Electrician and Low Voltage Technician Job Preview and Expectations
Electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes including power, lighting, climate control, security, communications, and electronic controls for machinery. Electricians work with blueprints and digital construction platforms, follow the National Electrical Code (NEC), and must comply with state and local building requirements. They increasingly work with innovations in smart and green technologies. Although most electricians specialize in either construction or maintenance, a growing number do both. Their working environment varies, depending on the type of job; to avoid injuries, they follow strict safety procedures.
Electricians today are at the forefront of emerging technologies that require their skilled knowledge to plan and install solar electric systems, electric car charging stations, smart buildings and homes, and consult about energy efficiency. They work on commercial construction, public projects, and in residential settings and find themselves in many working conditions.
Low Voltage Technicians test, service, and maintain low voltage electronic and control systems equipment. Technicians are often divided into two categories: Voice Data Video technicians (or VDV techs), and Fire Life Safety technicians (or FLS techs). Voice Data Video technicians establish communications systems by installing, operating, and maintaining voice, data, and video telecommunications network circuits and equipment. Fire Life Safety technicians work on proprietary systems related to fire, life, and safety.
Electricians' and low voltage technicians' work can sometimes be strenuous. They bend conduit, stand for long periods, and frequently work on ladders and scaffolds. Their working environment varies, depending on the type of job. Some may sometimes work in dusty, dirty, hot, or wet conditions; or in confined areas, ditches, or other uncomfortable places. Electricians risk injury from electrical shock, falls, and cuts; to avoid injuries, they must follow strict safety procedures. Some electricians and low voltage technicians may have to travel to jobsites.