some tests on the equipment to determine what the actual problem is. This can be done with test instruments such as a multimeter or a volt/ohm meter. You will also want to make sure that you are following your organization’s safety rules and procedures when working on electrical equipment.

It is important to note that many times the root cause of the problem will be obvious and can be identified with careful observation and a little reasoning. For example, it may be as simple as a GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker being tripped or a fuse blowing. In these cases, the repair is generally quick and inexpensive.

However, some problems are more complex and require a deeper analysis of the circuit. In these cases, it is helpful to have a thorough understanding of the components in the circuit and how they interact with each other. This can be accomplished by studying a schematic diagram of the circuit or utilizing the information provided by the manufacturer.


Licensed electricians, also known as master electricians, have undergone extensive on-the-job training. This is accomplished through a trade school or an apprenticeship program that lasts up to four years. Apprentices receive paid employment while learning the trade, and some even get college credits.

These professionals are detail-oriented. They work with blueprints and technical diagrams to install, maintain, or repair electrical systems and equipment at construction sites. They may work as part of a team to execute plans drawn up by an electrical engineer or as independent contractors who contract out their services.

The primary duties of a master electrician include reading and interpreting schematics and installing and connecting wires, circuit breakers, outlets, and other electrical equipment. They are knowledgeable of national electrical codes, local ordinances, and safety rules. They are skilled in using specialized tools, including oscilloscopes, ammeters, and voltmeters, to troubleshoot problems and make adjustments.

There are several different specialties for electricians, and many states require licenses at various levels of experience. These include linepersons, who work on electric utility company distribution systems and deal with higher voltages, and inside wiremen, who are skilled at the lower voltages used in buildings. Other sub-specialties include industrial, commercial, fire alarm, and low-voltage data wiring, which is often called voice-data-video (VDV).

If you’re interested in becoming a licensed electrician, it’s important to talk with professionals in your area. Ask if you can shadow them on a job or assist them on one of their projects to gain hands-on experience in the field. You should also look into trade schools in your area to learn about their programs and requirements.

In addition to gaining on-the-job training, apprentices and journeymen must pass a licensing exam before moving up to master electrician status. This is typically a closed-book, multiple-choice test covering the National Electrical Code and local regulations. In addition, the master must have performed well in the trade for a period of time, usually seven to ten years, and have passed an examination to demonstrate superior knowledge of the National Electrical Code, or NEC.


How Commercial Electrical Installations Differ from Residential Installations

Commercial electrical involves installing, inspecting, and repairing electrical systems in larger properties like offices, malls, medical offices, restaurants, and retail stores. Commercial electricians often work at night and early in the morning to avoid disrupting business operations.Electrical Installations

Similar to residential electricians, commercial contractors must meet compliance standards and understand all aspects of wiring. However, they must also understand the specific electricity and power requirements of a particular workplace. For more details, visit

There are several wiring methods that can be used in commercial electrical installations. Each of these has its own benefits and disadvantages. The type of wiring method that is chosen can depend on several factors, including cost, safety, and the ability to accommodate future expansions in the electrical system.

One of the most common types of wiring in commercial buildings is parallel wiring, which is connected together so that each device can be powered by a single circuit. This type of wiring is most popular because it provides more flexibility and allows for easier troubleshooting. It also allows for a higher amount of power to be provided.

Another type of commercial electrical wiring is called series wiring, which is more complicated and less flexible. This is more likely to be found in older buildings or industrial settings. In this type of wiring, the phase and neutral conductors are branched in junction boxes. This allows for more devices to be powered by a single circuit, but it can also create a potential fire hazard if one of the devices is damaged.

In raceway and conduit wiring, electrical cables are run through a system of metal or PVC conduits or tubing. These systems are field-fabricated and based on design plans and specifications. Each raceway and conductor installation consists of multiple insulated phase, neutral, and equipment ground conductors.

Other types of commercial electrical wiring include surface conduit, which involves running cables on the surface of a wall or ceiling. The cables are then attached to wood, porcelain, or plastic cleats that are fixed at regular intervals. This type of wiring is often used in industrial environments because it can protect the cables from damage caused by rodents.

The third type of commercial electrical wiring is known as “batten wiring.” This method uses insulated wires that are fitted into wooden battens. These battens are fastened to the walls and ceiling using rust-resistant nails. The cables are then taken through the cleats, and the cleats are secured with link clips. This type of wiring is inexpensive and easy to install, but it is not suitable for permanent use.

