Construction electricians plan, assemble, install, alter, repair, inspect, verify, commission, operate and maintain electrical systems. Electrical systems provide heating, lighting, power, security, communication and control in residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and entertainment environments.
Construction electricians may be self-employed or employed by electrical contractors, utilities, operations and maintenance departments of various facilities. Construction electricians must read and interpret electrical, mechanical, civil and architectural drawings and specifications such as electrical, building, fire and jurisdictional codes to complete electrical installations. They use electrical test equipment to ensure system safety, functionality and compatibility. Construction electricians require good communication skills to negotiate, coordinate and facilitate work with customers, co-workers, jurisdictional authorities and other trades. Organizational skills are required to successfully plan and execute their work. They also require strong analytical and problem-solving skills in order to read and interpret diagrams, drawings and specifications. They require mechanical aptitude to install, diagnose and repair systems and components. It is beneficial for construction electricians to have good vision, the ability to distinguish colours, manual dexterity and a willingness to keep up with new developments in the trade. Their work may be performed indoors or outdoors, at heights, in confined spaces and in hazardous environments. They require stamina as construction electricians spend much of their time performing static and physical tasks. Occupational risks include shocks, industrial diseases, arc flashes, falls and injury from repetitive motion, lifting and kneeling.
This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of industrial electricians, powerline technicians, instrumentation and control technicians, and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics. Construction electricians work with a wide variety of construction tradespeople, engineers and inspectors. With experience, construction electricians may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to positions such as foremen, instructors, project managers, superintendents, estimators, electrical inspectors or start their own contracting business. Construction electricians may enhance their skills in different fields such as restorative, service or retrofit work rather than new construction.
For more information, see Red Seal Trades – Construction Electrician