The tools of the trade for a modern-day electrician include more than pliers, screwdrivers, wire strippers, and power drills. Today’s electrical expert uses technology to help get the job done. If you’re new to the profession, take a look at tech options that can make your job easier.
Apps for Electricians
Your smartphone holds to key to everything from making calculations to invoicing clients. While apps won’t take the place of professional knowledge, these easy-to-use options can help you to:
- Calculate without fear. Does mental math make you anxious? Calculation-based apps allow you to figure out voltage, wire sizes, circuit capacity, heat dissipation, and other similar electrical issues as you work.
- Find parts. What part do you need and where can you get it? An app can help. This type of app allows you to search for electrical system parts and find them for the best price possible. Some commercial retailers also have apps for easy ordering.
- Reference knowledge. Do you remember everything you learned during school/training? If not a reference-based app can help to refresh your memory when it comes to formulas, wire size, coding, and other information.
- Invoice clients. If you’re the boss, you need an easy way to create invoices on the fly. Apps can help with your billing and invoicing needs.
- Find your next job. A GPS-based or map app can help you to get to your next job quickly. This saves time and makes the customer happy.
- Create estimates. Before you will your client, or accept a job, you need to create an estimate. An app can help you to quickly and easily write digital estimates.
Apps aren’t the only tech tool that can help in your professional practice. Read on for more information on devices and other options to consider.
Tablets as Tools
Do you want to save time, money, and paper? Forget about messy carbon copy invoices or notebooks filled with client’s address. In your professional practice a tablet is a device that can:
- Organize everything. You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips — and in one place. Keep client information, reference guides, billing information, estimates, marketing materials, employee schedules (if you own the company), and other business documents on a tablet.
- Improve efficiency. With a data-connected device you won’t need to go back and forth between a truck or van to look for parts or call into the office to find out what’s in stock. Quickly find everything you need, without making your client wait.
- Save overhead costs. The paper you use to create estimates and invoices isn’t free. Reduce paper use and save costs with e-versions. This also eliminates the need to use excessive amount of paper when re-writing estimates for one client.
Portability is the best part of a tablet. You won’t need to tote a bag filled with bills or boxes of blank estimate sheets along with you. Instead, load these onto your device and go.
Now that you’ve considered the switch from a paper-based professional practice to a device, how do you manage your business on a smartphone or tablet? Along with apps, you’ll need a few basic software solutions that apply to the electrical trade.
While some software programs are electrician specific (such as calculation or reference guide software), others are general and can assist with the day-to-day operations. These include:
- Spreadsheet programs. Excel and similar spreadsheet design software allow you to easily create lists, add information, calculate totals, track client statistics, and more.
- Word processing programs. Do you need to create documents for employees, clients, or marketing needs? A basic word processing program can help.
- Website builder. A website can help you to increase business. Simple web-building software allows you to create or maintain a digital presence.
If cost is a concern, professionals can find plenty of free or low-priced options. Look for free trials, free apps, or discounts from professional organizations.
Are you ready to start your career in the electrical field? Contact IEC Greater Cincinnati for information.