Industrial Electrician Job Description
Industrial Electricians oversee the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems in factories, warehouses, production areas and other businesses. They test existing equipment and determine if components of a system need to be upgraded or replaced. They check switches, motors, regulators and other parts of an industrial electrical system. Industrial Electricians tend to work on hydraulic, pneumatic and other kinds of systems. Work on robotic equipment is becoming increasingly common and Industrial Electricians are responsible for maintaining and repairing this type of equipment as well.
Industrial Electricians work for such employers as electrical firms, steel manufacturers, automotive plants and mining companies and typically report to facilities managers or maintenance supervisors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the overall job growth for electricians is expected to be 14 percent through 2024.
Industrial Electrician Duties and Responsibilities
To keep production and manufacturing equipment running smoothly, Industrial Electricians are responsible for handling several daily tasks. We analyzed several job listings for Industrial Electricians and found that the following duties and responsibilities are commonly listed for this occupation.
Install New Electrical Systems
Industrial Electricians bear the responsibility of installing new or refurbished equipment for manufacturing or production plants. They will run tests to ensure that new machinery is ready to be implemented and work out any issues before the equipment is used on a daily basis.
Troubleshoot Problems with Electrical Equipment
When equipment on a factory floor runs into problems, it is up to Industrial Electricians to determine the cause of these issues. They must be knowledgeable in troubleshooting problems with various types of equipment, such as hydraulic or robotic systems, and understand why equipment is not working properly.
Repair and Maintain Existing Equipment
Once a problem has been identified, Industrial Electricians must then use tools and replacement parts to make repairs to production and manufacturing machines. Industrial Electricians also conduct regularly-scheduled maintenance on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis to keep machines running at they are intended and to avoid any down-time due to break-downs or improper operations.
Maintain Repair and Maintenance Logs and Records
It is important for Industrial Electricians to create and manage reports pertaining to the repair and maintenance of industrial machines. This is crucial information for managers to know in the event that machines need to be upgraded or replaced, there is a record of ongoing issues or proof that machines have been properly maintained.
Industrial Electrician Skills
Among the most important skills Industrial Electricians should possess include problem-solving, troubleshooting, analytical and critical thinking capabilities. They should be strong communicators and team members who can also work independently as needed. Attention to detail, time management skills and organizational skills should also be displayed in this occupation, as well as above-average eye-hand coordination and the ability to stand, kneel or crouch for long periods of time throughout the day. In addition to these main skills and abilities, an Industrial Electrician should also be capable of the following:
- Installing various types of industrial equipment.
- Repairing and maintaining hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems.
- Calibrating and maintaining circuitry.
- Reading and interpreting wiring diagrams.
Industrial Electrician Tools of the Trade: Industrial Electricians rely on a wide variety of testing, repair and installation tools and pertinent knowledge to fulfill all job responsibilities. If you wish to become an Industrial Electrician, it is important that you are capable of using and doing the following:
Hand tools – wire cutters, soldering tools and crimping tools are among the most common items that Industrial Electricians use on a daily basis.
Testing equipment - knowledge of calibrators, counters, probes, scopes and meters is of utmost importance for those working as Industrial Electricians.
Electrical codes – Industrial Electricians should be familiar with state and national building electrical codes to ensure that systems are properly installed and maintained.
Industrial Electrician Education and Training
While no formal degree is typically required to become an Industrial Electrician, some employers might prefer a candidate to possess a technical diploma or associate’s degree in electrical or mechanical technology. Most employers require that candidates hold a state Journeyman Electrician license. Voluntary certifications are also available from professional organizations and associations. Training as an Industrial Electrician can be obtained through on-the-job training or apprenticeship programs.
Industrial Electrician Salary
According to the BLS, Industrial Electricians earn a median annual salary of $55,610; those in the lower percentile realize an annual salary of $34,820 and the highest-paid Industrial Electricians can make a median yearly wage of $85,440. Georgia ($73,910) and Maryland ($72,090) are home to the highest-paid Industrial Electricians, followed by North Carolina ($67,650) and Connecticut ($67,180). Industrial Electricians living in states on the East and West coast as well as Texas tend to earn higher wages than those employed in the Midwest.
Industrial Electrician Resources
Below we have gathered additional information to help you gain even more insight into this occupation. We have listed links to books, professional organizations and publications to help you better understand what being an Industrial Electrician entails.
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – From specialized training programs to conventions and webinars, NECA provides various learning resources for electrical contractors as well as Industrial Electricians.
Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) – Industrial Electricians can find useful resources such as training, newsletters and magazines, conferences and other activities pertinent to their job responsibilities and expectations.
Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC & M) Magazine – An online publication presenting articles addressing industry trends, troubleshooting tips, equipment overviews and much more.
Industrial Electricity and Motor Controls 2nd Edition by Rex Miller and Mark R. Miller – Written by professors in industrial technology, this comprehensive book explores every facet of being an Industrial Electrician, from codes and tools to types of systems and even careers in the field.
Industrial Electrical Troubleshooting by Lynn Lundquist – From ammeters to voltage meters, this book explores the types and uses of various troubleshooting tools used by Industrial Electricians. A must-read for those seeking to gain expertise in the use of electrical measuring tools to help them troubleshoot circuits, relays and other electrical system components.
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