Residential homes and a commercial buildings have different electrical requirements. Electricians can choose to specialize in either, and a good electrical training program can teach you the different skill sets you need to complete each job.
Residential vs. Commercial Training
If you're planning to work primarily as a residential electrician, then your training will be focused on aspects of the field like:
- Air conditioning
- Appliance systems
For commercial training, you'll learn more about:
- Voltage systems
- Computer cabling
- Surveillance cameras
Both residential and commercial training will leave you ready to upgrade entire wiring systems.
Find a local electrical trade school.
Learning Both Skill Sets
Though it may seem like you have to choose one path for the rest of your career, you can learn both commercial and residential. In fact, some electricians do that, only after many years spent perfecting their trade and knowledge.
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 mastering a broader skill set. Some companies may even help pay your schooling costs, so be sure to check with your local schools for more detailed information on financial assistance.
Electrical issues occur everywhere, so there is no shortage of work for qualified electricians. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% increase in employment of electricians by 2032, which is a steady, average increase compared to all occupations nationwide (bls.gov).
Additionally, the BLS states the average pay for electricians in 2022 was $65,280, with the top 10% of electricians making $102,300 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 unsure of the area you'd like to specialize in, don't let that stop you from taking classes.
Classes and training should give you a stronger understanding of these specialized areas. After understanding what each field entails, you may find that you have a stronger insight into which areas would be best for you when it is time to make your decision.
Find an electrical trade school near you.