The Beginners Guide to Hiring Commercial Electricians

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Electricity is an important part of everyone’s modern-day life. It comes in handy in powering nearly everything from household appliances to industrial equipment and even electric vehicles.

With a high dependency on this power source, the fact of safety and maintenance becomes paramount. Due to this, electricians are always in demand, making them very important to the energy industry.

As most people would agree, finding the right electrician can be a daunting process, as is the case with most in-demand professions.

Besides, quality work requires expertise. The same goes with electrical works, where one must hire someone who has the experience and understands what safety means.

This is the type of electrician that interested clients should be looking for as the guide below goes over the basics.

Introduction to Electricians

All electricians are not the same as there are varying degrees of specialization. Some are known to work in the residential sector where they install, troubleshoot, and maintain electrical systems.

Others operate in commercial environments, like malls, airports, schools, gyms, and other large-scale establishments. Then there are those whose specialties shine in industrial facilities, such as manufacturing plants.

For the sake of this guide, explanatory details on electricians will focus on the commercial sector as many businesses rely on such professionals to run smoothly and cater to private and public needs.

That doesn’t imply that they don’t handle other installations, but then it’s only in exceptional cases, like newly built commercial-inclined buildings.

Understanding a Commercial Electrician Project Scope

When handling business clients’ requirements, commercial electricians consider factors that will support their companies’ present and future demands, and with those, provide appropriate designs, installations, and repairs.

The project scope may entail installing electrical fixtures in a newly leased office space or troubleshooting office appliances during work hours.

The commercial electrician addresses the following concerns:

  • Existing business requirements and the implementations they will facilitate.
  • Future business plans and their alignment with possible electrical services
  • Business operations and targets; plus, key employees who will still be working during the project
  • Scheduling electrical services during downtime.

Since the commercial building is unlikely to be vacant during installation, repair, or maintenance, it is crucial to take these factors into account. Residential electricians may not tackle these issues effectively.

The Roles of Commercial Electricians

Commercial electricians do more than just maintain and repair existing systems. They install wiring, power panels, outlets, lighting fixtures, and the like.

They also address business electrical needs, like heating, air conditioning, and security systems. Additional details are provided below:

  • Designing electrical systems for commercial buildings and structures.
  • Checking electrical wiring and components for compliance with federal and local building codes.
  • Training and supervising other electricians

Often, commercial electricians don’t handle electrical works on their own; they usually work as a team. This team, depending on the client’s requirements, comprises electrical engineers and a foreman.

Foremen oversee projects, manage workers, procure supplies, and coordinate schedules. They are also responsible for electrical safety. Other members of the team assist the foreman.

An Overview of Commercial Electrician Training

Commercial electricians need about six years of training, including four years of apprenticeship.

During basic training, they undergo 500 hours of classroom work and 8,000 hours of field practice, followed by a licensing exam.

They must also take more courses and certifications. If they make it through this detailed course of training, they could become master electricians.

Factors to Consider When Hiring an Electrician

The selection process for commercial electricians should be considered a serious business, not something one can window shop.

People often fail to distinguish between quality electrical professionals and those who do shoddy work.

Experience

Most commercial electricians are in the industry for seven years plus. That’s longer than residential electricians. With this experience, they are likely to gain a greater understanding of electrical systems and even teach others about them.

Certification is another aspect to consider. It contributes to a greater quality of service provided by a commercial electrician.

While education provides useful knowledge, there’s a difference between a school diploma and practical learning, the latter of which is achieved through training and experience.

The education coursework that commercial electricians undergo should be enough to get them their licenses.

To further enhance their skills, some of them opt to take more specialized courses, including seminars and workshops offered by training institutions, trade associations and universities.

An electrician with Master Electrician or National Electrical Contractors Association certification gets to be more experienced and proficient than a fellow who doesn’t. The certifications, moreover, are industry-focused.

Work Ethic

What defines a good electrician? It’s one who is hardworking, reliable, and conscientious. In actuality, an electrician’s professional image gets enhanced when the individual goes beyond normal duties.

Here are things to keep in mind when evaluating a commercial electrician:

  • Being punctual; being on time or early is important
  • Willingness to work with clients; being friendly, courteous, and helpful will get them the clients’ attention and appreciation
  • Ability to work under pressure; being confident that one can get the job done without jeopardizing safety is a good indicator
  • A calm, cool, and collected professional image; these are qualities that will impress customers

Skills

Most electricians start off on the ground level, working their way up. They develop their skills and knowledge through hands-on training and mentoring.

A commercial electrician must be highly skilled and competent to be effective. This goes the same for electricians who get their hands dirty while working on live electrical installations.

Their tools and equipment must be of high quality. Listed below are some areas where a commercial electrician will be highly valued:

  • Power distribution; designing, planning, and installing electrical power systems
  • Electrical codes and standards
  • Electrical components and equipment
  • Wirework, wiring (including diagrams), lighting, circuits, and control systems
  • Electrical repairs, testing, and maintenance
  • Construction inspections and certification

An expert in these fields has the extensive knowledge and confidence needed to perform high-voltage and potentially dangerous tasks.

For added safety and protection, electricians may operate in pairs.

Conclusion

As the industry continues to grow, so does the need for commercial electricians, who are expected to handle everything from small businesses to large corporations.

While some companies will go for an outsourcing approach, others will prefer to hire in-house commercial electricians.

As the case may be, it’s up to the interested parties to find and hire the right professional.

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