What Does an Electrician Do?

Electrician Delray Beach installs and maintains electrical infrastructure in buildings and on building sites. They are required to read and understand electrical diagrams and adhere to current building codes.Electrician

This job requires critical thinking skills and manual dexterity to work with a variety of specialized tools, including voltmeters, ammeters, ohmmeters, and drills. Many electricians complete a formal apprenticeship as part of their education and licensing requirements.

A residential electrician is a licensed professional who specializes in providing power to homes. They are often called upon to install or repair various types of electrical equipment, including fixtures like lamps, switches, and outlets. Residential electricians also have the ability to work on low-voltage systems that are common in homes, such as doorbells, thermostats, and landscape lighting.

In addition to repairing and installing wiring, residential electricians may be called on to test circuits to ensure that they are functioning properly. They are also able to provide advice about electrical safety and energy efficiency.

Some homeowners are not aware of precisely what their responsibilities are when it comes to their electrical system. Typically, the electricity utility company is responsible for the line portion of the electric service to a home, which includes all equipment up to and including the power meter on the outside of the house. However, when it comes to the actual cables that run from the service drop to the home’s service panel, a homeowner should never attempt to do any work on them without a qualified professional present. These cables are live at all times, even when the home is not using any electrical appliances.

Another issue that a residential electrician is likely to encounter is when a homeowner’s circuit breakers keep tripping. This is usually because the home’s electrical service is overloaded. It is possible for a licensed electrician to “heavy-up” the home’s service panel so that it can handle the additional load without tripping the breaker.

In addition to working on electrical installations and repairs in residential settings, a licensed electrician can also assist with commercial projects. They are skilled at interpreting blueprints, diagrams and technical specifications in order to plan and execute electrical installations and upgrades. Electricians are also knowledgeable about local building codes and safety regulations, and they adhere to these standards in their work. As a result, they help to prevent fires, electrocutions and other dangerous incidents.


Commercial electricians often work with big industrial settings like schools, shopping centres and hospitals. They are responsible for the electrical units and systems that power everything from lighting, security and HVAC to data networks.

Electrical work in a commercial setting often requires more knowledge and skill than residential projects. This is because the building occupants are likely to put more strain on the system than homeowners do. For example, a warehouse that houses a number of people working 40+ hours a week can place a lot of demand on the building’s electrical system, making regular repairs essential.

As well as the heavy power usage, there are also a number of different electrical systems in commercial buildings that can require maintenance or repair. For instance, there may be a need for audio-visual equipment to help create the right atmosphere and environment in a retail or office setting. Similarly, an effective HVAC system can help keep everyone in a business feeling comfortable.

All of these different requirements can cause a large number of electrical problems that need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. This is because any downtime or disruptions can affect the productivity of a business and, in turn, the bottom line. Luckily, a skilled and experienced commercial electrician can deal with a wide range of electrical issues quickly and efficiently.

One major difference between commercial and residential electrical work is the wiring used. Residential wiring is typically enclosed in plastic sheathing to prevent children or pets from touching it, but commercial wiring is more commonly run through conduit that can be easily accessed when necessary for maintenance or repairs.

Another key difference between the two is the voltage of the electricity involved. While a residential setting typically uses single-phase power that runs between 120 and 240 volts, a commercial space will often use three-phase power that can operate at up to 480 volts. This means that the cabling used is thicker and has more insulation, allowing it to cope with the higher load. This also makes it more resistant to damage caused by impacts or heat.


Industrial electrical services are a specialty type of electrical work that includes installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems for industrial facilities like factories and production plants. This is a different type of work than that done by residential electricians, and requires more specialized training and licensure. Industrial electrical contractors must deal with high voltage equipment and sensitive machinery, and are often required to work in dangerous environments.

Some of the main tasks an industrial electrical contractor will perform include designing unique electrical systems and professionally engineering those systems. They will also be responsible for performing construction sequencing and evaluating the costs associated with a project. In addition, they will need to be able to track and monitor all safety metrics during the project’s completion.

Another way an industrial electrician differs from a commercial one is in the types of projects they are qualified to take on. Domestic electricians are primarily trained to work on wiring and electrical systems in homes, while commercial electricians are more qualified to take on bigger jobs like massive company structures and complex power distribution networks. Commercial electricians will also have more experience working with three-phase circuits that run higher voltage levels than the single-phase circuits used in homes.

Lastly, industrial electrical contractors are typically trained to be familiar with all aspects of process machinery installation. They will often need to repair pre-existing machines at their client’s facilities, and must be able to communicate clearly with the machine operators to understand why the machine is experiencing issues. This also helps ensure that the industrial electrician is aware of any potential pitfalls that may arise during the repair process.

A person interested in becoming an industrial electrician can take a number of courses to prepare themselves. For example, the National Career College offers a 2-year program called “Industrial & Commercial Wiring,” which includes classroom instruction and hands-on lab experience as well as a summer internship opportunity. The curriculum includes classes on the basics of electricity, electrical theory, wiring applications, programmable controls and three-phase power distribution. The program has been a great success for many students who have gone on to have successful careers in the trade.


Electricians help keep homes, businesses and industries connected to power sources. They install wiring and fixtures, inspect equipment for safety, perform electrical repairs and more. They also ensure compliance with local and national electrical codes and safety protocols. Other duties include communicating with clients and collaborating with other tradespeople to design and build electrical systems. They may work outdoors or indoors, depending on the project and environment.

Most electricians complete an apprenticeship after trade school or community college, followed by a period of on-the-job training with a journeyman electrician. Apprenticeships are either union or non-union. If they are union, participants pay dues while working and learn the craft from experienced electricians. If they are non-union, they attend a trade school and follow a specific program to receive an associate’s degree before beginning their apprenticeship. Both options require extensive hands-on learning and a commitment to becoming a skilled and licensed professional.

Once an electrician has reached the journeyperson level, they can perform most duties independently, but they cannot lead jobs or “pull permits.” To gain these permissions, they must pass a rigorous exam, often administered by a master electrician. Master electricians have proven their expertise in the field, usually by performing well as a journeyman for seven to ten years.

While the majority of electricians work with residential, commercial and industrial properties, some specialize in one or another. These specialists can handle complex projects and equipment, such as high voltage work. They are also trained to troubleshoot problems and make informed decisions about repairs, upgrades and other electrical needs.

In addition to installing electrical components and fixtures, some electricians work on power generation equipment, such as generators and transformers. They also perform routine maintenance, including testing and cleaning of equipment to prevent failures.

Electricians often work with contractors and engineers to design electrical systems for new construction projects. They can also be hired to assess existing electrical infrastructure in older buildings, then recommend upgrades or repairs to bring them up to code. This is an excellent career choice for those interested in problem-solving and analyzing data.