Behind every light switch or electrical outlet, there is an electrician who made it work. Almost every building has an electrical power, communications, lighting, or control system that electricians and helpers installed when the building was constructed… and maintained afterwards. For new construction, electricians read diagrams that show the planned location of circuits, outlets, and other equipment to guide their work. They use hand and power tools to run wiring through walls and protect it. They also test equipment and materials to find problems and ensure components work properly. Maintenance means first finding the problem then accessing it for repairs. Electricians must carefully follow building regulations to ensure safety, especially when directing or training other workers. Electrician helpers carry materials and tools, cut and bend wire and conduit, use tools to repair and maintain wiring, and clean work areas and equipment. These workers keep full-time hours, sometimes evenings and weekends, working indoors and outdoors in homes, businesses, and construction sites. Most work for electrical and other wiring contractors. Work can require long periods of standing and kneeling, sometimes in cramped spaces. Most electricians learn their trade in a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program that combines technical training and paid on-the-job training. Most states require a license. Electrician helpers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and are trained on the job. Electricians and electrician helpers literally help the United States “keep the lights on.”

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power systems in private, commercial, and industrial buildings.

What Do Electricians Do?

The electrical systems which run our world may include electrical communications, lighting, and control structures, and they power the lights, appliances, and equipment within buildings; electricians are responsible for both initially assembling these systems and ensuring that they continue to function through maintenance and repairs. They both incorporate electrical systems into newly constructed buildings and maintain these systems in older buildings. They install electrical wiring and lighting systems, and examine electrical components such as transformers and circuit breakers, inspect systems for defects or malfunctions, and repair these problems as necessary using hand and power tools. The field of electrical work encompasses numerous specializations depending on the context in which one works; these contexts include private homes, businesses, factories, highway electrical systems, and more.