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Electrical Engineer vs Electrician: Are they different?
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Electrical Engineer Vs Electrician: Are They Different?

Many people aren’t sure what the difference is between Electricians and an Electrical Engineers since they both related to solving electrical problems. However, their job roles are very different. Join BestLifeTips to learn about the differences between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician.

If you think that the qualifications and responsibilities of Electrical Engineers and Electricians are the same, then it’s time to make it right. Read this article of BestLifeTips to find out the differences between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician.

What does an Electrical Engineer do?

What does an Electrical Engineer do?

An Electrical Engineer uses the physics and mathematics of electricity, electromagnetism, and electronics to design and develop new electrical equipment and systems, to solve problems, and to test equipment.

Electrical Engineers can work on many different projects, from designing household appliances to designing large-scale electrical telecommunication systems, electrical power stations, and satellite communications systems.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an Electrical Engineer’s job duties may include:

  • Evaluating electrical systems, products, components, and applications.
  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products.
  • Researching and testing manufacturing and assembly methods and materials.
  • Develop manufacturing, construction and installation standards.
  • Direct the manufacturing, installation and testing of electrical equipment.
  • Preparing product reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends.
  • Providing engineering information by answering questions and requests.
  • Manage the production of electrical projects to ensure work is completed well, on time and within budget.

What does an Electrician do?

What does an Electrician do?

An Electrician installs and maintains electrical power for lighting systems, communication systems, wiring and control systems. They are qualified to inspect electrical components and use various testing equipment to identify electrical problems and repair or replace equipment or wiring.

Electricians specializing in construction primarily install wiring systems into factories, businesses, and new homes. Electricians specializing in maintenance fix and upgrade existing electrical systems and repair electrical equipment.

An Electrician’s duties may include:

  • Read electrical, architectural and mechanical diagrams or drawings.
  • Understand electrical specifications and electrical theory to determine job requirements.
  • Plan layouts for electrical wires and wiring systems.
  • Identify the right electrical equipment for a particular job.
  • Install lighting, power outlets, conduits, cable trays, ladder racks, circuit breakers and emergency lighting.
  • Carry out fault-finding.
  • Test, repair and maintain electrical equipment.
  • Connect electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Install motors and switchboards.
  • Install automated electrical controls.
  • Install voice and data cabling.

Differences between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician

Differences between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician

The basic difference between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician

The main task of Electrical Engineers is to design, test and oversee the process through which various electrical equipments are manufactured. They have updated knowledge about electric motors, communication devices, power generation systems and navigation controls.

An Electrician’s primary task is to install, repair and maintain the electrical systems in your home, office and other places. They can manually fix electrical problems using advanced tools, inspect existing electrical installations, read blueprints and specifications.

Different qualifications between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician

Electrical Engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, or electrical engineering technology, or electronic engineering to enter their profession.

It takes about 4 years to complete this program of study, including training in classrooms and laboratories on digital systems design, advanced math, engineering principles and electrical circuitry theory. An internship can provide practical experience.

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.

Electrical Technicians do not have any licensing requirements to perform their job and work as an Electrical Technician. The education they need is generally enough to qualify them to perform their work.

Engineers interested in offering services to the public need a professional engineering license, which mandates a bachelor’s degree, related work experience and passing two exams.

As for Electricians, they 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 or equivalent.

They learn their trade through a four-year apprenticeship. They have to complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job- experience for each year to receive wages. They normally need to pass an exam to gain the license.

Electricians often have licensing requirements, which can vary depending on the location. Additionally, since there are multiple types of electricians such as apprentices, journeymen and master electricians, in some states they need to obtain a license at each level.

Electricians 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.

Different work environments between Electrical Engineer vs Electrician

Electrical Engineers plan projects from their offices, test designs in labs and coordinate manufacturing in production facilities. They are generally employed in companies dealing with a generation of electric power, transmission and distribution and manufacturing of various semiconductors and electronic components.

They may need to visit factories and other industrial settings from time to time, but largely their work is not physically demanding.

Electricians who have earned a degree or certificate in electrical technology do more active work than engineers. Rather than design electrical systems they install, maintain and fix them.

Electricians typically travel to customer sites to perform their jobs. They may work in homes, in commercial buildings or in industrial settings. Electricians often work indoors, but some work outside in all kinds of weather.

The work can be challenging, involving a lot of standing, squatting, squeezing into tight spaces, climbing, working at heights, using tools and heavy equipment. The work is more dangerous than that of Electrical Engineers, with risks of falls, injuries and shocks.

Careers for both Electrical Engineers vs Electricians are growing. They both are paid well and required education and training. The differences are largely in work environment, salary and the fact that engineers mostly design while electricians install and fix. Either option will make a great future career for any young person.

Best schools for Electrical Engineers 2021

Here is the World University Rankings of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2021:

  1. Harvard University, USA
  2. University of Oxford, UK
  3. Stanford University, USA
  4. MIT, USA
  5. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA
  6. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA
  7. Princeton University, USA
  8. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  9. Peking University, China
  10. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

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The career paths of Electrical Engineer vs Electrician have pluses and minuses. They are very different job roles that require a very different skillset. They also require different educational and training path. We hope you enjoy this article of BestLifeTips on Electrical Engineer vs Electrician.