Regardless of their specialty, electrical workers need excellent communication and problem-solving skills. They must also be able to perform precise work with steady hands and keen eyesight. Depending on the state, electricians can either get licensed as a journeyman or master electricians. They must pass an exam to receive their license.
A lineworker is a type of electrician who builds, maintains, and repairs overhead or underground electrical power lines. This is a specialized career that requires a great deal of physical fitness and a good understanding of electricity and electrical equipment.
A typical day as a lineman involves working on both maintenance and installation tasks. Maintenance involves working on existing power lines, including repairing aging systems and replacing worn-out cables.
In the installation phase, linemen use digger derricks or bucket trucks to dig holes and set poles for new lines. These types of large machines can safely transport transmission linemen up to 200 feet in the air.
Some community colleges and trade schools offer electrical power line technician training programs that can be completed in as little as 12 weeks. These programs may include classes in electrical safety, telecommunications, electronics, and hands-on fieldwork.
A wireworker is one who manufactures articles from wire, such as wine bottles or corks. They are primarily responsible for wiring residential and commercial buildings.
A wireworker also installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems. Their work is usually done inside a building or home, but they may also work outside without a roof.
During their apprenticeships, electricians and wireworkers receive practical training. Those aspiring to be inside wireworkers or residential wireworkers shadow journeymen to practice connecting and repairing electrical appliances in homes and businesses.
Wireworkers use automated equipment or hand tools to cut, strip, bend, and crimp wires and leads to prepare components for mounting onto printed circuit boards or other electronic assemblies. They may also insert wires into automatic numbering or color-coding machines to imprint part numbers or color codes. This career requires strong communication skills and teamwork.
A residential electrician is a professional who installs and repairs wiring in private homes. This type of work includes installing new wiring systems, replacing outlets or lighting, and more.
A residential electrician typically works on smaller-scale projects and is usually the most common type of electrician to call when a home is experiencing electrical problems. He or she can also safely install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which can help protect you and your family from electrical shock if water gets into the electrical system.
If you enjoy interacting with people and dealing with personal property, a career as a residential electrician may be right for you. Commercial electricians, on the other hand, are more likely to work in large buildings with more complex electrical systems and a higher voltage.
Commercial electricians work in non-residential settings like restaurants, offices, and stores. Their responsibilities include troubleshooting and repairing the wiring and electrical devices in these settings.
They may also install security systems, lighting, and other electronics in commercial spaces. They are also responsible for following safety guidelines and building codes when conducting their duties.
Both residential and commercial electricians complete their education through apprenticeship programs or vocational schools. They learn about the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the proper installation of wires, breakers, and other electrical equipment.
They may also undergo extensive training in industrial environments where they are tasked with the maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of complex electrical systems. This means that they are more specialized and skilled than other electricians. They must have a strong work ethic and be able to think quickly on their feet in stressful situations. Having these skills is essential for any business owner or manager to consider. They are also highly regarded for their expertise in ensuring the safety of their clients and colleagues.