What is the Difference Between an Industrial Electrician and Commercial Electrician?

Industrial Electrician vs. Commercial Electrician

While the titles “industrial electrician” and “commercial electrician” may sound strikingly similar, they are actually very different specializations. These distinctions require different training and take place in different environments. The foundation of their skill set might be in basic electrical knowledge, but the application of their extended training is what truly defines the two.

Commercial electrical work is the more common of the two professions. Most of the time the environment that a commercial electrician works in is accessible to the masses. Retail storefronts and restaurants are just a couple of the most common examples of where commercial electrical work takes place. The focus of commercial electrical work is to ensure that the wiring and electrical components of the structure are functioning efficiently and safely. On occasion, a commercial electrician will be required to work on a higher voltage electrical system or generator that accompanies a large heating or air conditioning unit. The essential tasks and daily pressures of being a commercial electrician typically involve common electrical repairs and installation of specific equipment.

Electrical Degree

An industrial electrician, on the other hand, is something different entirely. The level of expertise necessary for the daily tasks of an industrial electrician requires extensive and specific education. Some companies require several years in an apprenticeship training program to ensure the accuracy and thorough knowledge of this field. Manufacturing and production facilities have power needs that are far different from the general needs encountered in other avenues of the electrical profession. Industrial electricians need to be ready to handle issues with anything from exceptionally high voltage systems, to minuscule and direct micro currents of electricity. These intensely varied electrical components are often attached to or part of the facility machinery that is both crucial and expensive. This makes the accuracy of this specialization crucial, as well. Facilities that have specific or extensive electrical requirements require electricians with extensive and specific training. Where minor mistakes in a commercial or residential capacity can often be very easily fixed, industrial electricians do not have it so easy. The functionality of electrical components and equipment is vital to modern industry. Making a mistake in the industrial electrical field can be so costly that it can effect production, development, or information systems.

So, yes–commercial and industrial electricians both possess the basic, cornerstone knowledge of the electrical profession. That is, however, about the only thing these two very different professions have in common. While their origins may be similar, or indeed the same, they are worlds apart. The knowledge bases of industrial and commercial electricians allow them to specialize in two vastly different and equally essential areas of electrical work. To learn how to become an industrial electrician, please come to one of our open houses or read more about our program on our website.