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Electrician VS Electrical Engineer: Differences

Electrician VS Electrical Engineer: Differences

Electricity is one of the major subjects in scientific interest since the 17th century. William Gilbert was a prominent electrical engineer, and he was the first one who drew an evident distinction between magnetism and static electricity. He was given credit for establishing the term “electricity”, and he’s the designer of a device known as Versorium, which detects if there’s a statically charged object. Electrical engineers have been there from the start, just like William Gilbert, there were others too, who invented devices that we use today, for instance, in 1762 a Swedish professor named Johan Wickle inventor of electrophorus which produces a static electrical charge.

In early times, there weren’t huge and complicated devices, thus we needed different people for different jobs. Electricians and electrical engineers who have expertise in the same department, however, both have different jobs.

An electrician is a skilled worker and specializes in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, and stationary machines, as well as other related equipment. The job of electricians is to install new electrical components or maintenance and repairment an existing electrical infrastructure. Furthermore, electricians are also specialized in the wiring of ships, airplanes, and many other similar things, as well as data and cable lines.

Electrical engineering, on the other hand, is an engineering discipline that is concerned with the study, design, and application of devices, systems, equipment that utilizes electricity, and electronics, as well as electromagnetism. Electrical engineering is divided into many departments, for instance, computer engineering, power engineering, and radio-frequency engineering.

In electrical engineering, the major job is to design and install large power systems, while electricians install wiring and repair electrical systems. Both electrical engineers and electricians are important for any kind of electrical work, for instance, the huge generators you see are built by electrical engineers, while the wiring is the work done by an electrician, and if there’s a problem in those generators, electricians are responsible for the repair.

Keep reading to know more.

What do electrical engineers do?

a person doing electricity stuffs
Electrical engineers toil in a wide range of industries.

The main job of electrical engineers is that they are responsible for designing as well as manufacturing software or any kind of machines because electrical engineering is related to the discipline of engineering which is concerned with the study, design, manufacture, and the application of equipment, devices and it’s systems which utilize electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.

Every electrical engineer has an academic degree with electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology as the major, and the degree takes four to five years to complete. The bachelor’s degree includes physics, mathematics, computer science, and project management, as well as several other topics in electrical engineering.

Some electrical engineers also choose to pursue postgraduate degrees such as Master of Engineering/Master of Science, Master of Engineering Management, a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, and there are several others. These masters of engineering degrees consist of research, coursework, or sometimes a mixture of these two.

Electrical engineers toil in a wide range of industries and the skills that are required vary according to the types of industries. The jobs from them range from circuit theory to the supervising skills of a manager who’s given a project. The tools that they mostly need range from a voltmeter to designing and manufacturing equipment for software.

Here is a list of job responsibilities of electrical engineers.

  • Cooperate with the clients and identify their needs.
  • Designing as well as manufacturing systems, applications, and products.
  • Reading of technical drawings or specifications.
  • Drawing of product plans and creating models/prototypes by using 3D software.
  • Working and cooperating with the design team.
  • Management of time.
  • Supervising tradespeople.
  • Conduction of feasibility studies.
  • Designing as well as conducting tests, and analyzation and reporting the data
  • Preparing for presentations and writing reports.
  • Insurance of the things related to the project and for safety regulations.

Here is a video that explains electrical engineering in depth.

An overview of Electrical Engineering

Can an electrical engineer work as an electrician?

The job of an electrical engineer is far broader than the job of an electrician, electrical engineers might be able to do the job of electricians, but electricians can’t do what an electrical engineer does.

Electrical engineer primarily works in multidisciplinary teams, meaning they have a major involvement in the designing, implementation, testing, and maintenance of the electrical systems.

Many people think that electricians and electrical engineers are the same people, however, they’re some differences between them, the differences are mostly in educational backgrounds as they’re two different careers.

Both electricians and electrical engineers work with electricity, but they both have different job roles.

Electricians are responsible for electrical wiring, which includes installation, and maintenance, as well as repairment, while the job of electrical engineers is more complicated. Electrical engineers have the responsibility of studying, designing, and manufacturing control systems and components.

