Types of Electricians in Los Angeles
California is the state with the highest employment level for electricians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area is the one with the highest quotient. If you’re looking for an electrician in Los Angeles, you’ve got over 200 options, so it might help to know what are the different types of electrician and which one you need.
Electricians’ primary job is to ensure the safe and effective running of electrical systems, from lights and appliances to wiring and equipment. They’re licensed, specialized tradesmen, who can perform a wide variety of tasks, ranging from reading technical electrical system blueprints to rewiring entire homes.
Almost all electricians have a certain specialty, a certain area that they have most experience in. For instance, at Penna Electric we specialize in full house rewiring and electrical panel upgrades, but we also perform a great deal of installations for car charging stations.
Domestic or Residential Electrician in Los Angeles
If you are a homeowner, then chances are you had to find and hire an electrician for either big projects or small updates. The bigger projects usually happen when you purchase the house, but can also be further down the road if the home becomes over 30 years old and the systems are outdated.
Residential electricians are the most common type, and as the name suggests, they perform electrical work in residential areas. They are mainly tasked with installing and maintaining electrical systems in homes.
But even within the category of domestic electricians, there are varying degrees of expertise and specialization, and you want to make sure you get the right man for the job. If you’re undertaking a major remodel that involves not just rewiring the house, but also updating the panel, installing outdoor lighting, adding structures to your house like extra rooms, a gym, etc. then you’ll need more than an electrician who changes a doorbell or an outlet.
You need to find a highly experienced electrician, who can instruct a team of workers and also plan and draw your project. Some of the work they need to perform includes:
- Reading technical blueprints;
- Rewiring, updating electrical systems and installing new lighting;
- Diagnosing and repairing any issues in the electrical system or wiring;
- Ensuring everything is up to code in accordance with the local and national electrical safety regulations;
- Making sure all electrical components in the house function properly.
Training and experience are both very important and should be considered when deciding what type of electrician in Los Angeles you need. Usually, training starts with formal classroom instruction, followed by an apprenticeship. This lasts a minimum of four years under the supervision of an experienced electrician. At the end of the apprenticeship, a residential electrician needs to pass rigorous state testing.
At Penna Electric, our workers are mainly residential electricians with years of training and experience. Todd Penna, the Owner and CEO, first became certified with the state of California as a journeyman electrician. He then took his electrical contractors test to become an electrical contractor and the class B contractors test to become a licensed contractor. He has more than 20 years experience in the electrical industry.
Commercial electricians work on very large projects, in commercial structures, such as office buildings or malls. They also work on construction sites or on mechanical electrical systems. There’s also some installation tasks that go with commercial electrical work, but those usually include electronic key systems, security systems, or water heaters.
Just like with domestic ones, commercial electricians require extensive training and experience. One needs 2,000 hours of apprenticeship training, as well as to work under a master electrician before licensing. Their range of duties include:
- Inspecting electrical systems and components in commercial building to make sure they’re compliant with all regulations and safe for work;
- Installing and maintaining wiring and electrical systems;
- Leading teams of apprentices and junior electricians;
- Reading and interpreting technical drawing and plans;
- Repairing any electrical issues;
- Being up to date with local and national electrical safety regulations.
While Penna Electric mainly performs residential work, our electricians perform light commercial work as well. It ranges from replacing main electrical panels in small office buildings or installing additional sub-panels to Tenant Improvement work and installing new equipment. This generally refers to heavy equipment, such as forklift charging stations, requiring conduit and a disconnect switch.
Other work may include installing new lighting in commercial buildings. In California, Title 24 is geared towards reducing wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption, and Penna Electric has worked with many companies to make sure they are Title 24 compliant.
Security and Fire Alarm Electrician in Los Angeles
Electricians who specialize in security and fire alarm installation can be both residential and commercial. They work with low-voltage systems, such as fire alarms, smoke alarms and security cameras and alarms. The duties involve installing, repairing and upgrading any of these systems, as well as potentially maintaining close circuit TV systems and performing inspections.
In California, low-voltage electricians require a C-7 license, which states that a “communication and low voltage contractor installs, services and maintains all types of communication and low voltage systems which are energy limited and do not exceed 91 volts”.
Depending on specialty and training, there are many other types of electricians you’ll find in Los Angeles area. Solar technicians, for instance, will probably be in higher and higher demand. They install, maintain and repair solar panels and systems. They can also be further specialized in domestic solar panels and commercial solar systems.
Industrial electricians, maintenance, electrotechnical panel builders, or instrumentation electricians are all different types that highly specialize in an area depending on what systems they work with. Instrumentation electricians, for instance, work with environmental control systems, such as large air conditioning units, large refrigeration units or heating.
You can also categorize electricians based on the industry they work in, such as automotive, aviation or marine electricians.
Types of Certifications
The above specializations give you an idea of how important it is to find an electrician in Los Angeles who is trained and experienced in exactly the type of work you need. It’s not just the specialty that matters, but also their experience level. There are 3 stages: apprentices, journeymen and electrical contractors or primary electricians.
An apprentice is the most junior stage in one’s electrical career. The electrician has to acquire an apprenticing license and carry an apprentice card. There’s no formal education required to apply for an apprentice license, but the apprentice has to be always supervised by a journeyman electrician.
- Journeyman Electricians
The next level after apprentice is the journeyman electrician. It requires the completion of an approved apprenticeship program with at least 8,000 hours of training in no less than four years. Because they have more experience, journeyman electricians are qualified to work on larger, more complex projects.
After the apprenticeship is complete, there is a journeyman certification exam, and if the electrician passes, then they are given their license. This also means they can work unsupervised.
- Electrical Contractors
Electrical contractors are also called master electricians, primary electricians, and sometimes Class A electricians. They are highly skilled and usually work in a supervisory role, or they own a contracting business.
In the state of California, in order to have a C-10 Electrical Contractor License, an electrician must have 4 years minimum of experience at journeyman level and pass a two part state exam with the Contractor State License Board.
This is the highest qualification an electrician can hold. Not only does it mean that they can excel in the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems, but also that they can also manage a team of journeymen and apprentices.
At Penna Electric, our electricians are highly trained, skilled and experienced. Our primary electrician holds a B general contractor license, as well as a C-10 electrical license. Our other workers are highly experienced journeyman electricians.
The right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance of any home or business. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can make for your home or business. Make sure that when you select an electrical company to do the enhancement of your home and you have decided to take your enhancement to the level where you require an electrical upgrade that the technician at the company has a good working knowledge and the experience to properly guide you in this area.
When you decide to upgrade, our well-trained and certified electricians have all the experience and training needed to complete your electrical panel upgrade project from start to finish, with a minimum of fuss or disturbance. Please contact us right away at 310-800-2401