Commercial Residential Industrial Electrician

We get it, there can be a ton of confusion when it comes to different types of electricians.

We’re all electricians, aren’t we all the same? While the three titles may sound similar, they are actually very different. The foundation of the skill set might be in basic electrical knowledge, but the application of their extended training is truly what draws the lines between the three. 

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about why joining the trades is a great idea, we have the information you need here! Or if you're interested in learning more about the different trades, we've broken that down for you too!

Residential Electrician:

  • Education: Residential electricians must obtain a high school diploma, engage in an apprenticeship program, attend classes, 8,000-10,000 hours of on the job experience and the pass a competency exam to then become licensed to perform their work. 
  • Experience: Typically, a residential electrician uses single phase power supplies – 120 or 240 volts. 
  • Worksite: A residential electrician works in homes and apartments.
  • Common jobs: The essential tasks and daily pressures of being a residential electrician typically involve common electrical repairs, wiring newly constructed homes, installing lighting and fixtures, and general home electrical requirements.   

Commercial Electrician:

  • Education: Commercial electricians must obtain a high school diploma, engage in an apprenticeship program, attend classes, 8,000-10,000 hours of on the job experience and the pass a competency exam.
  • Experience: Typically a commercial electrician is performing new construction or installing lighting, receptacles, transformers, and some power distribution.  
  • Worksite: A commercial electrician typically works in commercial buildings, like business offices, retail storesrestaurants and other areas that are readily accessible by the public.  
  • Common jobs: The essential tasks and daily pressures of being a commercial electrician typically involve common electrical repairs and installation of specific equipment. In many cases, the electricians are wiring breaker panels, transformers, generators, lighting, heating and general building requirements.

Industrial Electrician:

  • Education: Industrial electricians must obtain a high school diploma, engage in an apprenticeship program, attend classes, 8,000-10,000 hours of on-the-job experience and the pass a competency exam.
  • Experience: Typical experience for an industrial electrician is the installation of process equipment that requires specific knowledge of the manufacturing industry we are in. Wiring in a food processing plant uses different procedures than wiring in a automotive production facility. Understanding the differences in each of the industries is critical for an industrial electrician. A more advanced industrial electrician will be strongly involved in the control wiring and operation of process equipment.
  • Worksite: An industrial electrician typically works in plants and production facilities with complex, sensitive and expensive machinery and electrical systems. Manufacturing and production facilities have power needs that are far different from the general needs encountered in other avenues of the electrical profession. Many of the industries we work within are pharmaceutical, food processing, chemical, mining, and automotive.
  • Common Jobs: Industrial electricians maintain a more extensive range of electrical systems, from micro-currents to high voltage components. Typical jobs are: 
    • Installing electrical systems and components for the manufacturing industry's process equipment. 
    • Troubleshooting controls and electronics within the industrial setting. 
    • Performing inspections on machinery and equipment within the industrial-based structure. 
    • Ensuring the proper installation of power conductors to reduce interference with the control systems.
    • Ensuring the proper grounding of manufacturing systems and equipment. 
    • Regular maintenance and repair of electrical systems and components. 

While the origins of a residential, commercial and industrial electrician may be the same or similar, the professions are vastly different. The knowledge bases of residential, industrial and commercial electricians allow them to specialize in three vastly different and equally essential areas of electrical work. 

Serve Electric is made up entirely of qualified, well-trained and hard-working industrial electricians.

In fact, within our in-house training program, we've had the opportunity to help many commerical electricans learn and excel in the industrial side.

If you’re interested in becoming an industrial electrician or joining us the Serve Electric team, contact us! From in-house training, to a company atmosphere of genuine empowerment, we are ready to help you become more than you were yesterday. 

If you believe you may need a team of industrial electricians for your job, give us a call anytime. In fact, we have a 24/7 Emergency Service should you ever need it.  

September 11, 2019

My friend is going to open a business. I like how you mention a commercial electrician typically does commercial electrical repairs and installation of equipment. Thank you for the information. I’ll recommend my friend to contact a professional to install his equipment.

September 19, 2019

This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic residential vs commercial vs industrial electricians.The article is nice and it’s pleasant to read. I have known very important things over here. Thank you so much for this post.

December 5, 2019

I find it interesting that there are different types of electricians. It seems like the main differences between the industrial and commercial is that the industrial as a more specific knowledge base for the manufacturing industry. It seems like the way to go, if you want to get into the trade quickly.

December 16, 2019

It is interesting that residential, commercial, and industrial electricians all require 8,000-10,000 hours of on-the-job experience. When I was growing up, I helped my dad wire our basement and I’ve considered a job change to become an electrician. If I do decide to become an electrician, I’d probably consider specializing in commercial services so that I can work in the city.

December 18, 2019

Hey There! This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about Industrial vs. Commercial vs. Residential Electricians. Your knowledge is great.

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