Most of us have only a general idea of what an electrician really does. They know how to install or fix wiring systems and they generally know how to make a home or building set up for lighting and power needs. In practice, professional that work for electrical companies must have an exceptionally wide base of knowledge. To understand what exactly an electrician is, we can look at the training they must have and all of the tasks that they can handle.
Essentially, the pros at electrical companies can do all of the following:
- install and repair electrical wiring and circuit breakers
- construct custom lighting systems
- set up wiring for security alarm systems
- interpret blueprints and other technical instructions
- troubleshoot problems such as power loss
- ensure that an electrical system meets all government regulations
- communicate with other contractors during construction or renovation
Training and education before working for electrical companies
Electrical companies need employees to come prepared for the job. Electricians have typically completed a technical school program for electrical work, sometimes with specialized focuses such as residential or commercial work. Even seasoned veterans of the trade will take courses now and then to stay up-to-date in their knowledge of industry standards and the newest technologies.
Many electricians complete an official apprenticeship at the start of their career. Many respectable electrical companies have their own programs to pair experienced electricians with apprentices to ensure that everyone receives hands-on learning.
Before becoming fully certified and ready to work on their own, electrical companies will make sure that each electrician has a strong understanding of all the relevant math and science as well as the specifics of electrical systems and safety standards.
Tasks handled by professional electricians
In addition to the bulleted list above, electricians must be equipped to handle a large variety of work. Electricians may focus more on construction or repair work, and residential, commercial, or industrial systems.
In new construction, electrical companies handle the task of designing and installing the electrical system and wiring that a given building or home needs. For renovation and repair projects, the work can include retrofitting and updating a system to meet current standards and provide a safe, modern, reliable electrical system.
Being an electrician means much more than just knowing how to connect wires. the diagrams and blueprints used by electrical companies involve complicated codes and instructions that need to be interpreted accurately. Likewise, the work can be more or less complicated depending on the needs of the building, and wiring systems need to be installed with precision and expertise. Poorly installed wiring can cause serious fire hazards and fixing a system that has already been installed can require extensive work, especially if wiring inside the walls needs to be replaced. For these reasons, electrical companies need to only employ electricians with the knowledge and experience required to perform reliably impeccable work.
Specialties among electricians
A great electrician should understand be able to provide any electrical service, but many professionals focus their career on one or more areas. Electrical companies will commonly feature either residential electricians or inside electricians.
Inside work refers to commercial and factory systems that involve heavy machinery and special wiring and equipment. Commercial electrical companies also handle related services like outdoor lighting for businesses. Residential work includes the breaker systems and wiring inside and outside a home, as well as specialty systems like home audio systems and security alarms.