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An electrical contractor is a business person or firm that performs specialized construction work related to the design, installation, and maintenance of electrical systems. These requirements vary from state to state. Electricians may work for an electrical contractor, or directly for individuals or companies. Electrical contractors are generally classified by three major types of work performed.
Outside” or “line” contractors are responsible for high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. Line contractors build and maintain the infrastructure required to transport electricity generated at a power plant through a series of high-voltage lines and substations before it is used to power facilities, buildings, and homes. Inside” electrical contractors provide electricity to any structure within a property’s boundary lines, including outdoor lighting or substations.
Under current construction specification guidelines, “inside” electrical contractors can serve as prime contractors for all electrical and cabling design, installation, and maintenance for commercial, institutional, and residential buildings. IBS contractors are particularly skilled at integrating these system controls to work together for maximum energy efficiency and building performance. Electrical contractors employ workers in many capacities, determined by their level of training and experience.
Apprentice Electrician — Receives on-the-job training and classroom instruction from licensed journeymen or master electricians about how to install, modify, repair, and maintain power and lighting systems. Most apprentice programs last 3 to 5 years and apprentices earn wages during this training period. Journeyman Electrician — Installs, modifies, repairs, and maintains power and lighting systems.
Reads blueprints, terminates cable, and installs and troubleshoots control wiring from drawings. Estimator — Calculates a project’s duration and cost, including materials, overhead, and labor. This estimate is often submitted as a bid on a project and serves as a scheduling and budget guideline as the project proceeds. Project Supervisor — Oversees workforce to encourage safe and high-quality installations.
Monitors progress to meet project deadlines. Submits required reports and forms.