When most people think of an electrician, they think of the skilled tradesman that they call when the power goes out. While this is accurate, there is much more to this profession than most people realize. There are several different types of electricians, each with their own training and specialties.
The Main Types of Electricians
Most electricians can be divided into two broad categories. These are inside wiremen and outside linemen. While you can infer what they do from their name, there's a bit more to it than you might think.
- Inside wiremen. These specialists handle all of the internal wiring of various types of structures. This ranges from brand new homes, to remodeling jobs, to industrial buildings being modified for new uses. Most of their time is spent indoors working on the intricate wiring required to make every appliance, switch and outlet work perfectly. Much of their time is spent hovering over blueprints and schematics to ensure every wire is in the exact right spot.
- Outside linemen. Without these electricians, inside wiremen's work would be for nothing. They work with transmission lines, transformers and outdoor wiring. Their job requires a moderate amount of physical work, such as climbing telephone poles, trimming tree branches that are interfering with lines and working with traffic signals.
However, there are other types of electricians that are subcategories of the above two primary categories.
- Construction electricians. As implied by the name, this specialist lays all of the wiring for new buildings. They don't typically troubleshoot problems or work with outdoor lines.
- Service electricians. This is the type of electrician that most people call when they have a problem in their home. Service electricians troubleshoot various wiring problems in homes and businesses, as well as make required repairs.
Residential and Commercial Electricians
In addition to the above types of electricians, many specialists have further focused on either residential or commercial jobs. In fact, it's become rare these days for an electrician to service both sectors.
Residential electricians have experience and training with new home building, renovations and repair. They're experts in the residential building codes in their service area. Commercial and industrial electricians are typically required to have a higher skill set and more experience to deal with the complex problems that can arise in these situations. They will be required to lay wiring that requires greater experiences due to the demands of industrial and commercial equipment.