As an electrician, I’ve spent long stretches of time working both alone and in relation to different groups of people. Although, I would say mostly alone. And I see why you might be curious about this. The question is asked for totally justifiable reasons, that vary from person to person. Perhaps you’re an individual who prefers to complete daily work tasks without social interruption. Or you could be looking for a job that has a lot of daily social interaction. As I will explain in this article, both of these personality types will each have something to benefit from in the electrical trade.
Electricians work alone and with others almost evenly split, according to a survey of 108 electricians. However, electricians can to a certain extent choose to pursue specialized career paths, where the work is being done either mostly alone or with other people.
Whether you primarily want to work with others or by yourself, there are opportunities for you to thrive in the electrical trade. However, in the beginning, stages as an apprentice, you will obviously be needed to pair up with an experienced electrician who will give you the basic knowledge in the field. In this article you will be introduced to why working with others can be a valuable aspect of the job. And I will also give some tips on how to move toward specialized work tasks for people who want to work alone.
Poll: Do Electricians Work Alone or With Others?
During the first year of my apprenticeship, I worked with different types of journeymen, who gave me valuable knowledge on the most important aspects of an electrician’s job. Especially in the first few months, I wasn’t left to myself all that often. But gradually, and with more experience, I quickly learned some skills, that gave me some opportunities to work on job tasks alone.
Personally, I enjoy doing work tasks and figuring out electrical solutions by myself. Although I do also really appreciate some guidance and the company of my colleagues. And going into the future, I have personally decided to be working towards doing more independent work tasks. These are obviously my own opinions and anecdotal experiences. And as such, here are the results of a survey on this topic to get a better understanding.
Do you work mostly alone or with others as an electrician?Survey Question
|I work mostly alone||47||44|
|I work mostly with others||61||56|
As the results suggest, around half of electricians in the survey work alone, and half work mostly with others. The respondents of the survey are spread across multiple sectors and do not take into account what specific industry the electricians belong to. However, it is a good indication (also in my experience) of how the work of an electrician is split roughly 50/50 percent.
Working as an electrician it will be virtually impossible to work entirely without any social interaction. Unless you’re working on an electrical panel hidden away in a basement somewhere secluded, you will most of the time have some social interaction. The longest period of time I’ve worked completely alone was around two weeks installing power outlets in an underground parking lot. Coming back to the main topic, here are the types of people you will mostly be having conversations with as an electrician throughout the day.
- Your Employer
- Other Electricians
- Material suppliers
Working as an electrician you will need to have the minimum capacity to interact socially with these types of people. And some more with others, depending on the given work task. In the instance of you working mostly residential, you will have to have some customer service skills, while also being able to install the current electrical solutions. I know for a fact, that many electricians avoid residential house work exactly because of interacting with customers. However, I also know electricians who thrive in social situations and who in general enjoy talking with customers. Some form of basic knowledge on your own personality type will help you a lot in understanding which type of electrician you want to become.
Poll: Is Being an Electrician a Good Career For Introverts?
I would definetely describe myself as being more introverted than extroverted. However not to any extent that makes it difficult for me to work with different people on a daily basis. I just enjoy taking on work, where I can put on some headphones and focus on the task by myself. I totally understand if someone were to ask this particular kind of question before choosing to become an electrician. so, to further explore the topic I put forth the following question to a total of 318 currently employed electricians.
Do you think an introvert would do well as an electrician?Survey Question
Here we have some great news for the introverted individuals, who want to pursue the career of an electrician. The vast majority of currently working electricians think that introverts will be well suited to become electricians. As I will later describe in this article, there are also some specific career paths you could pursue to further minimize social interaction as an electrician. If you’re interested in this topic, I would also suggest you read this article on the stressful parts of being an electrician.
The Buddy System
Especially with electrical work, two or more people are sometimes required to work together. This is also referred to as the “Buddy System”. The buddy system exists in many different professions but for electricians, it is a safety precaution for preventing accidents due to electrical hazards. There are different standards around the world in terms of when the buddy system must be complied with. However, it often relates to maintenance, testing, and replacement of components in electrical panels, where a certain threshold of power is present. You can read more on the common dangers for electricians in this article.
Jobs For Electricians Who Prefer to Work Alone
In this section, I will describe the career paths of an electrician that will likely enable you to work mostly alone. As mentioned, most electricians will in some form or another require you to interact with people, however, these professions will in general minimize that part of the job.
Construction Site Electricians: An Electrician who works on a construction site has many opportunities to take on individual work tasks. I personally know multiple electricians who thrive in this particular industry because of this aspect. If you don’t want any type of major responsibility (other than completing the work task of course), this can also be an added benefit.
Electrician Technicians: Electrician technicians are workers who specialize in both standard electrical installations and various advanced programming systems. This type of electrical field required one to have technical knowledge that is being implemented and programmed by the individual electrician technician. For example, heating and ventilation electrician technicians apply solutions on both the hands-on- and technical sides of the project.
Self Employed Electricians: So, I had a little trouble placing this type of electrician in one of the two categories. The amount of social interaction for self-employed electricians will obviously be reduced by the number of colleagues and the types of customers you work for. However, the nature of being self-employed is closely related to your ability for choosing your own projects and hours. Either way, if you choose to become a self-employed electrician, you will have many opportunities for working both with and without a lot of people.
Jobs For Electricians Who Prefer to Work With Others
This section is for the people persons out there. If you’re a social-oriented person who thrives on communication with colleagues, customers, and partners, the following career options will be most suited for you.
Residential Electricians: A typical residential electrician will meet many types of people during a typical workweek. There might even be more than one customer on any given day, which also adds to the number of people you’ll meet. The different work tasks will also involve more complex problem solving and communication in general.
While working as a residential electrician, you’re responsible for ordering materials and doing the actual electrical work by yourself. Your general manager will be a much-needed lifeline from time to time. However, all the communication to customers and suppliers oftentimes goes completely through you as a residential electrician.
Electrician Foremen (and Manager): The job of a foreman is to make sure, that the project is running according to the appropriate timelines. This involves the ordering of electrical components and materials, which means that you also have to communicate with suppliers on a daily basis. While the foreman is making sure, the deadlines are being complied with, you are also the key component in making sure, that the electricians are doing their job on a daily basis.
I would actually argue, that the job of a foreman is somewhat underappreciated in terms of the relationship between responsibility and the rather small payscale they typically receive. However, if you thrive in a managerial role (while also doing some electrical work) the job of a foreman could be suited for you.
Electricians with “fixed” customers: I’ve belonged in this category for quite a while myself as an electrician. A fixed customer is for example a company who have employed an electrical firm to be responsible for their general electrical infrastructure. These types of customers can be smaller or larger. With a larger company, you will inevitably meet and collaborate with more people on a daily basis. Working in the same place with the same customer does require a lot of social interaction, which can be somewhat distract you from the electrical work. However, especially as an electrician apprentice, this is a great place to become familiar with many types of electrical installations.