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Residential Vs. Commercial Electricians

A residential home and a commercial building are different structures with different setups. Electricians can work in either, and a good electrical training program can prepare you for different skills to be used to complete the job.

Residential Vs. Commercial Training

If you're planning to work primarily as a residential electrician, then your training will be focused on things like:

  • grounding
  • circuits
  • air conditioning
  • appliance systems
  • motors

For commercial training, you'll learn more about:

  • voltage systems
  • computer cabling
  • generators
  • surveillance cameras.

With either, you'll need to be ready to upgrade entire wiring systems.

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Learning Both Skill Sets

It would be nice if you could be able to perform every kind of electrical work. And actually, some electricians do that, through many years spent perfecting their trade.

If you're planning to be a general electrician, then you might want to think about starting your career with residences and moving over to commercial or industrial projects once you have mastered residential electrical work. Or, you could take trade school electrical courses in commercial while working as a residential electrician. This way, you can make a decent salary while learning more skills. Some companies will even help pay your school costs.

Job Consistency

Electrical issues come up everywhere, so if you're good at your job, there's no doubt that there will be work for you in either a residential or commercial setting. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% increase in employment of electricians through 2028, double the national average for all careers (bls.gov).

Additionally, you have the opportunity to earn a very good income. BLS states the average pay for electricians in 2019 was $60,370, with the top 10% of electricians making $96,580 the same year (bls.gov).


Technology affects all of our lives on a daily basis. Specializing in certain aspects of the electrical field, particularly as technology continues to change and evolve, will open up new and different opportunities throughout your career.

If you know you want to become an electrician but are undecided on which area to focus on, don't let that stop you from getting into classes. You will know what to do when the time is right, and you definitely don't have to immediately decide.

Find an electrical trade school near you.

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