Electricians are employed to construct new electrical equipment or the repair and maintenance of existing electrical infrastructure. Most commonly, electricians are used by building contractors to provide electrical wiring and safety measures in multi-story buildings and commercial office buildings. In addition to installing wiring and equipment, electricians perform routine maintenance and repairs on electrical equipment such as furnaces, water heaters, generators, and cable tracks. Electricians are also responsible for wiring the ventilation system of commercial buildings and offices. This maintenance is necessary to ensure the various appliances, equipment, and systems that make up the commercial building or office.
When contractors require the services of electricians, they often request them from several different electrical work specialists. These electricians include linemen, voltage monitors, voltage regulators, and field service technicians. Electricians who wish to work as contractors must pass a licensing exam. To become licensed, electricians must complete either a one-year Associate’s degree or a two-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or technical school. Electricians who perform maintenance work must also be registered with the Department of Financial Services (DFRS) and receive training, classroom instruction, and certification.
Many homeowners hire electricians to do general electrical work around the house such as lighting, appliances, wiring, and installation of exterior shutters. Homeowners may also enlist the help of electricians to install motion detectors and security cameras. Electricians employed by general contractors may perform plumbing, heating, and electrical services in addition to lighting, and may perform a variety of specialty tasks. Contractors who work for general contracting firms have typically gone to a four-year university and completed a number of hands-on training courses and apprenticeships.
Many electricians seek out mentors and apprentices because they have an innate interest in electrical systems. The level of education needed to qualify as an apprentice will depend on the type of apprenticeship program an electrician has joined, but the majority of apprenticeships require some level of experience. Some electricians work their way up from working as journeymen electricians who complete two or three years of apprenticeship programs and work their way up from there.
Journeyman electricians work under the supervision of experienced electricians and perform the same work. These electricians are responsible for performing routine maintenance work, such as replacing fuse boxes, changing light bulbs, and fixing outlets. If an electrician wishes to work unsupervised, he or she may work in a shop that does the installation work only. This type of electricians is typically hired directly by a manufacturer, where he or she may not need any further instruction.
Roofing contractors and attic electricians often work with contractors who install or replace lighting, plumbing, and electrical equipment in homes. They supervise the work of the general contractor, which includes insulating the ceiling, insulating a basement, finishing interior walls, installing drywall, and connecting wiring. Contractors hire new workers and train apprentices in laying new carpets and installing drywall. It takes four to six months for workers to be able to work unsupervised. Sometimes, the work is continued by a third contractor to finish the last aspects of the job.
Many homeowners hire electrical contractors to do repairs on their own when they accidentally break a wire, trip a breaker, or connect a wire to something they aren’t supposed to. These repairs may include fixing the light switch, removing old wiring, rebuilding an electrical panel, installing new wiring, replacing dead circuits, and sometimes changing a water leak or repairing flood damage to a home. Some electrical contractors will do electrical panel repairs, install new wiring, change a water leakage, install new water pipes, or fix a flooded cellar. Electrical contractors may also work on larger jobs such as installing a new hot water heater.
There are many types of jobs that electricians can do and most electrical contractors have at least one specific skill that you may find useful. Most electricians start by installing new wiring in homes before they take on more complex jobs. You should make sure that the electrician you hire has experience working with all kinds of wiring including copper, cabling, ribbon, electrical tape, coaxial cable, TV wires, telephone wires, and any combination of these. Electrical installation specialists should also be able to diagnose any problems with your electrical system and make suggestions about how to fix them.