If you want to be an electrical contractor, you probably know this means installing and maintaining the electrical systems of those who need your help. However, what does it mean to enter the commercial side of things? Well, rather than electrical systems in homes, you will be dealing with businesses, office spaces, factories, warehouses, and other business premises. With this in mind, it could mean that you’re required to help with communications systems as well as basic electrics.
As an electrical contractor in the commercial space, you will get experience in hospitals, schools, factories, warehouses, office buildings, and more. Of course, this guide focuses on commercial construction, which means that you’ll be involved early on in the process. Rather than just maintaining electrical systems that other people have designed, you will get involved yourself with the designing and installation process.
In all likelihood, the landowner with a desire to build a hospital or office building will team up with a builder. From here, they will subcontract work out to electricians, plumbers, and other specialists. With this in mind, you’ll need to bid on jobs. At first, this can be problematic because builders tend to have their favorite electricians. Especially for large projects in the commercial world, they need people to rely on time and time again. However, there’s no need to panic because your time will come. Their favorite electrical contractor might not be available, and then it’s your time to shine. Soon enough, you will have contacts who have projects on which you can assist.
On the other hand, you might work with the building/landowner directly. Ultimately, it all depends on the project in question. The more experience you build, the more jobs you’ll get. In commercial construction, it’s rewarding to see your ideas come to life.
Becoming An Electrical Contractor For Commercial Construction
In truth, the best thing you can do to start on this path is to learn the laws in your local jurisdiction since it seems to change from one state to another. Generally speaking, you will need an electrical contractor’s license, and this comes after a master electrician’s license. If you follow the local rules, you’ll be able to move across from a master electrician to an electrical contractor.
If you aren’t even a master electrician and want to start your career, we recommend beginning an apprenticeship. Depending on the apprenticeship type, you will complete up to 10,000 hours on the job and around 1,000 hours in the classroom. Once you’ve put in the hours, you will become a journeyman electrician. This means passing an examination covering the theory, local electrical codes, and the National Electrical Code.
From here, it’s all about generating experience with your license before you’re able to apply for a master electrician license. With around 4,000 hours or a couple of years under your belt, gaining this license will allow you to design electrical systems, pull permits, and supervise others. Of course, it will also allow you to apply for an independent or business electrical contractor license. Now, you’re ready to work in commercial construction and watch as your designs go from ideas to real-life results.
In most states, there are unique eligibility requirements, which is why it’s essential to get familiar with your own state’s rules and regulations. In Florida, you can be either locally registered or state-certified. Elsewhere, there is just one license to work in commercial construction.