Electrical contractors play a crucial role in society. They’re either troubleshooting and fixing electrical equipment or installing electricity for domestic, industrial, or commercial use. According to a Zippia study, over 31,549 Electrical Contractors currently work in the U.S.
The industry is thriving and you can quickly find your feet, depending on the direction you take in your career. Electrical technician and electrician are some of the main careers in this industry. Though they seem similar, the differences are as clear as day and night!
The primary difference between an electrical technician and an electrician is in the nature of their work. While an electrician mostly does installation of electrical equipment and wring machines, an electrical technician focuses on troubleshooting and fixing electrical problems in the field.
This is only the scratch on the surface. We cover details in the rest of this guide. So, let’s get to it!
Who is an Electrical Technician?
An electrical technician is a professional tradesperson working with electrical systems. They’re flexible and can either work in the office or in the field. Often, electrical technicians work together with electrical engineers as support staff.
Their primary responsibilities are creating engineering plans and maintaining electrical equipment and systems. Overall, their job description depends on the specific industry they work in.
Who is an Electrician?
An electrician is also a professional tradesperson working with electrical systems like an electrical technician. What makes them different from electrical technicians is their specialization in installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems and equipment.
Differences Between an Electrical Technician and an Electrician
Though an electrical technician and an electrician may mean the same thing for same people, nothing can be further from the truth. There’s a clear distinction between the two professions. Below, we dive into the primary differences!
An electrical technician can work both in the office and in the field. Their typical office work may involve collaborating with electrical engineers and maintaining electrical equipment. They also design electrical systems under the supervision of electrical engineers.
Their typical field work involves troubleshooting and maintaining electrical systems. Sometimes, they repair faulty systems to restore them to normal operations. Lastly, they communicate electrical systems and equipment status to the rest of the team members.
On the other hand, electricians’ main job revolves around installing electrical systems and equipment. They primarily work in construction sites or already existing buildings. Often, electricians work solo and deal directly with clients. They can also work as employees!
Education and Training Requirements in Texas
The main difference between an electrical technician and electrician education is, electrician education is more hands on than an electrical technician. This is driving many electricians to apprenticeship programs rather than enrolling in regular school programs.
On the other hand, the minimum education qualification for an electrical technician is a certificate or an associate degree. Also, electrical technicians learn specific skills on the job since they don’t work in specific industries.
Apart from attending an apprenticeship program, electricians require a high school diploma to work in Texas. This is according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. There are four licensing categories for electricians in Texas.
- Apprentice Electrician–be at least 16 years to qualify.
- Residential Wireman–work at least 4,000 hours under a master electrician.
- Journeyman Electrician– complete 8,000 hours of apprenticeship under a master electrician.
- Master Electrician–complete 12,000 hours of work.
The good news is, electrical technicians don’t require licensing to start working. All you need is the basic education and you’re good to go! This can be a major in electrical technology or electrical engineering technology, depending on your interest and school choice.
How to Become an Electrical Technician in Texas
If you’re looking to start a career as an electrical technician, the only thing standing in your way is getting the right education. Luckily for you, this is where Southern Careers Institute comes to the rescue! We can train you on the skills needed to pursue an electrical technician career through our programs in Texas. So, be sure to contact us for more information.