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Types of Electricians and How to Choose the Right One for Your Project


While some understand what electricians do and trust local electrical contractors in various fields, for many this area remains a mystery.

With different specialties and areas of work, navigating your next electrical project is smoother when knowing the types of electricians at your disposal. But what types of electricians are there? To help you better understand who your job is best suited for, we are breaking down the different types of electricians. Let’s dive right in!

types of electricians

The Different Types of Electricians

There are four leading specialty areas for types of electrical jobs available when seeking a career as an electrician. These include outside linemen, inside wiremen, installer technicians, and residential wiremen. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Residential Wireman

A residential wireman is responsible for connecting a customer’s power source and electrical equipment. These specific electricians will work to maintain the electrical system within the home and perform other residential installations.

Residential wiremen must be up-to-date on the latest technology in the residential market, ensuring the system can properly distribute power to the various technology and systems in the house.

Installation Technician

An installation technician works with inside wiremen to install networks of low voltage cabling. This low-voltage cabling is typically used for voice, data, or video outlets. While much of their work takes place inside, it typically isn't in the best conditions, such as in locations that don't have air or heating systems installed yet.

Outside Lineman

different types of electricians

An outside lineman, as the name suggests, works on electrical power line transmissions outside. They make sure electrical wiring is functioning right and that the power is properly distributed between generation facilities and users.

These electrical contractors work across industries, from commercial to industrial, and residential properties. With this in mind, they go through extensive safety training.

Inside Wireman

Opposite of outside linemen, an inside wireman is primarily focused on indoor electrical projects. An inside wireman focuses on on-premises electrical wiring and distribution, typically involving connecting electrical equipment to the power source.

Inside wiremen can help with installing everything from lighting, to electrical outlets, and installing conduit. Additionally, they can inspect and help maintain electrical motors and equipment.

Levels of Electricians by Certification

Beyond the different types of electricians, there are also electrician levels that help further break down the types of electricians. These levels of electricians include apprentice, journeymen, and master electrician. Here’s the difference between each level!

Apprentice Electrician

While some aspiring electricians may look to break into the field by pursuing an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology, others may opt for apprenticeship programs. Since a standard degree isn’t required, apprenticeship programs offer a great alternative.

Apprenticeship programs are four-year training programs that allow you to begin working immediately as an electrician assistant. In this role as an apprentice, you can work under the supervision of a professional, getting hands-on experience while learning the ropes.

Journeyman Electrician

Next in the electrician ranks are journeymen.

Journeymen offer more experience than an apprentice and can work on bigger, more complex projects without supervision. In order to reach this level, you must have worked as an apprentice for at least two years, and completed the required coursework. Then, you are permitted to take a journeyman certification exam, at which point you’re given a license.

Once a journeyman has a license, they can work on any system unsupervised, and train apprentices, too.

Master Electrician

electrician levels

What is the highest level of electrician? That would be a master electrician.

With requirements that differ based on the state you live in, the key standard that sets a master electrician apart from the rest is that they have around 4,000 hours of electrical work as a journeyman. Once they’ve completed these hours, they must also take a licensing exam.

A master electrician can work on the most complex electrical projects for commercial and industrial fields and can train journeymen.

Types of Electricians By Specialization

Electricians can also be broken down by specialization. These types of electricians help better answer what are the different types of electrician jobs, breaking down who you will meet in a host of different projects. To understand this distinction, here are the types of electrical jobs by specialty.

Commercial Electricians

A commercial electrician focuses on jobs similar to a residential electrician but works within commercial buildings. Commercial electricians can perform everything from installing security and electronic systems to heating and cooling to suit an office.

Due to the number of people going in and out of these properties, safety is top of mind for this specialty.

Industrial Electricians

An industrial electrician works on larger-scale projects in industrial facilities, such as power plants or factories. These electricians will use large machinery and computer systems to help with the process. Typically, the electrical work in these industrial locations is much more cumbersome than that in commercial or residential locations.

Residential Electrician

levels of electricians

For homeowners, a residential electrician is who you’re most likely to meet. A residential electrician is responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting, and upgrading electrical systems in homes. They will operate in a range of residential settings, from houses and apartments to condos and more. They may work for an electrical contractor or on their own.

Marine Electricians

Marine electricians are a rare specialty that typically trains at a specialized trade or seamanship school. These electricians will work with water-faring vessels, like boats and yachts. Since this involves electricity and water, it’s a highly-skilled, unique job.

Automotive Electricians

Automotive electricians are focused on installing and maintaining electrical systems found in motor vehicles. They tend to use computer-based repair tools on their projects and must have an understanding of motor vehicles to perform diagnostics and performance tests. This type of electrician is growing in popularity as automatic cars become more common.

Construction Electricians

Construction electricians are chosen to perform electrical work on new buildings. They typically take on basic wiring and must know a lot about building codes, safety procedures, and other relevant topics to operate. They will frequently deal with new or rehabbed locations.

Highway Systems Electricians

Highway system electricians are trained to install, maintain, repair, and upgrade electrical infrastructure used on roadways. This includes signage, streetlights, and traffic management systems. A highway system electrician typically has specific certifications and licenses that allow them to work with electrical systems on the roads.

Electrical Contractor

types of electrical jobs

An electrical contractor is a small business owner who has electricians to work on residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Different states have different licensing standards for contractors, and they must have a specific level of insurance to operate.

Electrical Panel Builder

An electrical panel builder constructs and manages electrical panels. These electricians rely on information technology and programmable logic controls to wire large electrical control boxes, specifically for industrial machinery. Additionally, they have the knowledge to read electrical schematics and blueprints.

How to Choose a Suitable Electrician for Your Project

There are some reasons to look into the different levels of electricians and find the best one for your project. For the safety of your building and the longevity of the electrical system, the right electrician can make a world of difference. From a master electrician to an electrical contractor or residential electrician, there is a range of different electricians available for your next project, each of which brings a different skill set and expertise.

At High Voltage Electric, we offer both master electricians and electrical contractors, each of whom brings unmatched knowledge to each and every project. With a high passing rate and the ability to handle any type of electrical job, we are the trusted partner in Boca Raton and the larger Palm Beach County.

For assistance with your next electrical job, contact us today.

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