Electrician Types or Areas of Expertise
Everyone may picture something different when they hear the word "electrician" but it would be safe to assume the majority would picture someone working on your house electrical. Becoming a well rounded electrician is a massive undertaking considering there are four main divisions or areas of expertise an electrician can work in. When applying for an Electrical Apprenticeship you apply for training in a specific specialty and it is important you understand the difference between each.
Many start out prior to the apprenticeship as an Electrical Helper. They are the people who do a lot of the repetitive non-technical work such as handle all the building material, dig out the conduit trench, clean and care for all the group tools etc. Someone has to haul the wire rolls to the third floor!
So now you have been an Electrician's Helper for a while and the company or union announces that they are accepting applications for Apprenticeships. The first question that must be answered is in what field or specialty is the apprenticeship available.
There are four specialty areas:
Outside Lineman is what the name implies. Installing and Repairing the electrical power distribution system that moves power around the USA.
Inside Wireman is the person who wires up the interior of commercial and industrial buildings. They are often called Industrial or Commercial Electricians.
Installer Technicians install the cabling and equipment for computers, telephones, security, alarms and other low voltage circuitry.
Residential Electricians install and repair all electrical systems in single and multi family homes, just as the name implies
Length of training for each is different. The scope of work and environment is different. For example as an Outside Lineman overtime and call outs are common. Power lines seldom come down during a lovely summer's day so expect to be working long hours during the worst weather times of the year. Each of the pages listed to the right explain in depth the Electrical Journeyman's Specialties