The Electrical Contractor – Roles, Responsibilities & Job Outlook

Electrical contractors are essential in a connected world. Continue reading to discover more about the work of electrical contractors, their salaries, and how economists predict that customer demand may change over time.

What does it mean to be an electrician?

Electrical contractors install, maintain and design the electrical systems for buildings (i.e. Electrical contractors can be found in homes, offices, or industrial buildings. This term can be used to refer both to the companies providing these services and to the workers who deliver those services.

Three general types of electricians are available in this industry.

  • Electrical contractors inside buildings:  These contractors are responsible for managing electrical systems within buildings. This would include an extensive amount of lighting and electrical outlets that form an integral part of the building’s interior.
  • Outside electricians: These contractors manage outside systems, as you can probably guess. Lineworkers are those who maintain and repair telecommunications and electrical lines.
  • Integration Building Systems Contractors:  These companies manage the various elements of a building’s integrated systems (for example, access control, lighting, networks, etc.).


You may now be curious about the difference between an electrician and an electrical contractor.

The term “electrician”, as it is commonly used, refers to individuals who perform electrical contracting work. As mentioned, the term “electrical contractor”, however, is used to describe both the individuals as well as the companies that work with them.

What is an electrician?

An electrical contractor may have the following responsibilities:

  • Installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and troubleshooting electric systems
  • Managing projects (including planning, resource allocation, and project management)
  • Management of client relationships

The day-to-day activities of an electrical contractor can vary depending upon their specialty and the stage they are working on.

For example, electrical contractors who were brought in before the structure was constructed may be expected to identify the best system and then install it based on the client’s requirements. During this time, electricians who are brought in to repair existing structures might need to upgrade the system or maintain it.

Contractors should not only complete the work but also manage their work schedules to make sure work is done on time. This is similar to all subcontractors. This requires knowledge of subcontractor software.

What is the salary of an electrician?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that electricians make a median annual salary of $56,900. According to the agency, employment opportunities for electricians will increase by 8% between 2019 and 2029. This is faster than the projected growth for all U.S. occupations over that same period (4%).


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBoLS), electrical contractors typically learn their trade-in apprenticeships or technical schools after they have graduated from high school (or received equivalent education). In most states, they require licensing.

An apprenticeship or technical school program can be completed by an electrician and they may, depending on the state, be eligible to work as an independent contractor. They may also be eligible to apply for employment in an electrical contracting firm and work with other professionals.

The National Electrical Contractors Association website contains information about electrical contracting regulations for each state and municipality.

Electrical contractor success requires the following abilities and skills

Let’s now discuss the skills and capabilities that an electrician must have to succeed in this industry.



Electrical contractors must be able to distinguish between colors because wires can often be color-coded. This is to ensure safety and quality work.

That said, color-blind electricians do exist. They may use equipment, such as. Filters and lights. Some sectors have mission-critical wires that are also labeled. This allows colorblind electricians to interpret alphanumeric values and not rely on their hues.

While color vision is an essential requirement for an electrician license, it can be a barrier to entry if you are color blind.


All subcontractors need to communicate effectively – even electrical contractors. This skill is tested daily in the field, from communicating expectations with stakeholders to giving clear instructions to colleagues.


Many electrical contractors spend hours every day on their feet. The job is also physically demanding.

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Maneuvering at difficult-to-reach locations
  • Frequently climbing ladders and scaffolding

Although electricians don’t need to be Olympians or have a lot of stamina and physical strength, they can still be valuable assets.


Attention to detail is essential for all subcontracting types. It ensures the safety and high-quality work. This is especially true for electrical contracting which involves the handling of dangerous equipment.

Electrical contractors must be able to spot potential hazards and electrical problems on job sites.


A variety of administrative skills are required for electrical contractors who want to run their own business. This includes working knowledge of:

  • Accounting
  • construction human resource management
  • Budgeting
  • project estimating

These may seem to have very little to do with actual electricity work but they can make the difference between a successful subcontracting business and one that goes bankrupt.


Electric contracting is a hands-on job. Therefore, workers must be able to use the tools of their trade with confidence and dexterity.

  • pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Power tools
  • cable ties


The majority of electrical contractors spend considerable time reading blueprints, schematics, and regulations. It is essential to be able to read these documents and deliver what the client expects.


Electric contractors often work with numbers throughout the day. They can quickly calculate measurements and convert units, as well as other tasks, such as converting units, conversions, and much more. Although electrical contracting doesn’t require any special knowledge, it is a valuable skill to be able to perform basic to intermediate calculations quickly.


Electricians spend a lot of their time in the environment of their clients, whether it’s a home or office. They often serve as the first point of contact between the client and the electrical contracting company.

It is important for electrical contractors to represent their employers well. This boils down to providing excellent customer service. They must be professional and presentable and maintain a clean workspace.

Thank you for reading!

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