Wiring Materials

There are a number of different types of wiring materials used in commercial electrical installations. The type of material used will depend on the requirements of the project. In some cases, the wiring material will also depend on whether it is a temporary or permanent installation. The different types of wiring materials are rated for their resistance to heat, corrosion, and other factors that can damage the cable or cause it to malfunction.

The most common wiring materials in commercial applications are copper and aluminum conductors. These are commonly available in a variety of sizes and are used for a wide range of purposes. For example, copper is commonly used for power cables and low-level measurement or signal wiring. On the other hand, aluminum is used for bulk power transmission and large feeder circuits that require heavy current loads.

Conductors are insulated with various materials, such as plastic, rubber, and neoprene, depending on the specific needs of the project. In some cases, the insulation may be covered with a metal sheath to protect it from mechanical damage or chemical effects. This is often the case with underground or hazardous-environment cables.

When conducting wires are running behind walls or through ceiling surfaces, they are referred to as “concealed conduit wiring.” This type of wiring is typically used in industrial facilities or for interlinking machinery in factories. The cables can be run on porcelain, wood, or plastic cleats. These cleats are fixed to the wall or ceiling at regular intervals, and the cables are fastened to them using link clips.

Another type of wiring that is popular in the commercial industry is known as mineral-insulated and metal-sheathed (MI). This type of wire is a good choice for emergency systems and can reduce electromagnetic fields in sensitive areas. It is also suitable for use in direct burial or dry conduit runs.

The raceway and conductor method is commonly used for larger commercial buildings. It consists of metallic or nonmetallic conduit or tubing with multiple insulated phase, neutral, and equipment ground conductors. The individual conductors are usually field-fabricated to match the building’s design and specifications.

Code Requirements

Electrical setups in commercial spaces differ from residential structures in several ways, including power requirements and safety standards. Commercial electrical installations must also provide sufficient lighting and support a range of equipment, from large machinery to computers and office technology. The setup must also include a backup power supply in case of a blackout or other disaster, and the electrical system should meet specific safety standards to protect occupants from hazards such as shock and fire.

A qualified electrical contractor will assess a commercial space’s power needs, determine the building’s electrical load, and design an efficient and reliable system. During this process, the electrician or contractor will consider factors such as the number and types of devices to be powered, the building’s function and use, and the amount of natural light available. They will then determine how to distribute the electrical energy throughout the building, from a main panel to subpanels and wiring.

The National Electric Code, or NFPA 70, contains the minimum standards for safe electrical installations. This standard, along with the International Fire Code and the International Property Maintenance Code, applies to all new construction, alterations, and repairs to electrical components, appliances, fixtures, and equipment.

Unlike residential projects, where the electrical wires are hidden behind walls or ceilings, commercial projects require an open layout that allows inspectors to verify the quality of the work. Having open and easily accessible wiring is also important because it can help identify any splices that are exposed or incorrect, which can pose a fire hazard and must be fixed immediately to prevent accidents.


A commercial electrical project can be quite different from a residential one due to the scale and types of equipment used. It’s not uncommon for commercial projects to have many more circuits, larger breaker systems, and much more complex machinery. Because of this, it’s important that a certified electrician is working on these installations, as they have the expertise required to work with such complex wiring and power outlets.

It’s also crucial for businesses to ensure their electrical systems are safe. To do this, they will need to carry out EICR testing on their premises. This is a full-scale inspection of the wiring and installation and will detail any issues that could pose a risk to the business. This will need to be done by a qualified electrician, and businesses should arrange for this to take place at least every 5 years.

The Commercial Wiring Certificate is the second tier in understanding the National Electric Code and covers such topics as conduit bending, installing raceways, and using the NEC to calculate wire sizing. This course is a must-take for any electrician who wants to advance their career to become a licensed journeyman or red-sealed master electrician.

To become a licensed journeyman electrician in Alaska, you need to have completed at least three years of experience as a registered apprentice electrician under the supervision of a contracting master electrician or have graduated from an approved program with more than 80 hours of electrical learning. Additionally, you must have completed a minimum of 30 hours of occupational safety and health administration training for the construction industry and NFPA 70E training on work protocols.

It’s also recommended that you obtain an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) on your commercial property once a year. This will help you ensure that your electrical system is safe, and if any issues are found, you can get them fixed promptly. These tests can prevent fires, electrocution, and other serious accidents from happening, so it’s vital that you don’t neglect them.