For those who are thinking about pursuing a career as an electrician, there are many areas of specialization to choose from. You should know about each one of them to make a wise decision that is beneficial for you in the longer run. It is better to know about your options before making a final decision. As an electrician, you can either go for residential or commercial options. These areas of specialization allow you to work in various environments and perform different responsibilities. You will get different training and your line of work will be similar but different. This is why it is important that you understand the difference between residential and commercial electricians so you can make a better decision for yourself.
What is meant by a Residential Electrician?
Electricians for residential buildings normally install, repair, and upgrade electrical systems, lighting fixtures, electrical outlets, wires, and circuits. They make themselves available all the time to repair the electrical outlets of an apartment, condo, or villa.
What is meant by a Commercial Electrician?
A commercial electrician in Orlando, FL, also upgrades or repairs the electrical systems, but they are different from those at a residential building. Commercial electricians are normally hired to repair components like transformers, outlets, and generators. These commercial buildings can be of different types: multi-floor offices, a park, a mall, a hotel or a plaza, departmental stores, and other industrial facilities.
Common Differences between Commercial and Residential Electricians
Commercial and residential electricians in Orlando, FL, are hired for the completion of new construction wiring installation and maintenance of electric equipment. Though commercial electricians focus on the specific electrical requirements and codes of commercial buildings. At the same time, residential electricians focus on simple tasks related to a house’s electrical system. The differences among both of these electricians depend on various factors that are:
Nature of Work
As their names explain, the nature of the work of both the electricians is entirely different. Home electricians are confined to checking the residential systems to make sure that they fit under the building codes. Moreover, if you are rebuilding the house or need general repairs, hiring a professional electrician is always a good idea. Commercial electricians, on the other hand, mostly work on electricity poles. Since the consumption of electricity in commercial enterprises is more compared to residential buildings, the installation process and repairs are done on a greater scale. Hence, the workload on commercial electricians is greater compared to their counterparts.
Educational and Training Requirements
The educational pathways of both electricians are a little bit similar, but the major difference comes in their training. To qualify for professional training, both of them must be at least a diploma holder from a high school. After that, they undergo different types of training. After getting the training needed to become a residential electrician, residential electricians can work for a company that specializes in installing and repairing home systems. In contrast, potential commercial electricians can study commercial electrical engineering, which gives them a thorough knowledge of advanced building electrical systems. Such electricians carry a municipal-level license and have various certificates according to their training. However, companies that hire an electrician that has a degree and proper working license are granted the electrical contractor license. With this license, they can operate their business or get mega projects related to electricity.
Though the basic study might be the same for both electricians, they require different technical skills to work in their respective departments. Commercial electricians in Orlando, FL, need more knowledge due to the complexity, safety, and reliability of commercial projects. Their qualification includes pre-working experience and thorough knowledge of subjects such as voltage balance and electric circuit systems. Furthermore, different areas require different technical skills. Projects in a highly developed urban area will be more complex, and both electricians will need vast experience to handle them.
The Size of the Project
Commercial projects are bigger than residential projects because they are complex and require more technical skills. While in the commercial sector, the time and skills required are more than the ones needed at a house. However, commercial buildings, mainly offices, can continue to work even if electrical repairs are going on at the property. This is something we won’t see at a residential property. A residential electrician in Orlando, FL might cut the power supply for a while when they are working on repairs.
The working routine of a residential electrician is flexible. Therefore, they get more time to excel in their field. While many residential electricians get perfect by repeating the same job repeatedly, commercial electricians have to work more. They typically perform several tasks for various businesses that need time to become experts in a single task. This means that the working routine of a commercial electrician is tougher than a residential one.
When the types of buildings are different, you can also say that the nature of the electrical systems installed will be different. Different buildings have different codes, and they also apply to electrical systems. The major difference in terms of job responsibilities for both electricians comes in:
Commercial sectors have electrical wires placed inside conduits such as pipes for protection. They are also made accessible so that maintenance is made easier. While a thin plastic covering is used to protect the wires in a residential building. Since wires are usually placed in rooms or spaces, these enclosures protect people from electric shock. Often, cable channels in residential buildings are not needed.
Electric phases are different for both types of buildings. You can use a single phase for a house or an apartment, but since commercial buildings are bigger, the phases needed are at least three. Moreover, the wiring needed to connect these phases differs in both buildings.
Commercial buildings have to follow strict building codes. In either case, the electrician must comply with building codes to have proper working permits. Business objects have special codes.
Compliance and Regulations
Electricians normally have to follow a very extensive compliance standard. Electricians hired for a residential building have to define each and everything thoroughly. They have to describe the type of electrical work done and how they will proceed with it. The rules for a commercial electrician are way stricter than the residential ones. This includes the safety standards for the electrical equipment, the safety of the electrician itself, and the insurance status in case of disasters that may occur due to electrical faults.
Can You Work as Both?
Residential and commercial electricians initially get similar education, and their initial training is also pretty much the same. Commercial electricians often handle large-scale projects, but they also try to handle residential projects, for which they need to have a deep knowledge of residential electrical needs. Technically, an electrician can’t work for both sectors at the same time. Although, this can change if you have training or previous experience of working in both areas. With this, you can get a position as an electrical contractor in a professional company and get projects in both sectors.
Now that you are clear about the difference between a residential electrician and a commercial one, which one do you want to be? Commercial electricians require more skills and expertise than residential ones, but the benefits are also better. Make sure to think clearly and choose your line of specialization based on your preference and the benefits involved.