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What Jobs Do Commercial Electricians Work In?

Commercial electricians work indoors, at construction sites, in factories and at business locations. The work is strenuous, involving heavy lifting, and can be dangerous. Injuries can involve falls, electrical shock and cuts. The electricians must use the proper precautions, including the proper use of safety equipment, to avoid injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on electricians, full-time electricians experience job-related injuries and illnesses at a rate higher than the national average.

Construction

Construction electricians install wiring in the building and remodeling of structures. The electricians follow a blueprint detailing where to locate circuits, outlets, panel boards and load centers. After installing electrical systems in a building, the electrician must test the electrical systems using equipment such as voltmeters, ohmmeters and oscilloscopes to ensure their compatibility and safety. The electrician must comply to local safety codes when installing electrical equipment. If the system is malfunctioning, the electrician must diagnose and correct the problem.

Maintenance

Maintenance electricians repair and replace faulty electrical equipment. The work may involve repairing or replacing equipment such as switches, fuses, circuit breakers, wire and electronic components. Maintenance of electrical equipment involves troubleshooting the cause of operating problems and determining the best solution. Inspecting equipment is also an important part of a maintenance electrician's job. Properly inspecting equipment can prevent major breakdowns before they occur. A commercial maintenance electrician may work for municipalities, electrical contracting companies or an industrial employer.

Linemen

A lineman is responsible for electricity from power generating plants to building structures. The work involves installing and maintaining power lines. A lineman's job is very dangerous due to the high amount of voltage involved. Linemen have to work in all weather conditions and often at great heights. The proper safety equipment is of utmost importance in a lineman's job, especially when dealing with downed power lines. Linemen find jobs at private power companies or publicly-owned electrical utilities.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the 2010-2011 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on electricians, job prospects are positive for electricians. The best jobs will be available to those with the widest range of skills. Employment for the industry is predicted to increase 12 percent between the years of 2008 and 2018. As of May 2008, the median wage for an electrician was $22.32 per hour. From low to high, the pay range can vary from $13.54 to more than $38.18 per hour. Apprentices salaries start out on the lower end of the scale, anywhere from 30 to 50 percent below that of fully trained electricians, and increases with experience.



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