A Typical Day on the Job
The generally defined work of an electrician is to install and repair wiring and electrical control systems in buildings for homeowners, commercial businesses and government institutions. However, the daily electrical work and design that goes into projects is different depending on the specific needs and requirements of the building. In addition, the end result of each day on the job varies depending on the specific assignment. When looking at a typical day on the job, this is what the average electrician can expect:
- Electricians usually start their days around 7am at the “gang box”, which is a colloquial term in construction for the tool box with all of the materials needed for the project. When the electrician is called in to install the wiring for a building, the structure is usually halfway complete.
- To start the day, the electrician must review the blueprints of the project to see where the circuit boards and outlets will go. Electricians are required to know national and regional building codes, and must use this knowledge when assessing the blueprints of the building. When doing this, they ensure that the blueprints stay within these codes before proceeding.
- After reviewing the blueprints, electricians will go over marching orders and delegate tasks to each person working. They will also review safety requirements for the project to ensure successful completion of the day’s job.
- When all the information has been assessed from the blueprints and the plan for the day is assigned, the electrician goes to work installing wires into the building’s foundation using tools such as hacksaws, wire strippers, and drills. Depending on the project, the amount of time it takes to install wires varies. Sometimes it takes several days, and other times the project can be completed in just a few hours.
- Midway through the day, electricians will take a lunch break, and regroup after to continue the day’s project.
- After the installation, the electrician tests the wires and sockets involved in the project to make sure all is running smoothly.
- He/she should then have a supervisor review the project before packing up and ending the day to ensure that the work will meet client expectations. At the end of the day, the group meets back at the gang box, returns all materials, and reviews the stock list for the next day to make sure the group has all of the necessary materials for the job.
- After reviewing the items needed for the next day and week ahead, electricians will order anything missing that they will need for certain projects.
- An average day typically ends around 3:30 pm.
There is also a lot of problem solving that goes into these projects, which an electrician can expect on any given day. For example, if a blueprint does not meet national or regional requirements, electricians must adapt to make sure they install wiring that meets the codes. Also, if circuits do not work, electricians must identify and correct the problem right away to ensure that the work will meet the client’s needs. Most days are very structured, but there are also opportunities for an electrician to be able to meet new challenges each day!