Career Development

What Does an Industrial Electrician Do?

Find out what an industrial electrician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an industrial electrician.

Industrial electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in industrial settings. They commonly work with heavy equipment and large amounts of electricity, so they must be able to read schematics and understand how electricity works.

Industrial electricians may specialize in a particular area of industrial electrical systems, such as robotics or automation. Regardless of their specialty, they all have a similar set of responsibilities that includes everything from diagnosing problems with existing systems to designing new ones.

Industrial Electrician Job Duties

Industrial electricians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing electrical components in factories, such as control panels and wiring for machinery
  • Troubleshooting electrical problems in industrial settings, including machinery failure, power outages, and employee injury
  • Coordinating with other contractors and engineers during construction projects to ensure that electrical systems meet building codes and other regulations
  • Installing and maintaining electrical equipment such as lighting systems, motors, switches, transformers, generators, and wiring systems
  • Installing and repairing electrical equipment in manufacturing plants or other commercial facilities such as hospitals, schools, and warehouses
  • Estimating electrical costs for new projects based on existing systems, equipment, materials, and labor rates
  • Inspecting equipment for defects and making repairs or replacing parts as needed
  • Installing electrical equipment such as lighting systems, motors, switches, transformers, generators, and wiring systems
  • Testing electrical equipment to ensure that it is working correctly

Industrial Electrician Salary & Outlook

Industrial electricians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of industrial electricians is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need to maintain and upgrade electrical systems in factories, warehouses, and power plants. Industrial electricians will be needed to install and maintain new electrical equipment and machinery. However, automation may limit the need for these workers in some manufacturing facilities.

Related: Industrial Electrician Interview Questions and Answers

Industrial Electrician Job Requirements

Industrial electricians typically need to have the following background:

Education: Most employers require industrial electricians to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in industrial maintenance or electrical engineering.

Training & Experience: Most industrial electricians receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced workers. This training helps the industrial electrician learn the specific safety and operational procedures for the company.

Certifications & Licenses: Though not always required, additional certifications can give you a competitive edge over other candidates and make you more appealing to employers.

Industrial Electrician Skills

Industrial electricians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Electrical knowledge: Industrial electricians need to have a strong understanding of electrical systems and how they work. They need to know how to read electrical schematics, understand electrical code and be able to identify electrical hazards. This knowledge is necessary to ensure the safety of the people working with them and the people around them.

Problem-solving skills: Industrial electricians often work on large projects that require them to solve a variety of problems. These professionals use their problem-solving skills to identify issues, develop solutions and implement them. This can include finding the source of an electrical issue, repairing damaged equipment or finding ways to complete a project on a limited budget.

Technical skills: Technical skills are the knowledge and experience you have in a specific field. Industrial electricians use technical skills to understand electrical systems, equipment and machinery. They use technical skills to troubleshoot electrical problems, design electrical systems and perform electrical tests.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for industrial electricians to convey information to their coworkers and clients. They also use these skills to read and interpret electrical schematics and diagrams. Effective communication skills can help industrial electricians explain complex electrical concepts to those who don’t have a background in electrical engineering.

Safety and regulatory compliance: Industrial electricians must be familiar with safety regulations and standards for electrical work. They must also be knowledgeable about the regulations and standards for the industry they work in. This ensures they can work safely and legally. Safety is crucial for industrial electricians because they work with high-voltage equipment and electrical systems that can cause serious injury or death if they aren’t handled properly.

Industrial Electrician Work Environment

Industrial electricians work in a variety of settings, including factories, office buildings, power plants, and other industrial and commercial establishments. They install, maintain, and repair electrical equipment and systems. They also may install and maintain electronic equipment, such as programmable controllers, motor control centers, and distribution panels. Many electricians work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Many electricians are exposed to hazards, such as electrical shocks and burns, falls, and injuries from tools and equipment. To protect themselves, they follow safety procedures and wear personal protective equipment, such as rubber gloves, hard hats, and safety glasses.

Industrial Electrician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how industrial electricians work. Industrial electricians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Cybersecurity Professionals

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to grow. This is because hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are able to find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems.

Industrial electricians can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in cybersecurity and learning how to protect industrial systems from attack. In addition, they can also become familiar with the latest trends in hacking and malware so that they can better defend against them.

The Growth of Smart Grid Technology

The growth of smart grid technology is an industrial electrician trend that is seeing increasing adoption across the globe. Smart grid technology allows for greater control over energy usage and provides a more efficient way to manage power grids.

As smart grid technology becomes more popular, industrial electricians will need to learn how to install and maintain it. This includes installing meters, wiring up homes and businesses, and troubleshooting any problems that may arise.

More Focus on Energy Efficiency

As the world becomes more aware of the dangers of climate change, there has been a growing focus on energy efficiency. This has led to an increased demand for industrial electricians who specialize in designing and installing energy-efficient systems.

Industrial electricians who are able to design and install energy-efficient systems will be in high demand as businesses look for ways to reduce their energy costs. In addition, industrial electricians who are able to provide training and education on energy efficiency will be highly valued by employers.

How to Become an Industrial Electrician

An industrial electrician career path can be rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start off on the right foot by getting certified as an electrician. This will show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job safely and effectively.

Once you’re certified, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques used in the industry. You can do this by attending training courses and workshops, reading trade journals and magazines, and networking with other professionals.

Advancement Prospects

Many electricians start their careers as apprentice electricians. Apprenticeship programs typically last four years and include a minimum of 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Apprentices learn the trade through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training under the supervision of a journeyman electrician.

After completing an apprenticeship program, electricians are eligible to take the journeyman electrician licensing exam. Journeyman electricians can work unsupervised but are not allowed to perform work without a license. In most states, a journeyman electrician must have at least four years of experience as an apprentice electrician and must pass an exam to become licensed.

Master electricians are electricians who have completed a master electrician program and have passed a licensing exam. Master electricians are allowed to perform all types of electrical work and can also supervise the work of other electricians. In some states, a master electrician must have at least seven years of experience as a journeyman electrician and must pass a written exam to become licensed.

Industrial Electrician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an experienced and licensed industrial electrician to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience working in an industrial setting and will be responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems. He or she will also be responsible for ensuring that all electrical work is up to code and meets all safety standards. The industrial electrician will work closely with the maintenance team to troubleshoot and resolve any electrical issues.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures
  • Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes
  • Assist in the development of maintenance procedures and schedules
  • Perform general maintenance tasks as needed
  • Diagnose malfunctioning systems, apparatus, and components, using test equipment and hand tools, to locate the cause of a breakdown and correct the problem
  • Connect wires to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components
  • Inspect electrical systems, equipment, and components to identify hazards, defects, and the need for adjustment or repair, and to ensure compliance with codes
  • Advise management on whether continued operation of equipment could be hazardous
  • Test electrical systems and continuity of circuits in electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures, using testing devices such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes, to ensure compatibility and safety of system
  • Plan layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures, based on job specifications and local codes
  • Use a variety of tools and equipment such as power construction equipment, measuring devices, and power tools
  • Follow blueprints to determine the location of wiring and equipment

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of electrician apprenticeship program
  • Journeyman Electrician license
  • 5+ years experience as an electrician in an industrial setting
  • Working knowledge of the National Electrical Code
  • Ability to read and interpret electrical schematics and blueprints
  • Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related field
  • Master Electrician license
  • 10+ years experience as an electrician in an industrial setting
  • Experience with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • Experience with computer-aided design (CAD) software


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