The demand for electrician is high and the projected growth rate of 8.8% through 2029 almost ensures stability. There are many routes you can take to get your electrical certification. We will explain the differences between a commercial and residential electrician’s job.
What is a Residential Electrician?
Many residential electrical services involve work on single-family wiring projects. These include repairs, installation, calculating service demand loads, and wiring conductors for single phase service entrances.
A residential electrician can read and interpret blueprints, create lighting plans, budgets and create estimates. Due to International Building Codes (IBC), they often install products that aren’t permitted for commercial applications.
What is a Commercial Electricalian?
Commercial electricians offer different Myrtle Beach electrical services than residential electricians due to the products they must install. A typical raceway for home construction uses non-metallic (NM), cabling that is installed in the wood framing. Commercial raceways use metallic-clad cabling (MC) or, most commonly, an EMT conduit. It takes practice and training to be able bend, fasten, and size conductors according to the National Electric Code (NEC).
Commercial Electrician Work Environment
The following three situations are typical for a commercial electrician:
When Work is planned
A consulting engineer usually designs commercial projects. Commercial electricians must be able to follow and understand the plans, based on a set schedule. They should also be able understand and interpret specifications, and follow the code requirements.
Planning is impossible when there is no planning
In the event of changes or remodeling, it is possible to have no plan. Commercial electricians must have access to the blueprints and as-builts of the initial build. They will then need to update these with any changes.
When repairs are required
Sometimes, repairs are required after a system is installed. Equipment malfunctions can occur from poor usage to old age. Commercial electricians must be familiar with the operation of all equipment in order to resolve problems when they arise.
There are differences in material use
There are many materials and power tools that can be used in residential projects. It is not the same as those used in commercial projects. The following is a list of available energy:
Residential Project: Single-family dwellings are typically powered by 1-phase power at a voltage of 120V/240V
Commercial Project: Three-phase power, with a typical voltage of 120V/208V or 277V/480V
Pro Tip: Commercial electricians face greater electrical dangers due to increased energy availability.
Education Requirements and Electrical Licensing
Both residential and commercial electricians have a deep understanding of code, theory, and practical application. All electrical installations in the United States are guided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70E) and NEC.
OSHA and NFPA70E require that all electricians working on new construction or remodel work be qualified persons (QP). They must also meet all local and state licensing requirements. The work environment will often classify the work performed. A risk analysis based upon NFPA 70E is necessary.