What Is a Typical Day in the Life of an Electrician?
Electrician careers differ depending on if you do residential, commercial, or industrial projects.
Most electricians work a regular weekly shift beginning at 7 am and ending around 3:30 pm. The
day starts at the shop or building/company you work for, where you’ll receive a list of service
calls and tasks. While there are some routine parts of the job, activities and work conditions
change with each appointment.
Day-to-Day Electrician Tasks
To understand a typical day in the life of an electrician, here’s a list of tasks they’re given.
Although each job is unique, most electricians handle basic wiring, electrical installations, and
repairs. Some projects involve running wires for weeks and installing conduit boxes for the same
building. Others are straightforward repairs and replacements or routine inspections. Everyday
tasks that residential and commercial electricians perform include:
• Diagnosing and fixing wiring problems
• Using ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes to test electrical systems
• Inspecting electrical equipment for defects and hazards
• Repairing electrical components
• Wiring different components, including circuit breakers and transformers
• Reading plans, blueprints, and building codes
Electricians usually receive a long list of activities to do for the day. The list may feature testing
different systems, repairs, and maintenance. Electricians must also be prepared for things that
could potentially go wrong. What seems like a straightforward job may take longer than expected
due to unforeseen complications. Some electrical companies also offer emergency 24/7 services,
so electricians may face new developments in their schedule at an ongoing basis.
Nearly all calls electricians receive from clients involve troubleshooting the problem. In most
cases, the electrician faces an issue that needs a prompt solution. The job will start with carefully
examining the electrical system and wiring to diagnose the problem. Working with electricity is
dangerous, so electricians must follow safety protocols.
Safety is paramount whether the call is an emergency or routine electrical equipment servicing.
No electrician rushes into a job without proper protocol and adequate safety gear. Some jobs
involve climbing ladders or working in tight spaces, while others require specific, sensitive
After troubleshooting, electricians must provide customers with clear information about the
diagnosed problem and its solution.
Indoor vs Outdoor Services
The bulk of electrical work occurs indoors because most wiring and utility boxes are installed
inside buildings. Some jobs may involve working outdoors, so electricians must be prepared for
all weather conditions. Working under the rain, snow, or sun is normal. The work may also
involve tight spaces with dim light, which calls for flashlights and other tools that promote
Electricians don’t have to wear gloves because of the fine wiring and tool work. Some tasks
involving dirty wires and boxes make wearing a glove sensible, but electrical cables are generally
not too messy. Demolitions may expose you to dirt, but that’s an inherent part of the electrical
Electrician Work Hours
The working hours an electrician puts in will vary from week to week. Electricians may visit a
different site every day or stay in the same workplace for several weeks or months. Some
electricians travel a long distance to get to the job site. A typical day starts at 7 am and ends at
3:30 pm. Other companies have a 9 to 5 schedule, while others feature 24/7 emergency services
with three or four shifts.
Electricians may be called to work during off-hours, including late evenings and weekends. Many
electricians are willing to work overtime because the extra hours pay more. Electrical jobs aren’t
always straightforward. Some repairs may take longer than projected, while others go into the
next day. Electricians may also pick up small jobs in different areas so that the breaks coincide
with the travel time between jobs.
Pursuing Electrician Careers
Are you considering a path in one of the many electrician careers? An apprenticeship program
with leading electrical companies or visiting a trade school can be a good start. During classroom
and practical training, you’ll learn about the different tasks, protocols, and schedules you’ll be
required to follow on a daily basis. The career allows you to work your way toward becoming a
journeyman, licensed electrician, and master electrician. Each level has unique job
responsibilities, which determine the activities included in a typical day.