Skilled Trades

Industrial Electrician: Job Description, Requirements, and Outlook

Skilled TradesJanuary 10, 2024

Sophisticated and safe electrical systems that power cities and businesses across the U.S. will always be a necessity. Industrial electricians have the fundamental skills needed to design, install, maintain, and repair large-scale electrical systems, all while keeping facilities safe and efficient. While industrial electrician job descriptions may vary depending on the industry and project, these skilled professionals share many of the same responsibilities and day-to-day duties.

Industrial electricians are essential workers who enjoy extensive job opportunities without the burden of earning a college degree. A comprehensive skilled trades program provides all the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career as an industrial electrician. 

Industrial Electrician Job Description

Industrial electricians are responsible for designing, installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems and equipment in a variety of types of industrial buildings. Many work with complex high-voltage systems that require specialized knowledge and training. Specific industrial electrician job descriptions can vary significantly depending on the industry, facility type, on-site technology, and role. 

Work Environment for Industrial Electricians

Industrial electricians work in plants, factories, foundries, and other large industrial buildings. Unlike residential or commercial electricians who work on electrical systems and components in homes, offices, and retail stores, industrial electricians work with high-voltage equipment, transformers, generators, and motors. 

Some industrial electricians are shift workers who are directly employed by facilities in the manufacturing, mining, or utility sectors. They spend their shifts working on equipment in the same facility or group of facilities within a local area. Others work for contracting companies and may be dispatched to a variety of locations within the same shift. 

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

The specific responsibilities included in an industrial electrician job description are based on the needs of the employer or clientele. However, virtually all industrial electricians will be required to carry out the following tasks:

  • Designing, installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems and equipment 
  • Evaluating power and space requirements via site surveys
  • Preparing electrical blueprints
  • Keeping concise records, including schematics, blueprints, calculations, and price estimates
  • Reviewing various manufacturers’ warranties and filing claims where required
  • Designing and implementing electrical safety standards in industrial facilities
  • Keeping up with changes to local, state, and federal regulations or codes 
  • Adhering to budget requirements for the repair and replacement of electrical equipment
  • Conducting regular inspections and analyses of electrical equipment
  • Performing preventive maintenance on a variety of types of machinery and equipment 
  • Writing technical proposals and creating detailed reports
  • Applying for and obtaining permits where required 

Industrial Electrician Education and Experience Requirements

Industrial electricians are not required to earn college degrees, but they do require thorough training. The high-voltage systems and machinery that keep industrial organizations running are intricate. As such, employers increasingly prefer to hire candidates with in-depth knowledge and safety training that closely aligns with their specific needs.

Industrial Electrician Education

There are no formal education requirements for industrial electricians at the state, local, or federal level, but individual employers often have their own requirements. An accredited electrical trade program can provide the knowledge and training required to thrive in the industrial setting.These programs may offer a lower cost and enhanced flexibility when compared to a traditional college degree program, which makes them more accessible to individuals interested in pursuing a career as an industrial electrician. 

Industrial Electrician Experience 

Industrial electricians begin their careers as apprentices who work under more experienced electricians. This apprenticeship can last anywhere from two to five years, depending on the local or state licensure requirements. Many factories, foundries, and other facilities pay apprentices lower wages than they pay their more experienced journeyman electricians. To work as a journeyman electrician, employers require an average of five to seven years of experience. 

Industrial Electrician Credentials

Many states, counties, cities, and municipalities require industrial electricians to maintain valid licensure. Most areas require electricians to work as apprentices for two to five years and pass a rigorous journeyman examination to obtain licensure. Employers may require additional credentials based on their specific industrial electrician job descriptions. Some examples include the following:

  • Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) — The CCST certification is offered by the International Society of Automation. It is awarded to electricians who demonstrate expertise in automation and control systems.
  • Certified Electrical Inspector (CEI) — Awarded by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, the CEI certification demonstrates proficiency with electrical inspections and advanced knowledge of the requirements found in the National Electrical Code (NEC).
  • Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP) — The CESCP designation is offered by the National Fire Protection Association. It demonstrates the recipient’s proficiency in managing electrical safety programs, electricians, and anyone exposed to electrical hazards.
  • Certified Automation Professional (CAP) — The CAP certification awarded by the International Society of Automation is ideal for industrial electricians who are responsible for designing, deploying, and overseeing automation processes. 

Job Outlook for Industrial Electricians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of electricians, including industrial electricians, will grow by 6% between 2022 and 2032, which is twice as fast as the average growth projected for all occupations. Electricity is at the heart of every industrial operation, and electricians who have the skills and knowledge to build, maintain, and repair these complex systems will remain in high demand. 

In the coming years, an increased focus on alternative or “green” power systems will increase the demand for knowledgeable electricians who can harness these technologies for the industrial sector. 

Gain the Skills You Need for an Exciting and Fulfilling Career

If you are interested in a fast-paced, exciting role with exceptional job security and an above-average salary, consider becoming an industrial electrician. The field has numerous employment opportunities and plenty of room for advancement, especially as you gain experience. The Electrical Trade training program at the Fortis Institute in Birmingham can prepare you for a lifelong career as an industrial electrician. 

The Electrical Trade training program teaches aspiring electricians in Alabama many important concepts, including the fundamentals of electrical theory, electrical production processes, motor and controls operation, and electrical schematic interpretation. Students also learn how to keep themselves and others safe in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. 

Learn more about how you can gain foundational skills and knowledge at Fortis that will remain valuable throughout your career.

Recommended Readings
Benefits of Trade School: Why a Hands-On Skilled Trades Career Might Be a Good Fit
We Need Women in the Skilled Trades
Differences Among Commercial, Industrial, and Residential Electricians

:Glassdoor, Industrial Electrician Overview
The Good Electrician, “How Different Are Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Electricians?”
Indeed, “The Ultimate Guide to Electrician Requirements by State”
Indeed, “What Is an Industrial Electrician?”
International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Certified Electrical Inspector Certification Program (CEI)
International Society of Automation, Certified Automation Professional (CAP)
International Society of Automation, Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST)
National Fire Protection Association, Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional (CESCP)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Electricians
Zippia, Commercial and Industrial Electrician Education Requirements