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Common Questions About the NCLEX-RN® Exam

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Industrial Electrical Technician vs. Electrical Construction Technician: What’s the Difference?

Posted Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 by Altierus

If you’ve been looking at electrical technician trade schools, you may have been surprised to learn there’s more than one type of electrical tech. As electrical systems and the components they power become more complex, it has become impossible for any training program to cover all the different customer needs there are. As a result, technicians have become specialized.

Two of the most common types of electrical technician roles include industrial electrical technicians and electrical construction technicians. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the differences between these two roles.

Industrial Electrical Technicians: Keeping Machinery Working

Industrial electrical technicians perform electrical work on heavy machinery and equipment in factories, warehouses, shipyards, and other industrial settings. Their role is to keep everything running efficiently and safely. The specific duties of an industrial electrical technician may include:

  • Cleaning circuit boards
  • Inspecting, maintaining and repairing motors
  • Installing or repairing power generators
  • Installing and repairing hydraulic or pneumatic components
  • Replacing wires or conduit as needed
  • Running system tests and troubleshooting problems
  • Filling out reports and maintenance logs
  • Requesting other services that may be needed, such as replacement of sheet metal or computer components

Industrial electrical technicians may work for manufacturers, shipping companies, public utilities, and other employers that utilize heavy machinery. The work they do uses a wide range of hand and power tools, so they need to understand which tools are most appropriate for each of their tasks and how to use them safely. Finally, work completed by industrial electrical technicians must meet National Electrical Code standards and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Electrical Construction Technicians: Keeping the Lights (and Appliances) On

Electrical construction technicians install and modify electrical systems in new buildings or during renovations to existing buildings. They can perform work on residential or commercial buildings, and their work tends to be concerned with lighting systems, alarm systems, and control panels for other systems, such as sprinklers. Job duties may include:

  • Reading and interpreting construction blueprints
  • Designing, installing, and repairing circuits
  • Building and installing raceways, conduit, breaker boxes, and lighting components
  • Installing wiring systems
  • Performing tests to ensure safety and proper function
  • Troubleshooting and logging faults
  • Creating installation records for use by maintenance personnel

Electrical construction technicians usually work with electrical or construction contractors as part of a building or renovation crew. Like industrial electrical technicians, they need to complete work to National Electrical Code standards in a way that complies with OSHA regulations.

Program Options at Our Electrical Technician Trade School

At Altierus Career College, we offer students at our Tampa and Houston campuses the opportunity to earn an electrical construction technician diploma or an industrial electrical technician diploma in as few as nine months. With an additional three months of study, students can complete both diploma programs, equipping them to enter the job market with an even more versatile range of skills.

Our programs combine online coursework with two days of hands-on classes per week to make balancing school, job, and family obligations more manageable. They also feature all-inclusive tuition: students receive tools and equipment to complete their hands-on training, along with e-books and a laptop computer for coursework.

Interested in learning more about how you can train to become an electrical technician with Altierus? Check out our diploma programs today!

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