What Does an Electrician Do?

In a career climate where many people worry about job security, trade jobs like electricians are a comfort. These careers don’t require expensive four-year college degrees, and they often offer apprenticeship opportunities that pay apprentices while they learn.


Nashville Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment. They also collaborate with construction teams to ensure infrastructure compatibility and safety standards.

Electricians install, wire and connect electrical fixtures, devices and systems at homes, businesses, factories, construction sites, and other buildings or outdoor spaces. They use handtools, power tools and equipment like drills and saws, as well as testing and measuring devices such as ohmmeters and voltmeters. They often need to work at heights or in confined spaces and are required to follow strict safety protocols. Electricians also need to understand and adhere to local and national electrical codes.

Many electricians choose to join a union, which gives them access to specialized skills and training, benefits, and protection on the job. Others prefer to remain independent and self-employed. Regardless of their choice, all electricians need excellent manual dexterity and attention to detail, as well as the ability to read technical diagrams, blueprints, and schematics. They must also be able to see color to identify different wiring and components. Those who wish to become an electrician should consider completing a vocational program and apprenticeship that offers hands-on experience with the trade’s fundamentals.

In addition to installing lighting, electrical systems, and devices, some electricians specialize in low voltage wiring for security and telecommunications. This includes network cabling, alarm systems, and CCTV. Low voltage electricians must be able to integrate these systems with existing electrical structures.

Most electricians begin their careers as apprentices, receiving on-the-job training and learning the trade’s basics from experienced mentors. After gaining enough experience and passing a licensure exam, they can advance to journeyman status, which allows them to perform more advanced and specialized jobs. Those who are particularly skilled may choose to pursue master electrician status, which entails more responsibilities and supervisory duties.

Some electricians manage large-scale electrical projects as part of a construction team. In this role, they collaborate with other construction professionals, including engineers and architects, to plan and execute building electrical systems. They may also consult with plumbing and HVAC professionals to ensure system compatibility, as well as safety inspectors to adhere to regulations. These electricians often need to travel to various worksites and spend a significant amount of time on the road.


Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, and systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They use a wide range of tools and equipment to perform their job, including handtools like conduit benders, screwdrivers, and pliers and power tools such as drills and saws. They also read blueprints and other technical diagrams to determine the location of circuits, outlets, load centers, and panel boards before beginning work. Once they’ve installed the necessary wiring, they connect wires to circuit breakers, transformers, and other devices. They may also test their work using instruments like ohmmeters, voltmeters, harmonics testers, and thermal scanners.

In addition to installing and maintaining electrical systems, electricians can also help with the design and installation of new electrical components and structures. They work closely with architects, engineers, and construction teams to ensure that all electrical work is safe and up to code. For example, they may be responsible for laying out the physical wiring of a building’s infrastructure, collaborating with plumbing and HVAC professionals to avoid system conflicts, or communicating with safety inspectors to adhere to regulations.

While the majority of an electrician’s work is performed indoors, they can occasionally be called upon to complete outdoor maintenance tasks. These tasks can include identifying and repairing exposed wiring, which can be caused by rodents, weather damage, or improper installation. It’s essential that these issues are addressed quickly because they can lead to serious electrical hazards and potential fires or shocks.

Electrical maintenance is just as important for commercial and industrial spaces as it is for residential properties. By inspecting and testing all electrical components and systems on a regular basis, electricians can prevent major issues from developing, which can reduce the risk of costly repairs or replacements in the future. They can also identify any faulty wiring that could potentially cause a fire or other dangerous situation and make the necessary repairs. Additionally, they can inspect and service ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which are critical safety devices that protect against electrical fires and shocks.


A malfunctioning electrical fixture can be a real pain, but it’s not always easy to figure out what the problem is. It may be as simple as a blown fuse, but more often, the cause is one of many smaller issues in a circuit. The troubleshooting process involves a careful plan of elimination to find the source of the problem and repair it correctly.

Licensed electricians are trained to use various testing equipment, including multimeters and voltage testers, to accurately diagnose electrical problems. They also follow standardized safety protocols when working with electricity, preventing electrocution or other serious injuries.

After identifying the problem, electricians isolate each component in the circuit to examine it individually. They then determine what parameters each piece of equipment should be operating under and check the components against those criteria. This helps them zero in on the exact issue.

If you’ve been noticing the burning smell of smoke coming from your electrical fixtures, it’s important to call a professional immediately. This is a sign that the wires or components in your home are overheating, which can lead to a fire hazard and serious property damage.

Other signs of a malfunctioning electrical system include an unexplained power loss or frequent circuit breakers trips. These can indicate an overloaded circuit or faulty wiring, both of which require immediate attention from an experienced electrician.

A power surge can also damage your electronic devices and appliances, and it’s often caused by internal factors like overheating wires. A licensed electrician can assess your electrical system and recommend surge protection devices to safeguard your valuable equipment from sudden voltage spikes.


The electric systems in homes, offices, and factories provide our daily necessities like lighting, appliances, and machinery. As such, they are essential parts of our infrastructure that must be maintained in order to continue working properly. Electricians work to ensure that these systems are safely installed, tested, and maintained throughout their lifecycle. They also troubleshoot electrical problems and complete important inspections.

Many people encounter a need for an electrician’s services at some point in their lives. This may be due to an outage, a flickering light fixture, or equipment that isn’t turning on at all. It could be as simple as a burned-out fuse that requires a quick fix or as complicated as an entire rewiring job.

Residential Electricians:

If you’re experiencing a power outage, or notice that certain outlets and switches don’t turn on when you plug them in, this is usually a sign of overloaded circuits. Electricians can repair or replace these outlets and switches to restore power to your home.

Commercial Electricians:

A licensed commercial electrician is qualified to handle the complex wiring, lighting, and equipment in office buildings, hospitals, and other large commercial structures. They often install new electrical components or upgrade existing ones, including motors and transformers. They also troubleshoot and make repairs to these systems as needed.

Industrial Electricians:

Specialized electricians, known as industrial electricians, are equipped to work in the high-voltage environments of manufacturing plants and warehouses. These electricians are trained to work on complex electrical equipment and devices, such as motor controls, generators, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and machine tools. They can also advise management on whether continued operation of particular machines might be hazardous. These professionals are also familiar with the proper use of tools like conduit benders, wire strippers, drills, and saws.