Three Differences Between Commercial And Residential Jobs For Electricians

If you are a full-fledged electrician or an electrician's apprentice, then you will want some idea as to what to expect for commercial jobs over residential ones. This is especially true if you are considering becoming a commercial electrician. The main differences between these different lines of work include commercial work being more installation-centered, having more complicated systems, and different voltages at hand.

More Installation Than Repair

One of the main differences between commercial and residential electrical jobs is that many jobs meant for businesses include setting up the electrical systems for the office or store itself, rather than repairing faulty meters as you might with residential jobs. This means that you will typically have a larger workload for commercial jobs than residential jobs, simply because installing an electrical system is more complicated and more difficult than fixing a faulty wire or two. This does not mean that every commercial electrical project involves installing a brand-new set of circuitry - you'll still have repair jobs.

Repair Will Likely Be More Complicated

Another difference between residential and commercial electrical jobs is that anything a commercial electrician does is likely to be more complicated than the jobs a residential electrician does. This is because commercial jobs involve the installation or repair of systems with larger air conditioning units, larger heating units, more things to power, and may even work with especially complicated industrial systems. Additionally, you'll most likely be working with a larger space. It's important to be prepared for this extra work as a commercial electrical contractor or apprentice.

Different Voltages

Finally, one of the most important differences between commercial and residential electrical contractors is that the former works with higher voltages, spread across more wires, than the latter. Residential electrical work usually relies on 120-volt wiring with 240-volt wiring reserved for higher power appliances. Commercial electricians, meanwhile, work with wiring divided into three phases, where two handle 120 volts and the third handles 208 volts. This is to help the wiring last longer, as the lower voltages split three ways are easier on the wiring system than one high voltage system.

Commercial and residential electricians both fill important slots in the electrical sector. As an electrician or electrician's apprentice, you should know that commercial electrical jobs typically involve installation, more complicated systems, and different voltages than residential electrical jobs. If you are interested in becoming a commercial electrician apprentice, contact a commercial electrical company, contractor, or union and see if they have any available apprenticeship positions available.