Electrical contracting is the business of bringing lighting, power, and communications to buildings and communities across the United States and around the world. In the U.S., it is an industry valued at over $130 billion annually made up of over 70,000 electrical contracting firms employing over 650,000 electrical workers.
What is an Electrician?
An electrician is someone trained (and usually licensed) to perform electrical work. Electrical work is a highly technical profession that requires a thorough understanding of how electricity works and the materials and components used to deliver power, as well as electrical safety and standards.
An electrician can be employed by an electrical contracting firm or self-employed as an individual electrical contractor.
What is an Electrical Contractor?
An electrical contractor is a business person or firm that performs specialized construction work related to the design, installation, and maintenance of electrical and communication systems. Electrical contractors are classified by the work they do:
“Outside” or “line” contractors are responsible for high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. Line contractors see that electricity generated at power plants is safely carried through high-voltage lines and substations before it’s used to power any facilities, buildings, or homes.
“Inside” electrical contractors provide electricity to buildings and structures. Inside electrical contractors can serve as prime contractors for all electrical and cabling design, installation, and maintenances in commercial, institutional, and residential buildings.
“Integrated building systems” (IBS) or “Voice/Data/Video” (VDV) electrical contractors work primarily with low-voltage installations, including back-up power, climate controls, wireless networks, energy-efficient lighting, telecommunications, fiber optics, and security systems. IBS contractors integrate these system controls for maximum energy efficiency and building performance.