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by CSG Electric

The Difference Between Electrician and Electrical Engineer

Though both electrical engineers and electricians are capable of working with electrical currents, each of them approaches their job differently. Essentially, one of them is responsible for the design aspect of electrical currents, while the other’s job is the proper execution of the design made. 

The following are further details of how both professions are different in terms of responsibilities, education, training, and hands-on technical experience. 

 

The Job of Electrical Engineers

  • The main responsibility of electrical engineers is to create designs as well as various ways to utilize electric power.
  • They are also tasked to establish industry standards and electrical specifications for the installation and manufacture of different electrical equipment.
  • Electrical engineers also conduct tests to make sure certain specifications adhere to when they are involved with a large construction project.
  • Electrical engineers work with project managers and other team members to ensure that a project is completed within the scheduled time and budget.
  • Electrical engineers also design new products as well as study an existing one to determine how it can be better revised. They do this by creating a design plan
  • Electrical engineers also produce electrical equipment
  • Electrical engineers are heavily involved in the various stages of equipment production using their technical and design skills
  • Electrical engineers have the option to choose from various related industries. They can pursue managerial responsibilities and need not be involved in entry-level work as long as they have a Professional Engineer license
  • Electrical engineers can work in manufacturing, research, and power production
  • They are trained to be able to produce generators or electric motors
  • They also use computer design software to create product design plans
  • Electrical engineers assess any consumer complaints received about a particular product
  • They also oversee the manufacture of products and evaluate the products to make sure they function properly

 

The Job of Electricians

  • The main responsibility of electricians is to install the wiring and systems that would provide homes, establishments and buildings with electrical power. 
  • Part of their job is to read and assess technical diagrams made by electrical engineers. They are required to follow the diagrams’ specifications. Doing so makes it possible for occupants to utilize electrical power to light up a building or home, as well as energize gadgets and appliances in order for them to properly function.
  • Electricians are also required to maintain electrical systems. They make sure that any wiring problems are identified and repaired. It is also the electrician’s job to replace electrical parts, systems, and broken lights.
  • They connect electrical systems to a power supply and make regular inspections to existing electrical systems and wiring
  • Electricians are required to have knowledge in the operation of power tools

 

Type of Education Required for Electrical Engineers

  • Electrical engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or electrical engineering technology or electronic engineering
  • Some prefer to enroll in a five-year program that would result in their completion of both a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree
  • Once the required education is completed, they need to gain hands-on work experience. Some enroll in programs that provide work experience as well as academic knowledge
  • Once they complete the required academic requirements, they need to acquire a Professional Engineering license by passing exams

 

Type of Education Required for Electricians

  • Electricians get their start by first going through a program where they are an apprentice to a more experienced senior electrician. They can usually apprentice after receiving a high school diploma 
  • Apprenticeship programs usually last four to five years
  • Apprentice electricians gain knowledge in the classroom as well as through practical experience via a paid on-the-job training
  • Prior to becoming a full-fledged electrician, they generally need to complete 144 hours of training as well as 2,000 on-the-job training hours for each year they are within an internship program
  • Electricians only need to pass one exam
  • They are usually assigned to different work sites and thus need to travel a lot. They may be required to work during the weekends or evenings

 

Pay Received by Electrical Engineers and Electricians

Electrical engineers are paid more compared to electricians. But government projection shows that electricians have a higher employment growth rate compared to electrical engineers in the coming years.

 

Conclusion

All in all, though electrical engineers and electricians work with electrical systems, their specific tasks vastly differ. Besides their different job responsibilities, both jobs require different levels of training and education. 

Since electrical engineers need to have a degree, the income they receive is higher than what electricians receive. In terms of general job growth, both careers are seen to flourish at the same rate. Currently, the median annual salary of electrical engineers is within the 122,000 CAD range. Meanwhile, electricians’ yearly salary falls within the 68,000 CAD range.

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Electrician
The Difference Between Electrician and Electrical Engineer