These days, with so many different types of technology and tools out there, there are a variety of different types of electricians that work in specialized areas. Of course, generally speaking, an electrician in Northern Virginia is someone that specializes in the maintenance, repair, design, and installation of power systems. However, such areas of expertise can span a wide range of professional and industrial sectors, everything from the residential construction industry to office maintenance.
So, how do you first determine what type of electrician is right for your needs? Well, as one of the best electricians in Northern Virginia, RD Matthews Electrical Contracting has highlighted some of the different types of electricians you’ll find in the area, as well as their specialties.
Two Primary Categories
Although we’ll dig deeper into the different specialties of electricians, there are two primary categories where today’s average electrician will fall, that of:
- Wiremen: These are electricians trained to workwith the lower voltages found on the inside of buildings and are often tasked with installing and maintaining electrical systems in commercial, industrial, and residential properties.
- Linemen: These electrical experts are trained to deal with more heavy-duty electrical applications that contain high voltages, such as utility transmission systems and other outdoor power systems. They often work to ensure that the electricity produced at local power plants is sufficient and makes it to power substations to be properly distributed to commercial and residential properties.
Different Types of Electrical Certifications
In addition to the categories mentioned above, there are also different certification levels for electricians. Your average electrical contractor will most likely be a Master Electrician, but it takes years of work to get to that level. First, they’ll need to become a certified apprentice electrician by going through an apprenticeship program. Doing so requires a high school diploma or equivalency, in addition to hundreds of hours of training.
After completing your apprenticeship, which can take anywhere from three to six years, the next step is becoming a journeyman electrician. To do so, you’ll need to pass a test and become licensed by your local, state, or federal licensing committee. With a journeyman license, you’ll finally be able to work on your own, as well as train apprentices.
The last step up the certification ladder is becoming a master electrician. Although the requirements vary on a state-by-state basis, there are some commonalities. Most states require at least 4,000 hours of work as a journeyman, as well as an exam.
Electricians Based on Particular Specializations
As previously mentioned, there are many different areas of specialization for electricians. These run the gamut from working in particular job sectors to specializing in specific applications. Some of the most common are:
- Residential Electricians:The most common type of electricians in Northern Virginia are residential electricians, which specialize in maintaining the electrical systems of residential properties. Their duties include everything from performing electrical wiring installation, to maintenance and repairs on homes, condominiums, and apartments.
- Commercial Electricians: This type of electrician works on buildings like offices, or other workplaces, and is responsible for performing electrical repairs, as well as installation and maintenance work in the commercial sector. Additionally, commercial electricians also frequently help plan and design the electrical systems when new commercial buildings are constructed.
- Industrial Electricians: This type of electrician helps troubleshoot and repair electrical equipment used by industrial facilities, like mines, power plants, and factories. Often, the systems industrial electricians work on are complex and include large machinery and lighting systems. Industrial electricians will usually work in tandem with maintenance supervisors or facility managers.
- Auto Electricians: As the name says, auto electricians have a specialized area of focus and they only work on the electrical systems of vehicles. This means that in addition to traditional electrical training, auto electricians also boast a comprehensive understanding of how vehicles operate, as well as auto diagnostic systems to help troubleshoot electrical issues.
- Maintenance Electricians: In the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors, maintenance electricians are key. They help ensure that all the components of a particular electrical system are running at optimal levels, as well as performing maintenance and repairs when needed. This often includes installing new electrical components or upgrading existing equipment to improve efficiency. Maintenance electricians will have completed a formal apprenticeship and received on-the-job training from a licensed electrician.
Safety & Working Conditions
When it comes to safety, the best electricians in Northern Virginia will have undergone at least some type of formal electrical safety training to minimize on-the-job accidents and issues. Often, this consists of training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that details specific safety procedures, such as lockout and tag-out procedures, in addition to what tools to use when and the specific type of personal protective gear required for certain jobs.
Contact us today for more about our electrician services
If you’re in need of a reliable electrician in Northern Virginia, the team from RD Matthews Electrical Contracting has you covered. We specialize in a range of electrical services including recessed lighting installation, ceiling fan installation, smart switch installation, and more.
As a family-owned and operated business, RD Matthews Electrical Contracting is committed to providing the best electrical services in Northern Virginia. Our commitment to customer care and satisfaction is unwavering, and over the years, we’ve developed a solid reputation for being an electrical contractor you can trust.
For those in need of commercial, industrial, or residential electrical services, contact RD Matthews Electrical Contracting online today or call (540) 840-2933. You can also learn more about what we do by visiting our FAQs page online.