Differences between Electrical Contractor and Electricians
In a world dominated by technology and its evolution, we are in a constant need of innovators who can provide us with “smart” equipments yet at the same time ensure that they do not require as much energy consumption. There are organizations comprised of groups of people who can create innovate and design equipments to make life easy and at the same time ensure that these equipments work on minimal energy. They are called the Electrical contractors. Electrical contractors comprise a section of the industry dealing with all things electrical and their work essentially revolves around providing new electrical installations, power, light and communications to the domestic as well as the commercial and the industrial sector. An Electrical contractor can be an individual or a firm and they provide all the services related to installing new wiring systems to maintenance of pre existing systems. Electrical Contractors also have legal documents which allow them to provide the kind of services they do and at the same time they are well insured. Therefore, if you ever come across an electrical constructor firm wherein they hesitate to reveal their respective permits and licenses; there is a huge chance that they are a fake organization. Hence, if you are required to hire an electrical contractor it is mandatory to go over their legal documents, permits and credentials to ensure that your project is completed on time and with perfection.
They differ from electricians in only one respect; electricians can be hired by the contractors and their licenses differ. The electrician has only one license stating the services he can provide but the electrical contractor has the license which allows them to operate a firm. The electrical contractors have proper insurance plans which help protect the employees and the home owners in case of liabilities. In the United States the electrical contracting industry has an estimated value of $ 130 billion annually. They have over 70,000 electrical contractors and they provide employment to over 750,000 electrical workers.
Electrical contractors are classified according to the kind of service they provide; based on which there are three types, outside or line contractors, inside contractors and integrated building system contractor:
1. Outside or line electrical contractors – They are responsible for high voltage power transmissions and distribution lines. Line contractors ensure that the power generated at a power plant is securely carried through a series of high voltage lines before it is used to power any facility. Therefore, their main responsibility includes distribution of power through cable lines to various sub stations and facilities.
2. Inside electrical contractors – They are responsible for providing electricity to any structure within a property’s boundary line. This includes outdoor lighting and substations. They serve as the prime contractors who are responsible for all installations, maintenance and designs of all cables and electrical required of the three sectors – residential, industrial and commercial. They work for the commercial, institutional and residential sectors by providing them with maintenance and repair services.
3. Integrated Building Systems (IBS) electrical contractors – They are also known as the video/data/voice electrical conductor. They are responsible for low voltage installations like back up power, wireless network, climate control, telecommunications, fiber optics, security systems and efficient lighting.
The electrical constructors also hire electricians with very little experience and at times they even hire the ones who lack experience in this field altogether. Then, they train these people and employ them in their own firm. They are hired as apprentices and after four to five years of both theory classes and hand on practical classes they are promoted to higher levels. They are made to go through the training program so that they can handle any electrical job. They are given classroom instruction from the licensed and experienced journeyman and senior electricians. They are taught how to install, modify, repair and maintain systems. Then they are promoted to the position of a licensed journey man who is then expected to repair, modify, install and maintain the systems. Then after they have gained experience as a journey man, they are made estimators. Estimators are responsible for estimating the cost, duration, material, overhead and labor required for a project. And finally after this stage they are promoted to the position of project supervisor. The project supervisor oversees the entire workforce to ensure safe and good quality installations. They are responsible for meeting deadlines and also submit all the detailed reports and forms related to the ongoing project. This is how electricians evolve from their narrow filed of work to a more diverse field keeping the focus on the same line of work. Therefore, electrical contractors hire electricians and ensure that they end up working in their field. They provide them with proper training and help them learn better by providing the practical job, which in turn enhances their efficiency.