There are many different types of electricians based on skill requirements, working conditions and roles within a job. While to a degree, all electricians operate on the same knowledge base, as experience and career opportunities become available, an electrician can become quite specialized and unique with their chosen careers.
While in some regards, these types of electricians could even be considered separate professions, they all come from the same or similar knowledge base, and almost all electricians could aspire to any one of these particular roles. To give you an idea of the many career paths available to electricians, we have come up with this shortlist of common electrical careers and some of the details of each job description.
Check out this short guide to the different types of electricians:
As the name suggests, construction electricians work throughout the building process alongside other trades professionals. You can find construction electricians as part of a construction operation or they may be hired as separate contractors as necessary to complete the job.
Naturally, they can also work in either residential or larger commercial construction projects, and each will have its own skills specific to the job at hand, so keep this in mind when choosing an employer and therefore a career path. Like all construction works, factors such as the economy and supply and demand can dictate the availability and frequency of work.
Maintenance electricians typically work in large factories, power plants, and other similar operations maintaining the electrical equipment by doing preventative maintenance and dealing with breakdowns. There may also be some installation of electrical systems as needed along with the removal of old systems as the business activities continue in its natural progression.
Fault finding and knowledge of particular industry equipment is normally a key skill learned and possessed by maintenance electricians. Work is typically steady for these types of electricians, but some on-call or overtime work may be necessary, especially in critical power supply systems such as power plants.
Auto electricians are specialized in the auto industry to work with electronic control and management systems with cars. Although these types of electricians are vastly different in their day-to-day activities compared to other electricians, the same principles of fault-finding, wiring, and electrical installation apply.
Using specialized tools, computer systems and mechanical work are all common for auto electricians. Unlike some other electricians, working hours are typically stable, and they may also work alongside auto mechanics and other related professionals.
An electrical fitter typically works with larger industrial businesses to install, maintain and repair essential electrical systems. Connecting equipment to a mains supply, planning, and ordering parts and material, following diagrams and mechanical and construction skills are all commonly required.
Depending on the operation, work may be steady or require urgency. Working in confined spaces, standing for long periods or working at heights are all common for electrical fitters. In some cases, an electrical fitter may work on heavy-duty machinery if that is there specialization.
Electricians working in mines will have similar skills to maintenance electricians. However, there are several factors within this job that are distinct to the role. For example, the hour’s work and danger differ significantly, and there may be cases where both temporary and permanent electrical work needs to be carried out.
They may also perform preventative maintenance on various types of machinery along with installation and repair work. Depending on the role, this may involve going underground or working with large processing facilities.
While typically considered a separate vocation, a linesman works installing and maintaining power transmission and distribution facilities. They may work on everything from telephone wires to power lines and they work closely with large scale electricity facilities. Recent trends have seen linesman become specialized with new technology like cable TV and fiber-optic cables for larger data transmission and broadband internet.
Because of the high voltages and ‘hot wires,’ that linesman has to work with, safety is a primary concern for individuals undertaking this occupation.
Electrical engineers undertake a relatively different course of knowledge and study to an electrician, but we have included it because many electricians eventually undertake a career path that leads them too engineering and it may also be something to aspire to in the long run. While electricians construct and maintain electrical systems, electrical engineer designs and develop these systems. They may also supervise or take part in the construction phase.
You will need intimate knowledge of products, safety, and design to succeed as an electrical engineer, and there are many further paths for those who become electrical engineers, such as maintenance engineers, communications engineers and computer engineers among others. Problem-solving ability is a must for electrical engineers.
Depending on the size of the business and skill of the individual, any of these electrician roles could lead to supervisory or even teaching positions. With the right skills and qualifications, an electrician may advance to foreman or supervisor or even decide to begin their own operation using the skills and contacts developed throughout a career.