AskDefine | Define electrician

Dictionary Definition

electrician n : a person who installs or repairs electrical or telephone lines [syn: lineman, linesman]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A tradesman who installs and repairs electrical wiring and equipment


Extensive Definition

An electrician is a tradesman specializing in electrical wiring of buildings and related equipment. Electricians may be employed in the installation of new electrical components or the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure.


In the United States electricians are sometimes referred to as Inside Wireman as opposed to Outside Linemen who work on electric utility company distribution systems at higher voltages. "Electrician" is also used as the name of a role in stagecraft, where electricians are tasked primarily with hanging, focusing, and operating stage lighting. In this context, the Master Electrician is the show's chief electrician. Although theater electricians routinely perform electrical work on stage lighting instruments and equipment, they are not part of the electrical trade and have a different set of skills and qualifications from the electricians that work on building wiring.
In the United Kingdom, "spark" or "sparkie" is slang term for an electrician.

Training and regulation of trade

In most countries, the job of an electrician is a regulated trade for safety reasons due to the many hazards of working with electricity, requiring testing, registration, or licensing. Licensing of electricians is controlled through government and/or professional societies.

United States

In the United States licensing requirements for construction work are controlled by local building officials. Typically, certain types of electrical work are only permitted to be performed by a Journeyman or Master electrician. The requirements for becoming a journeyman or master electrician, and the types of work they are permitted to do, vary between states; however, there are often interstate reciprocity agreements. Not all states offer a statewide journeyman or master electrician license.
Before electricians are allowed to work without supervision, they are usually required to serve an apprenticeship lasting from 3 to 5 years under the general supervision of a Master Electrician and usually the direct supervision of a Journeyman Electrician. Schooling in electrical theory and electrical building codes is usually required to complete the apprenticeship program. A Journeyman electrician is a well rounded craftsman trained in all phases of electrical construction installation in various building styles and maintenance of equipment after installation. A Journeyman is usually permitted to perform all types of electrical work except design of electrical systems. A Master Electrician must first be a Journeyman and usually has a minimum of two years more experience and has to pass further testing. A Master Electrician is further trained in layout, estimation, and design of electrical installations.
Certification usually requires experience and a passing score on a written test. The written test usually includes questions about the NFPA's National Electrical Code, and load calculations.

Trade Organizations

Many unions represent electricians such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine, and Furniture Workers; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; United Auto Workers; and the United Steelworkers.Many merit-shop training and apprenticeship programs also exist, including those offered by such as trade associations as Associated Builders and Contractors and Independent Electrical Contractors. These organizations provide comprehensive training, in accordance with with U.S. Department of Labor regulations, for this challenging but fulfilling career.


External links

electrician in Danish: Elektriker
electrician in German: Elektroinstallateur
electrician in French: Électricien
electrician in Hebrew: אלקטרונאי
electrician in Dutch: Elektricien
electrician in Norwegian: Elektriker
electrician in Polish: Elektryk
electrician in Russian: Электрик
electrician in Simple English: Electrician
electrician in Swedish: Elektriker
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