The electrician’s job description is quite detailed and extensive. There is so much more to it than simply installing and maintaining electrical systems. In this day and age, when the world is turning to new ways of sourcing energy, the electrician’s job description is more diverse than ever before.
What’s more, the different types of electricians each have their own unique set of responsibilities. They are divided into three main groups: journeyman, apprentice, and commercial electrician. However, before we look at each of these, we need to understand the basics of what the average electrician does.
What Do Electricians Do?
The first and foremost responsibility of an electrician is the installation, testing and maintenance of electrical wiring systems. This requires him/her to have a solid understanding of electricity and all its components.
The electrician should be knowledgeable in the use of testing equipment, and they should be able to use a variety of power tools – both come in handy when a problem needs to be identified and fixed. This also requires them to be rather fit, as the job is often physically draining.
An electrician should also know how to approach and rig electrical systems so they are safe to both themselves and others. This also entails the electrician being able to diagnose the health of a system and adjust it accordingly so as to avoid disastrous accidents. They also need to be able to identify when appliances are unhealthy, and should be able to address such problems.
As an electrician works in buildings and construction areas, he/she need to have a good understanding of the codes and regulations involved when working in such areas. If not, their licenses can be revoked by the local authorities.
Another part of the job, that is often overlooked, is the ability to run an independent business. This calls for the electrician to be able to gauge costs, work out quotes, handle taxes and build up good contacts in his/her network. They also need to be able to fulfill basic administration duties.
These are the general tasks allotted to electricians across the board.
Journeyman Electrician Job Description
The journeyman electrician is fully qualified, and can operate individually. More often than not, journeyman electricians work on construction sites, developing and installing electrical systems. However, they are also fully licensed to work in homes – these residential jobs often become a steady source of income.
The types of systems that the journeyman installs and maintains are rather diverse, ranging from communication networks to lighting. A journeyman is highly skilled across a range of electrical principles, and he/she often own their own business. They are fully licensed, have gained their qualification, and can take on apprentices.
They journeyman is required to be able to fulfill all the responsibilities allotted to electricians in general.
Electrician Apprentice Job Description
An electrician apprentice is there to learn on the job. He/she is more often than not currently studying to become an electrician while they complete their apprenticeship (which can take approximately four years to complete).
The electrician apprentice aids the journeyman in a variety of tasks, according to his/her current level of education. The purpose of the apprenticeship is to face electrical problems with a mentor at hand to help and assist. The apprentice may have to do anything, or even everything, that the task at hand requires.
It is worthy to note that, according to the field the apprentice has chosen, jobs may differ – Journeyman apprenticeships differ from commercial apprenticeships. But more often than not the apprentice will be testing and installing systems, as well as identifying problems.
Commercial Electrician Job Description
A commercial electrician is higher qualified, and more specialized than the journeyman – they are often also paid more. He/she often work for big contracting companies who focus on the delivery of certain services. This can include anything from the installation of air-conditioning systems, to the installation and maintenance of specialized heavy machinery in factories.
A commercial electrician is required to have all the basic qualifications and understandings of electrical systems, but he/she is also required to have a unique skill set and knowledge of their chosen field. They need to have a understanding of the codes and regulations pertaining to the specific environment they have chosen to work in, as well as be able to function as a normal electrician if the job so requires.
The above job descriptions offer a general overview of the responsibilities of the journeyman, apprentice, and commercial electrician. However, as new ways of harnessing energy are being discovered every day, the electrician is now also required to learn new skills. Electricians the world over are being challenged, and new areas and disciplines are popping up as discoveries are made. Even the most qualified of electricians are now required to adjust and add new tasks to their job descriptions, such as the maintenance and installation of solar panels. This is good for the industry as whole, and there has never been a better time to be an electrician.