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How Different Are Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Electricians?


When it comes to the different types of electricians, you might not know where to begin. You might think that all electricians do the same thing, but there are differences between a commercial electrician vs. a residential electrician vs. an industrial and the types of jobs they take on. Let’s explore the different types of electrical problems that each type handles and when you should call each one.

difference between industrial and commercial electrician

Residential Electrician:

Required Training:

Right off the bat, there are training differences between residential, commercial and industrial electricians. To become a residential electrician, you need a high school diploma in addition to the completion of an apprenticeship program. Moreover, you’ll need to attend classes and have anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 hours of job experience before you take a competency exam that you must pass. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be licensed to work. 

Usual Worksites:

Another difference between a residential electrician vs. commercial and industrial electricians is where they complete their work. As you can imagine, residential electricians complete work primarily in homes and apartments that need electrical services. Because residential electricians are in peoples’ homes, it’s important that they have strong communication and listening skills to interact with their customers. 

Types of Jobs They Do:

Residential electrical services revolve around helping homeowners or renters with common electrical repairs. This could include wiring homes that were recently built, installing lighting and fixtures, showcase lighting installation, emergency electrical services, ceiling fan installation, and helping with other general electrical requests.

Commercial Electrician:

difference between commercial and industrial electrician

Required Training:

There’s a difference between commercial vs. industrial electricians vs. residential electricians in terms of training requirements. Commercial electricians need a high school diploma in addition to participating in an apprenticeship program and attending classes. They must have 8,000 to 10,000 hours of on-the-job experience in addition to passing a competency exam. 

Usual Worksites:

As you can imagine, commercial electricians don’t spend their time in residential buildings, rather, they spend time assisting commercial buildings, office buildings, retail stores, restaurants, and other establishments that are readily accessible by the public. 

Types of Jobs They Do:

Commercial electrical services revolve around common electrical repairs and the installation of equipment. In many situations, commercial electricians help to wire breaker panels, generators, transformers, heating, lighting, recessed lighting, emergency commercial electrical services, maintenance, and other general building electrical requirements.

Industrial Electrician:

commercial electrician vs residential

Required Training:

Many people have questions about industrial vs. commercial electricians. Let’s start with training. Industrial electricians need to obtain a high school diploma, complete an apprenticeship program, attend classes, and complete 8,000 to 10,000 hours of on-the-job experience. Then, they must pass a competency exam. 

Usual Worksites:

It’s common for industrial electricians to work in plants and production facilities, often dealing with sensitive, expensive, and complicated machinery and electrical systems. Because manufacturing and production facilities have different power and electrical needs versus other commercial businesses or residential properties, they need to tap into industrial electricians who are well-versed in these scenarios. Common industries that need industrial electricians include automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical, food processing, etc. 

Types of Jobs They Do:

Industrial electrical services consist of an expansive range of offerings as small as micro-currents to high-voltage components. Here are some typical industrial electrical jobs:

  • Installing electrical systems and components to support manufacturing processes and equipment.
  • Troubleshooting electronics or controls.
  • Inspecting machinery and equipment within the industrial-based structure.
  • Installing power conductors properly to ensure they don’t interfere with the control systems.
  • Ensuring the ideal grounding of manufacturing equipment and systems.
  • Providing regular maintenance and repair for electrical components and systems.


Commercial and residential electricians focus on new construction wiring, installation, and general electrical services while industrial electricians focus on production facilities and larger worksites. Now that you’re more aware of the difference between commercial and industrial and residential electricians, you have a better idea of who to call when you’re in need of an electrical contractor. 

If you’re looking for an experienced contractor in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach County, and surrounding areas, High Voltage Electric is here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn more about how we can assist you with your electrical needs.

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