We are all familiar with the work an electrician does, and despite electricity being a vital part of our lives, we definitely take it for granted. As well as keeping the lights on, our food cold, our phone charged and our rooms heated, here are some very interesting facts about electricians.
Electricians Must Pass a Colour Test
It is a little-known fact, but to work in the electrical profession, you need to have colour vision. Up until the 1970’s single phase electrical wires were coloured red, black and green. This was a problem as the most common form of colour blindness is where green and red are perceived the same, thanks to a lessened sensitivity to lights of those colours.
Because of this, multi-coloured Earth was introduced but the single phase wires weren’t phased out until after 2000. So a lot of the time still, the only way to tell the difference between multiple types of wiring is by their different colours. Hence without colour vision, working with electrical wiring could be very problematic, not to mention dangerous.
Electricians Perform a Wide Variety of Functions
There are many functions that an electrician performs, with the primary role being that of preserving the electrical systems of homes and businesses. Wiring new homes and re-wiring older homes are common jobs, as are fixing problems including fault finding and maintenance. Other roles of electricians testing and installing components to provide home automation and climate control, data, security and intercom.
There are 4 major areas of specialisation for electricians, and individuals might choose to focus on one or more of these:
- Outside Lineman
At MBE we specialise in residential and commercial projects.
Electricians are also Safety Experts
A crucial role in the electrical industry is performing safety checks. Without proper knowledge, a number of the tasks done on a day to day basis could be dangerous, so it’s not surprising there are an array of safety regulations. An electrician must know these inside out, and be aware of the varying building codes when installing electrical products.
A Number of Celebrities Trained as Electricians
We all know celebrities are often multi-talented, but it’s a little known fact that some of them were actually electricians. George Harrison from The Beatles started off as an apprentice electrician but decided to try his luck in the music industry. Not a bad decision! Elvis Presley started off at Crown Electrical in the 50s training as a sparkie, but then moved on to electric guitars instead!
Other famous people who dabbled with electricity were Rowan Atkinson, Alfred Hitchcock and American President Benjamin Franklin.
Master Electricians Learn Almost as Long as Doctors
To become a master electrician, you will have been learning and training for at least 8 years. Much like a doctor that has people’s lives in his hands on a regular basis, when you’re dealing with potentially dangerous situations in a house or office building, it’s important to have mastered your craft. That’s why so much experience is required, from classroom work to hands-on experience while completing an apprenticeship and becoming a fully licensed electrician.
Problem Solving is an Important Prerequisite
Identifying, diagnosing and evaluating problems and defects is a big part of an electrician’s work. The answer won’t always be obvious which is why problem solving skills are vital. Using a range of diagnostic tools, reading schematics and analysing results is important. But implementing quick thinking and trying different ways to solve an issue is just as necessary in many day to day tasks.
Electricians are in Great Shape
While many of the tasks performed by an electrician don’t require you to be an amazing physical specimen, a number of them do require high levels of fitness. Moving through crawl spaces, climbing ladders, carrying heavy equipment, digging holes, breaking through walls – all of these are physical intense. Doing it on a regular basis and in all weather conditions and you can see why this work isn’t for the lazy!
More Electrical Jobs will be Created in the Future
As a society, we are becoming more dependent on digital technology. As a result, the need for electrical contractors will continue to grow strongly. Their roles will become increasingly diverse and with more homes and businesses becoming automated, there will be an ongoing need for skilled and experienced electricians.
For more information or to hire a fully qualified electrician, call MBE on 1300 862 796.