What is a Commercial Electrician?
You may have heard of an electrician, but did you know there was such a thing as a commercial electrician? What do they do, and how can you become one?
Here are five fast facts about commercial electricians you may not know.
1. Commercial electricians do commercial electrical work.
What does a commercial electrician do? Sullivan Electric Company LLC, an Electrician in Cherry Hill NJ, says that commercial electricians design, install, and maintain electrical systems in commercial buildings. Commercial buildings are frequented by many people. These buildings are big and these positions usually require extensive education such as apprenticeships.
These types of electricians are required to be licensed, too. Think about your favorite store or restaurant. These are the types of buildings where commercial electricians have installed electrical systems.
PayScale says that some common commercial electrician tasks are troubleshooting and repairing electrical equipment and performing preventative maintenance on equipment. These types of electricians also evaluate and make recommendations involving required maintenance and repairs.
2. You’ll either need an associate’s degree or apprenticeship to become a commercial electrician.
It probably isn’t a surprise that in many states, it is considered illegal to do any type of electrical work without having an electrician’s license. The only exception to this rule is when electrical work is done inside your house.
If you want to become a commercial electrician, you’ll need to either get an associate’s degree or complete an apprenticeship. After using an associate’s degree as a starting point, many electricians complete an apprenticeship before entering the field.
Some educational institutions even offer an associate’s degree program with a few focused core education requirements. At the end of the program, the student is given an apprenticeship by means of an agreement with an electrical contractor.
While you’re in school earning your associate’s degree, you’ll be learning the basics of pneumatics and hydraulics. Magnetic motor controls and programmable logic controllers are also something you’ll learn.
In your training, you’ll install circuits, install alarm and motor systems, process measurements, and complete instruction with natural gas delivery systems.
3. There are unique physical and mental demands of being a commercial electrician.
While you may not have thought much about the physical and mental demands of being an electrician, these demands still exist. What are they, you may ask? One of the first things you’ll have to do as an electrician is to discern color. This is because wiring is typically color-coded.
You’ll also be standing most of the day, climbing ladders, and even staying in uncomfortable positions for an extended period of time. You’ll probably need to be able to lift about 50 pounds up to eye level.
Love working with tools? Commercial electricians use many different types of tools such as screwdrivers, sawzalls, knives, pliers, power tools, pipe threaders, test meters and conduit benders. On top of that, there’s the possibility of working with heavier equipment based on the employer.
Before you can begin studying to become an electrician, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. You’ll need to focus more on learning algebra. This is because electricians make load calculations for their electrical circuits.
Want to see a commercial electrician at work? Check out this video.
4. There is a difference between an industrial electrician and commercial electrician.
These job titles sound similar, but there is actually a difference between an industrial electrician and commercial electrician. For one, different training is required for each job title and these take place in different environments.
But both are electricians, right? Of course. According to PMI, both job titles have a core foundation of basic electrical knowledge. However, it is how their training is applied that defines the two different job titles.
The most common job title between the two is commercial electrical work. The common work environment for a commercial electrician is one that is used by the masses, such as retail buildings.
When a commercial electrician completes his work in a building, he has ensured that the electrical and wiring components of the building are safely and efficiently functioning. Electricians are required to work on a higher voltage electrical systems that accompany a large air conditioning unit or large heating unit, too.
So what does an industrial electrician do? Despite the similar name, an industrial electrician has completed more schooling and training. For example, many have to complete several years of apprenticeship training. This ensures that the electrician is properly trained.
Industrial electricians often work in manufacturing facilities where power needs are much different than the typical needs of other buildings. As an industrial electrician, you’ll diagnose issues from the highest voltage systems to the smallest units of electricity. So, even though the titles may sound similar, the job descriptions are actually quite different.
The job market for commercial electricians is growing steadily.
If you’re looking for a job with a big market, then becoming a commercial electrician could be for you. According to study.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that there will be a faster than average job growth for electricians from 2014-2024.
Also, many electricians use this position as a stepping stone into becoming an electrical engineer. So, it appears that the job opportunities for a commercial electrician are plentiful.
In case you’re wondering what the average salary for commercial electricians is, PayScale has estimated that it hovers around $55,000 a year. However, the pay scale can range from $38,000 to $102,000 a year.
If you are interested in becoming an electrician, you may find these five facts especially helpful. In this article, we have learned that commercial electricians typically work in commercial buildings. We’ve also learned that many commercial electricians start out with earning an associate’s degree and progress to an apprenticeship.
We’ve discussed a commercial electrician’s typical salary and how their job market is expected to grow over the next ten years. You’ve also learned the important difference between a commercial and industrial electrician.
Hopefully, these five facts about commercial electricians can help to give you more information about what to expect with this career.