What do electricians do?

The first thing that comes in mind for some people when asked, ‘what do electricians do?’, is restoring the power back on during electrical failures and ensuring electronic devices work properly. This is indeed true, but the responsibilities of a licensed Electrician isn’t limited to that.

What do electricians do?

Electricians are skilled and licensed professionals who are qualified to perform various extensive electrical work. This includes all electrical activities: assembly, installation, maintenance, repairing and servicing. To understand more of what electricians can do, here’s a complete list of an electricians scopes of work:

  • The responsibility of an electrician starts with reading and understanding the property’s blueprints, technical diagrams and specification manuals. This may seem to be a basic task, but it is the most important tasks of electricians as this help them establish the entire job requirements and materials needed.

These documents contain the architectural floor plan, electrical layout (indoor and outdoor), power riser diagram and more.

  • An electrician strategically plans the overall electrical layout of the property. This includes locating the right position for each electrical outlet, systems, and devices. In planning the electrical layout, the electrician must always follow the State/Territories’ property and safety regulations.
  • The electrician installs all control, lighting and wiring systems. For the wiring system, an electrician should always follow the wiring code of practice and regulation in Australia (AS/NZS 3000 standard). This wiring code states all the necessary requirements for the installation of electrical system/equipment. Also, this wiring code states the required design and testing of such installations.

Note: The AS/NZS 3000 standard is mandatory in Australia.

  • Electricians perform extensive inspections and testing to ensure all electrical installations are in excellent working order and meet all safety standards. They can install electronic control systems, insulated cables and electrical equipment like heaters and switchboards.
  • The electrician can locate, test, and repair electrical malfunctions. When an electrician finds a problem, they will use the required tools and equipment (e.g. voltmeters and oscilloscopes) to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem.

Related Article: How Much Does an Electrician Cost?

Aside from the technical duties, the other responsibilities of electricians are:

  • Handle client’s inquiries (e.g. repairs, problems, etc.)
  • Training and supervising of tradies to maintain, install, repair and electrical wiring or equipment
  • Create full reports of all the problems and the approved solution for it.

Electricians scope of work may change depending on their specialisation and expertise. In Australia, there are numerous specialisations that a person can choose. But the three most common are the residential electrician, commercial electrician, and data cabling electrician.

The residential and commercial electricians’ responsibilities are the same – planning, installation, maintenance, and repair. Their only difference is environment settings, the power needed, materials used and installation method. Since residential housing has a maximum of two floors, unlike in commercial buildings, the load of power needed is much lesser. For this requirement, electricians use a single-phase power for residential; while in commercial buildings is a three-phase design.

In terms of materials used, electricians use narrow and fine wiring encased in a plastic sheathing for residential housing. While for commercial buildings, Electricians use heavy duty wirings to ensure it can handle the higher power demand. The wirings are commonly enclosed in a tube-shaped casing for added protection.

Lastly, for the installation method, both residential and commercial electricians aim for accessibility. For residential housing, electricians install the wirings before the drywall and the control systems in any open space (e.g. basement or attic). While for the commercial buildings, the wirings are installed inside a ducting system.

The other known specialisation of electricians is the data cabling. As smart devices continue to grow its popularity, the demand for data cabling electrician grows as well. Few of the responsibilities of data cabling electricians are the following:

  • Connect all the wires of the computers and other smart equipment together for them to easily communicate with each other.
  • Design a clear layout on where to install phone sockets, fire alarm systems, CCTV cameras, and more.
  • Installation, repair and maintenance tasks

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