What is a Residential Electrician?
When choosing a career in electrical work you’ll face a number of choices, including what kind of electrician you want to be. There are two main types of wireman electricians: residential and commercial. The big distinction is that residential electricians work in buildings that are residences, single-family homes and small apartment buildings.
What Does a Residential Electrician Do?
A residential electrician is a skilled and licensed professional who works in residential buildings to install, maintain, inspect and repair wiring and electrical systems and components. Depending on level of experience and supervisory duties, a residential electrician may also lead teams of workers and plan and diagram electrical projects. Some of the typical duties and responsibilities of residential electricians are:
- Reading and interpreting technical drawings and blueprints
- Inspecting electrical components to ensure they work correctly and safely
- Installing new wiring, lighting and other electrical components
- Maintaining electrical systems
- Diagnosing problems in wiring and electrical systems and fixing them
- Replacing old or broken components
- Being aware of and following local and national regulations for electrical systems and safety
The Work Environment
Most residential electricians work for contracting companies or construction companies or are self-employed. If you are self-employed you will be able to choose the jobs you want to do, while if you work for a company you will have fewer options. Electricians travel each day to a job site, which may be new construction or an existing residential building, and may work alone or in teams depending on the size of the job. A job may be to install all new wiring and components or to work on existing or older systems.
Electrical work does come with some safety risks, and in fact <ahref=”https: www.bls.gov=”” ooh=”” construction-and-extraction=”” electricians.htm#tab-3″=””>electricians have higher rates of injuries than average across other occupations. As a residential electrician you will face the potential for electric shocks, falls, fires, and injuries related to equipment and tools and simply being in a construction site. Being trained to work safely and using safety gear can help reduce the risks. </ahref=”https:>
Required Training and Licensing
Each state, and even some municipalities, has set requirements for how electricians are trained and licensed. These may vary but are similar. Generally, residential electricians must be licensed through the state and have a certain number of hours of classroom learning and on-the-job training and work experience.
The most common path to becoming a licensed residential electrician is to join and complete an apprenticeship program. One of these programs will provide all the required hours of learning and training and also allows you to start earning while you train. Most programs provide everything you need to work in residential settings, but to become a commercial electrician or to work in a specialty area you may need additional training and licensing.
Salary and Outlook for Residential Electricians
The job outlook for residential electricians is positive across the country. Existing buildings will always need upgrades, repairs and maintenance to electrical systems, while new residences need qualified electricians to install wiring and lighting. The growth in the industry is strong at nine percent and ensures there will be thousands of new jobs available in the coming years.
The salary is also good for residential electricians. You may not earn a lot as an apprentice, but once you have the experience and are licensed you can look forward to the average salary of $54,110 or more. The highest paid electricians make over $90,000 annually.
As a residential electrician you can expect to have a stable career that pays well and that is interesting and different every day. With just a few years of paid training you can learn to become a licensed electrician and get this career off the ground.