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Industrial Electrician vs. Construction Electrician: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Electricians are trained professionals who work with electrical systems. There are two main types of electricians: industrial and construction. Both types of electricians install and maintain electrical equipment, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we compare industrial and construction electricians, including their job duties, working conditions and salary. We also provide information on how to become an electrician.

What is an Industrial Electrician?

Industrial Electricians are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical equipment and systems in industrial settings. They work with a variety of equipment, including motors, generators, transformers, switchboards and control systems. Industrial Electricians diagnose problems and make repairs using hand tools, power tools and testing equipment. They also follow blueprints and schematic diagrams to complete new installations. Many Industrial Electricians are responsible for preventive maintenance, which involves regularly inspecting equipment and systems to identify potential problems before they occur.

What is a Construction Electrician?

Construction Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They often work in construction crews to install new electrical systems or repair and replace existing ones. Construction Electricians must follow state and local building codes when installing or repairing electrical systems. They use a variety of hand and power tools, including drills, saws and screwdrivers, to complete their work. Construction Electricians typically complete an apprenticeship program to learn the trade.

Industrial Electrician vs. Construction Electrician

Here are the main differences between an industrial electrician and a construction electrician.

Job Duties

Construction and industrial electricians share some of the same duties, but there are also key differences. Construction electricians often install wiring for buildings, such as offices, factories and homes. They may run electrical cables from locations like power sources or junction boxes to these locations. Industrial electricians may also install wiring, but they typically work with more complex systems.

For example, an industrial electrician may design and build a system that controls how products move along a production line. They may also test the systems they install to ensure they’re working correctly before handing them over to employees who will use them. In contrast, construction electricians may perform tasks like installing lighting or running cable along walls in newly constructed buildings.

Job Requirements

Industrial electricians typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require an associate degree. They also need to complete an apprenticeship program that lasts four years. Construction electricians typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete an apprenticeship program that lasts three years.

Work Environment

Construction electricians work in a variety of environments, depending on the project they’re working on. They may spend time outdoors at construction sites or inside buildings as they install wiring and fixtures. Industrial electricians also work in a variety of settings, but their work is often more specialized than that of construction electricians. For example, an industrial electrician might specialize in installing electrical systems for manufacturing facilities.

Construction electricians can sometimes work long hours to meet deadlines, while industrial electricians typically have regular schedules with consistent overtime opportunities. Construction electricians are also likely to travel between projects, while industrial electricians usually remain in one location throughout their careers.


Both industrial electricians and construction electricians need to have a strong understanding of electrical theory and principles. They also both need to be able to read and interpret blueprints and technical manuals. However, their day-to-day responsibilities can differ.

Industrial electricians often work in factories or other industrial settings. Their job may involve installing, maintaining or repairing electrical equipment and systems. They often work with high-voltage equipment and must follow strict safety protocols. Construction electricians, on the other hand, typically work outdoors on construction sites. They install, maintain and repair electrical systems for new buildings or renovations. They also may work with lower voltages than industrial electricians.

Both industrial electricians and construction electricians need to have strong problem-solving skills. They also both need to be physically fit as their job may require them to lift heavy objects, climb ladders or work in cramped spaces. However, construction electricians may benefit from having additional skills, such as being able to use power tools or operate machinery.


Industrial electricians earn an average salary of $61,801 per year, while construction electricians earn an average salary of $59,052 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the location of the job, the size of the company and the level of experience the electrician has.


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