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January 31, 2020

What Other Skilled Trade Jobs Overlap With the Electrical Field?

skilled trade

Are you a skilled tradesperson who wants to become an electrician? The electrical field is growing at a faster than average rate, with the addition of over 74,000 jobs between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you want to open your options, take a look at how electrician jobs overlap with other areas.

Work in the HVAC Field

The skills of an electrician and of an HVAC technician often go hand-in-hand. Even though the two professionals often work in different trades, many of their daily job duties may overlap. This means as an electrician you may have the ability (with some extra specialized training) to work in the HVAC field.

How do electrician and HVAC technician jobs overlap? Some of the most common shared areas of expertise/technical knowledge include:

  • Electrical wiring. HVAC installation requires the technician to hardwire the system into the home, office, or other building’s electrical system.
  • Troubleshooting. Some HVAC problems are electrical in nature. With an expert level of electrical knowledge, you’ll have a better background (in comparison to someone outside of the electrical field) to assess and troubleshoot these types of issues.
  • Knowledge of building codes. If you’ve worked as a commercial or residential electrician, chances are you’re familiar with local building codes and the process required to meet regulations.

Keep in mind, even though a career as an electrician is also qualified to install/repair HVAC system makes you extremely marketable, you can still work in the heating and air conditioning industry as a stand-alone electrician. Instead of working on HVAC appliances, as an electrician, you can handle the wiring aspects of these systems.

Work in the Plumbing Field

How can your career as an electrician land you a job in the plumbing field? To start with, you need to understand how the skill sets and job duties of both trades overlap. Along with the problem-solving, hands-on, and technical skills, both fields have elements of the other. With what you’ll do on the job, the most common areas of overlap include:

  • Appliance installation. Hot water heaters, garbage disposals, and dishwashers have electrical components. Even though a plumber may have the skills to wire these devices, as an electrician, you have the specialized knowledge to complete the job.
  • Appliance service. Again, many plumbing appliances use an electrical supply. Not only can you install garbage disposals or dishwashers, you can repair components that require electricity.
  • New constructions. Installations aren’t always replacements. Property developers always need skilled tradespeople for new homes and commercial buildings. Like with other installations, electrical work is necessary for some parts of the building’s plumbing system.

Don’t confuse training as an electrician with training as both an electrician and as a plumber. You can certainly complete programs in both areas. A double-degree holder is more marketable than a professional in only one area. But, given the overlap between the two jobs, an electrician can often work for a plumbing company.

Work in the Construction Field

Even though electricians may help out with plumbing system and appliance installation in new constructions, these professionals can do much more in this field. What do electricians who work for construction contractors do? Among the many job duties, as an electrician, you may:

  • Wire residential properties. Electricians wire new residential homes, creating a foundation for the property’s electrical system.
  • Wire commercial properties. Electricians also work on new commercial installations.
  • Install lighting elements. Along with general wiring, electricians create lighting designs and install fixtures.

While some land developers work with individual electrical contractors or companies, others expect the general construction company to provide skilled tradespeople. This means you may have the opportunity to work for a construction company.

Do you want to start your career as an electrician off right? Contact the Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati to learn more.