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How to Become a Commercial Electrician
There are a number of different pathways to become a commercial electrician. These may include an apprenticeship, formal education, or a combination of all three. Apprenticeships usually last between four and six years and begin with classroom instruction covering core commercial electrical topics. Initial on-the-job training may be completed through traditional apprenticeship, with the help of an employer, or a combination of both. Apprentices typically take the state electrical journeyman exam as part of the apprenticeship program. The latter is a step up from an apprentice, with more autonomy. Journeyman electricians often do not have direct task-specific monitoring requirements, but instead are expected to have some experience in electrical installation.
In residential properties, electricity is typically supplied by single-phase electricity. In single-phase electricity, all wiring within a home is fed by a single wire from the utility. Single-phase electricity is 120/240V, though certain appliances require the higher 240V. Commercial facilities often require several different voltages for various electrical applications. As such, a commercial electrician must be knowledgeable about three-phase wiring to meet the needs of clients. This is an especially important skill for electricians working in commercial settings, where power requirements often exceed 200 kVA.
A commercial electrician is a highly skilled professional who installs wiring and controls in commercial buildings. They also supervise apprentices and helpers. The job of a commercial electrician typically starts with studying blueprints to ensure compliance with building codes. Using testing equipment to determine electrical problems, they use hand and power tools to complete a project. Once a project has begun, a commercial electrician must discuss the project with the customer to make sure it is completed as per specification.
Apprenticeship programs are another great way to get started as a commercial electrician. They include both classroom learning and practical experience. Some of these programs include residential training, while others separate the two. Apprentices then complete their apprenticeship with a specified number of hours in a commercial environment. While apprenticeship programs vary from state to state, they share common licensing requirements for commercial electricians. This training is vital in gaining experience in this field. So, if you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, make sure you have completed an apprenticeship.