Industrial electrician

An industrial electrician


Industrial electricians install and maintain electricity cables and other electrical infrastructure in large industrial and commercial buildings. They perform inspections and repair defective parts of electrical systems to ensure efficiency.

The duties of an industrial electrician include, but are not limited to:

  • 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

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to industrial electrician:

marine electrician
industrial and commercial electrician
industrial maintenance electrician
industrial electrical technician
electrical technician

Working conditions

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.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as an industrial electrician. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in industrial maintenance or electrical engineering.

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.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Industrial electrician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Industrial electrician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to industrial electrician.

domestic electrician
building electrician
electrical mechanic
security alarm technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of industrial electrician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of industrial electrician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

electrical supervisor
power plant control room operator
solar power plant operator
asphalt laboratory technician
geothermal power plant operator

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of industrial electrician.

  • Building systems monitoring technology: Computer-based control systems that monitor mechanical and electrical equipment in a building such as HVAC, security and lighting systems.
  • Electricity: Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.
  • Electrical wiring plans: Pictorial representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the components of the circuit as simplified shapes, and the power and signal connections between the devices. It gives information about the relative position and arrangement of devices and terminals on the devices, to help in building or servicing the device. A wiring diagram is often used to troubleshoot problems and to make sure that all the connections have been made and that everything is present.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of industrial electrician.

  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Resolve equipment malfunctions: Identify, report and repair equipment damage and malfunctions; communicate with field representatives and manufacturers to obtain repair and replacement components.
  • Inspect electrical supplies: Check electrical supplies for damage, moisture, loss or other problems.
  • Splice cable: Join and weave electric and communications cable and trunk lines together.
  • Inspect construction supplies: Check construction supplies for damage, moisture, loss or other problems before using the material.
  • Install electrical and electronic equipment: Install equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work, or equipment to generate, transfer or measure such currents and fields. This equipment includes switchboards, electric motors, generators or direct current systems.
  • Install electricity sockets: Install electricity sockets into walls or sub-floor compartments. Isolate all electric cables in the socket to prevent accidents.
  • Follow health and safety procedures in construction: Apply the relevant health and safety procedures in construction in order to prevent accidents, pollution and other risks.
  • Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
  • Use measurement instruments: Use different measurement instruments depending on the property to be measured. Utilise various instruments to measure length, area, volume, speed, energy, force, and others.
  • Test electronic units: Test electronic units using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.
  • React to events in time-critical environments: Monitor the situation around you and anticipate. Be ready to take quick and appropriate action in case of unexpected events.
  • Install electric switches: Prepare wires for installation in a switch. Wire the switch. Install it securely in the right location.
  • Use safety equipment in construction: Use elements of protective clothing such as steel-tipped shoes, and gear such as protective goggles, in order to minimise risk of accidents in construction and to mitigate any injury if an accident does occur.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of industrial electrician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Electricity consumption: The different factors which are involved in the calculation and estimation of electricity consumption in a residence or facility, and methods in which electricity consumption can be lowered or made more efficient.
  • Electromechanics: The engineering processes that combine electrical and mechanical engineering in the application of electromechanics in devices that need electricity to create mechanical movement or devices that create electricity by mechanical movement.
  • Electrical wire accessories: Electrical wire and cable products and accessories, such as electrical connectors, splices, and wire insulation.
  • Energy performance of buildings: Factors that contribute to lower energy consumption of buildings. Building and renovation techniques used to achieve this. Legislation and procedures regarding energy performance of buildings.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • Solar panel mounting systems: Different ways of setting up solar panels, such as pole mounting, where the panels are fixed to a surface, ballasted mounting, where weights are used to keep the panels in place, and solar tracking, where panels are mounted on a moving surface in order to follow the sun through the sky for optimal insolation.
  • Electrical testing methods: Test procedures performed on electrical equipment and machinery in order to check the performance and quality of the electrical equipment and their adherence to specifications. During these tests electrical properties, such as voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance, are measured using electrical measuring equipment, such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters.
  • Electric generators: The principles and operations of devices that can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, such as dynamos and alternators, rotors, stators, armatures, and fields.
  • Automation technology: Set of technologies that make a process, system, or apparatus operate automatically through the use of control systems.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of industrial electrician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Answer requests for quotation: Make up prices and documents for the products that customers may purchase.
  • Solder electronics: Operate and use soldering tools and soldering iron, which supply high temperatures to melt the solder and to join electronic components.
  • Apply coating to electrical equipment: Prepare and apply coating, such as conformal coating, to electrical equipment and its components to protect the equipment against moisture, high temperature, and dust.
  • Use sander: Use different types of drywall sanders, automatic or manual, handheld or on an extension, to sand surfaces to a smooth finish or to rough them up for better adhesion.
  • Ensure safety in electrical power operations: Monitor and control operations on an electrical power transmission and distribution system in order to ensure that major risks are controlled and prevented, such as electrocution risks, damage to property and equipment, and instability of transmission or distribution.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Maintain electrical equipment: Test electrical equipment for malfunctions. Take safety measures, company guidelines, and legislation concerning electrical equipment into account. Clean, repair and replace parts and connections as required.
  • Assemble electrical components: Assemble switches, electrical controls, circuit boards and other electrical components by using hand and soldering equipment.
  • Assemble electronic units: Assemble and maintain electronic components and electronic circuits.
  • Make electrical calculations: Determine the type, size and number of pieces of electrical equipment for a given distribution area by making complex electrical calculations. These are made for instruments such as transformers, circuit breakers, switches and lightning arresters.
  • Install circuit breakers: Install electrical switches designed to switch off automatically in case of an overload or short-circuit. Organise circuit breakers in the panel logically. Make sure no foreign objects are introduced into the panel. Use only circuit breakers approved for the panel, usually the same manufacturer.
  • Order electrical supplies: Order the required materials for assembling electrical equipment, paying attention to the price, quality, and suitability of the materials.
  • Replace defect components: Remove defective parts and replace them with functioning components.
  • Repair wiring: Find faults in wires or cables by using specialised equipment and repair these faults depending on type of wiring.
  • Cut wall chases: Cut a narrow channel in a wall or other partition in order to run cables through it. Cut the channel straight and without causing unnecessary damage. Be sure to avoid existent wires. Lead the cables through the chase and fill it up with the appropriate material.
  • Install lightning protection system: Fix the electrodes deep in the ground, fasten the metal conductors such as copper cables to the walls, and install the lightning conductor on the roof.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
  • Program firmware: Program permanent software with a read-only memory (ROM) on a hardware device, such as an integrated circuit.
  • Read electricity meter: Interpret the measuring instruments which measure the consumption and reception of electricity in a facility or residence, record the results in a correct manner.

ISCO group and title

7411 – Building and related electricians

  1. Industrial electrician – ESCO
  2. Electricians : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Industrial Electrician Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  4. Featured image: By Labanderadeadiosayer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on October 7, 2022

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