Do electricians make good money?

a person fixing the wires
The pay scale of an electrician may differ in certain regions.

An average pay rate of an electrician in the United States is around $26 an hour and $57k annually. As I said pay rate varies with the region, the median salary is around $44k, but it varies by state.

The pay scale of an electrician is different in every region, however, there’s a study that said, “between 2019 and 2029, electricians employment is supposed to grow faster than most of the other professions”, with that the pay can increase or decrease it basically depends on how good an electrician is.

Here is the list of the top-paying states for electricians:

StateHourly payAnnually
New York$39.11$81,340
District of Columbia $38.00$79,030
Top-paying states for electricians.

Electricians are considered versed tradespeople who work in different kinds of settings which includes, including residential homes, business buildings, and factories. The work of an electrician is of installation, maintenance, and testing, as well as repairment of the electrical systems, and these jobs can include different wirings, electrical control systems, electrical equipment, and machinery.

In the life of an electrician, traveling can be a big part, as they’re needed, where there is electricity. They also work side by side with other engineers.

Let’s have a look at the responsibilities of an electrician:

  • Making plans for electrical systems.
  • Installation of wiring, control systems, and lighting in any kind of new building.
  • Formation of electrical circuits, installation of switches, and circuit breaker panels, as well as relays.
  • Testing in order to find any faults.
  • Reading technical documentation and diagrams.
  • Maintenance of electrical systems and ensuring safety.
  • Repairment and up-gradation of faulty electrical equipment.
  • Working with the team which includes electricians and tradespeople.

What’s the highest paying electrical job?

a person opening a tool box
Every type of electrician makes a decent amount of income.

Electricians who work in industries earn slightly more because of their demand and location.

However, here is the list of the highest paying electrical job:

  • Avionics technician. The national average salary is $35,935 annually.

Avionics technicians are responsible for the installation and maintenance of electrical systems on an aircraft.

  • Commercial electrician. The national average salary is $39,935 annually.

A commercial electrician job is much similar to an industrial electrician job, however, they don’t have as much expertise in manufacturing settings, thus the reason for such a great pay is high demand.

  • Marine technician. The national average salary is $45,052 annually.

Marine technicians are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the electrical systems on boats.

  • Wind turbine technician. The national average salary is $50,174 annually.

Wind turbine technician has the job of installing, repairing, and inspecting wind turbines.

  • Electrical technician. The national average salary is $51,727 annually.

Electrical technicians work on buildings which can include repairing, testing, and maintaining electrical equipment.

  • Maintenance electrician. The national average salary is $53,076 annually.

Maintenance electricians work in a commercial or manufacturing setting in order to install, repair and maintain electrical equipment.

  • Lineman. The national average salary is $53,352 annually.

Lineman only repairs and maintains outdoor electrical equipment which includes power lines and poles.

  • Electrical foreman. The national average salary is $58,272 annually.

The electrical foreman supervises other electricians on interior and exterior projects which can include construction sites or electrical stations. They’re basically in charge of planning and designing electrical systems, and overseeing other electricians install and maintain the system.

  • Industrial electrician. The national average salary is $60,216 annually.

Industrial electricians are responsible for repairs and maintenance of the electrical equipment in commercial as well as manufacturing settings.

  • Solar installer. The national average salary is $62,691 annually.

The solar installer, also known as a solar technician or PV installer has the job to install and maintain photovoltaic systems or solar panels.

  • Substation technician. The national average salary is $69,423 annually.

Substation technician, also known as substation electrician monitors, manage, and maintains substations, they manage and send power to homes or businesses in their area.

  • Automation technician. The national average salary is $77,818 annually

Automation technicians work with electrical systems that control automation in many varieties of settings, this can include manufacturing and industrial processing.

To Conclude

a person fixing wires
There are many electrical jobs that pay well.

Both electricians and electrical engineers are important for manufacturing something, as the electrical engineer is required for the planning and manufacturing of a system, and an electrical is required to install the system.

Electrical engineer pays well as their job is broader, however job of an electrician earns a decent amount as well.

There are many electrical jobs that pay well, one should definitely consider them when choosing a career path. I made it easy for you by listing electrical jobs that pay well.

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