Residential Electricians
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The Difference Between Industrial and Residential Electricians

There can sometimes be some confusion between all the different types of electricians available on the market, and with the advent of modernity and various technology, there have additional sub-categories added to the mix. According to this source, there are 23 different types of electricians based on their skills, certifications, and specializations, and growing.

Even though you may think they are all the same because they call themselves “an electrician” this is far from the truth. The foundations of the education may be similar, however, everything else, including the job specifications, core subjects, and the certifications differ.

Another element that separates each qualification is the setting in which these individuals work. The places they work in can be as dissimilar as chalk and cheese, and we’re here to clarify this concept for you, so the next time you need to hire a professional you know exactly who can work on your task and in your home. So, what are the differences between these two types: Residential or Domestic Electrician, and Industrial Electrician? You are about to find out.

A Residential or Domestic Electrician

Residential Electricians

Unless you’re a “jack of all trades”, the art of working with complex elements such as electricity, and wiring, may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Which is why society provides us with specialists who can help us out. 

The residential workers are possibly the most common types of electricians on the market. Everyone wants to be a residential or domestic electrician, but only a few get through the stringent processes of becoming one; from the studying to the training and apprenticeships, to the examinations.

Senior residential electricians have the licenses to instruct, or, supervise their team, helping with the planning and laying out of all electrical projects. Specific companies can also be hired regularly to perform various relevant duties such as switchboard repairs and upgrades, or telephone and data cabling. A further list of examples of these duties can be found here:

In the residential setting, they have several different responsibilities, which include but may not be limited to, repairing and replacing any broken electrical components such as lights, house alarms, cameras, switches, sockets for instance.

They would also be the ones to hire for when you just moved into a new house or are upgrading it, and even when the need arises to be eco-friendlier and swap all your high voltage light bulbs to a more efficient type such as LED lights; they would handle these tasks easily, for you. Plus, it would probably take them half the time and with a higher level of quality, then if you were to do it yourself.

Additional assistance they provide include reading any blueprints that may be too technical for others on sites to figure out, and they can also test all the components inside the residential unit to check for any loose wiring or open electrical hazardous such as sockets.

The Types of Voltage and Power Supplies they Work With

These types of electricians would generally work with power supplies in the single-phase categories. Which means anything between 120 and 240V, inside and outside of any apartments and residential spaces. There are two kinds of phases, namely the single-phase and the three-phase.

The former is a two-wire ac or an alternating current with one power wire and one neutral one, and the latter is a three-wire ac that has a circuit with a signal that’s 120 degrees apart. Domestic settings usually have the single-phase currents, because the three-phase ones have much higher loads.

An Industrial Electrician

Industrial Electricians

These professionals work mainly in sectors that involve manufacturing facilities, power plants, and chemical plants, that require a lot of heavy and large equipment and machinery to operate. It entails a lot more power and electrical work than say someone who works in a domestic setting. They would also be skilled at working with the three-phase power supply and higher loads.

They would typically travel from one job site to the next wherever the need arises to fix things but will not (and should not) set foot on any domestic property for work purposes. The certification required as an experienced industrial electrician is gotten either during their work while being an apprentice or while operating on a journeyman status.

In terms of education, they must attain at least a high school diploma at the minimum, alongside an apprentice program, and attend any classes necessary for it. They would also typically be required to attend anywhere between 8000 to 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, after which they will write an exam, which they of course would need to pass to be handed their certificate.

Initially, when they start working in a real-life situation, they will be supervised by a senior, but once they get the hang of it and the supervisors feel like they are adapting to work on their own, they can send them out to a job on their own. This is something you should check with them, in terms of how long they have been working for, unsupervised.

The Work Experience Required

The on-site experience required for this discipline involves being able to install equipment that necessitates specific knowledge of an industry such as the manufacturing or construction one. In an environment such as a food processing plant, for instance, the ability to perform different types of wiring is compulsory, as well as something like the different kinds of procedures involved in working within the automotive facilities.

The main thing for anyone in this field is the need to understand the difference between all types of industries. So, if you hire one for your factory that manufactures cars and he has more knowledge of the chemicals industry, you would need to clarify and rethink this. As with all skills, there are more advanced industrial electricians, and they are further involved in aspects such as control wiring and operational processes that require machinery and relevant equipment within the business.

Specific Work They Would Do

If you are looking for someone who can handle working with micro-currents to high voltage components or is skilled in installing electrical components and systems for the manufacturing industry, this would be the best person for the job. They would be able to troubleshoot any electronics and controls or determine the installation of power conductors is done properly, to reduce any interference with any of the systems. They would also perform any inspections on machinery and verify if there is an accurate grounding of the system as required, including repairing any electrical components and doing regular maintenance thereof.

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1 Comment

  1. Joann C.Go says:

    Wow!!! This is an eye opener for us Filipinos. “Electrician” is what we call anyone who can fix the light bulb or the circuit breaker. Thru this article, we can now ask these so called “electrician” if they are educated to be one and capable to sort residential electrical problems. Thank you so much for writing this article.

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