The Difference Between Electrician and Electrical Contractor

December 18, 2021


Walking into a room and turning on a light is something the average person does multiple times a day. The only way to ensure the lights in a home or commercial building get the power they need to operate is with the help of electricians and electrical contractors. If you are plotting your career in the world of electricity, figuring out how to approach this new career is crucial.

Figuring out whether you want to become an electrician or an electrical contractor is important. If you are new to the world of electricity, you may not realize that the terms electrician and electrical contractor are not interchangeable. Here are some things you need to know about the differences between electricians and electrical contractors.

What Is an Electrician?

An electrician is a tradesman that is qualified to work with electrical wires and other power components located in businesses and homes. If you want to become an electrician, you will need to undergo lots of training and take a test to get a license. Most states have well-defined standards of what a tradesman has to do to be classified as a certified electrician. There are approximately 625,000 electricians working in the United States.

In most cases, an electrician will start their career as an apprentice. During this apprenticeship, a person will learn things like:

· Maintenance and troubleshooting procedures

· How to install electrical wiring

· Material dealings

· Basics of fire safety

Once you have your electrician’s license, you will have to renew them every few years based on your state’s guidelines. Experienced electricians maintain their electrical license because they know they will be unable to work without it. While maintaining a current electrical license will be hard work, it is definitely worth the effort you invest if you want a career in this high-demand field.

What Is An Electrical Contractor?

In short, an electrical contractor is a master electrician that is hired to oversee certain projects. These projects usually include cabling/electrical design, maintained and installation in both commercial and residential structures. While an electrical contractor is an electrician, the training they have to undergo to be labeled an electrical contractor is extensive. The main job of an electrical contractor is to ensure the scope of the work they are in charge of is carried out in a timely and safe manner.

If you want to become an electrical contractor, you need to realize you will be in charge of things like:

· Performing work that is up to the electrical code in your area

· Having state-of-the-art materials to carry out the jobs you take on

· The ability to view the big picture on projects

· Accountability when mistakes happen

You need to realize that becoming an electrical contractor will take a lot of time and energy. However, this is a very rewarding and lucrative job.


Choosing the Right Career Path

Now that you know more about these two jobs, it is time to figure out which one works for your needs and goals. If you have been an electrician for a few years, then transitioning into the role of an electrical contractor makes sense. In most cases, the people looking to hire an electrical contractor will demand someone with experience. If you want to take the career path of becoming an electrical contractor, you need to be prepared for a lot of hard work.

Regardless of if you want to become an electrician or an electrical contractor, you need to pursue an apprenticeship. By becoming an apprentice, you can learn the ropes of this trade before branching out on your own.


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