Electricians have created several modern technologies, from electrical motors, different household appliances to circuitry. They also maintain power infrastructures to developing communication and navigation systems. Consequently, the electrical engineering profession is vital to modern living and communications. With this expertise, they can lead to testing, manufacturing, and design of the equipment that continuously keeps the world running.
As an electrician, especially in construction, what skills you should obtain to land a rewarding position? So, to see if you have what it takes to develop a promising career in the field, below are the various in-demand skills every electrician must-have. The six in-demand focus areas for electricians in the industry are also outlined. Take a look below.
Electrical Engineers: The Major Role in the Construction Industry
Generally, every electrical engineer’s task is to create and design high-voltage tools and equipment such as power distribution systems, wiring systems, generators, etc. However, in the construction industry, an electrical engineer has tons of responsibilities, particularly when working at the construction site. Electrical site engineers oversee and direct electrical engineering projects at the construction site and ensure that job is finished according to specifications.
One critical thing they do is balance engineering tasks and project management ranging from creating blueprints to monitoring contractors. To get to know more about the significant roles and responsibilities of electrical engineers in the construction industry, read further to learn more.
1. Designing Electrical Systems
An electrical engineer’s duty is to design electrical systems for residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects. A high-voltage system for delivering low-voltage applications and power such as fiber-optic lines and Ethernet are also included. They also need to work closely with the participating teams. Using a subcontractor scheduling software, working closely and collaboratively with the crew is much more convenient.
2. Directing Electrical Contractors
Electrical engineers are also given a task to manage and oversee teams of electrical subs and contractors directly. Additionally, they direct daily construction activities will most likely answer questions about electric codes and power needs. It is essential to implement a construction crew management to sort out the participating crew members. Moreover, it will continuously improve team collaboration.
3. Resolving Electrical Issues
Electrical engineers have to resolve any repeating and occurring electrical issues in the systems and devices during construction projects. When existing electrical blueprints and plans are no longer viable, electrical engineers must revise the blueprint and plans to prevent delays if the specifications are changed.
4. Developing Cost Estimates
One of the essential things every electrical engineer should do is to develop cost estimates for labor and materials at the planning process’s onset. They also estimate timelines and workforce to give the projects manager the details needed for contractor bids. Ensuring that the project stays within a budget is also what they look after.
5. Conduct of System Testing
In the entire construction process, electrical engineers have to conduct various tests in the electrical systems. It also includes overseeing all the latest job inspections and individual electrical components. Checking crew members’ status and work are also what they do to adhere to local and national electrical codes.
Builder trends software is best used during the entire process. This software not only makes the work easier, but it also offers continuous productivity and improves group communication.
6. Managing Construction Schedules
The need to manage construction schedules related to all electrical elements is one thing they continuously do. Working closely together with utility providers and planners is essential in determining the completion of project milestones. They frequently make updates and determine schedules while collaborating with the subcontractors.
Moreover, construction schedules are best managed using construction scheduling software. Updates about tasks, labor hours and crew details are easily accessed and shared with others. This software application is worth-investing in because it offers various project management features.
What Skills Electricians Must Have?
Electrical Engineers draw more on a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of mathematics and science to solve complicated problems and move complex projects onwards. Successful professionals, particularly in this field, should have a solid foundation in different methods like building, analyzing, and maintaining electrical equipment and systems.
While this career route is very enticing, there are some requirements for electrical engineers that cannot be taught elsewhere. That is why it is essential to consider whether you obtained the practical and non-technical skills necessary to be competent at the job. Otherwise, the safety of those around you and your safety might be in jeopardy. The following are some of the essential skills needed for a competent electrical engineer.
· Circuit Design
· Application of Linear Systems Analysis and Theory
· Equipment upkeep and direct construction activities
· Develop electrical schematics
· Data Collection and Analysis
· Establish and operate computer systems
· Prepare operational plans
· Electronic equipment Maintenance
· Mechanical Aptitude
· Problem-solving skills
· Active learning and participating.
· Critical thinking
· Communication skills
· Numerical Skills
· Reading comprehension
· Excellent work ethic and attitude
· Customer-service skills
The Six Focus Areas for Electricians in the Industry
Technical know-how is a vital key for anyone who strives to establish an electrical engineering career. In reaching your fullest potential, it is necessary to back up your basic knowledge with a set of soft skills. This list of qualities can create significant changes and differences. Fulfilling project objectives and obtaining long-term career goals is much easier if you have the skills.
Moreover, electricians should be prepared to excel in the present and future roles with more hands-on practical experience and specialized education. For each of the disciplines cited below, few electrical engineering skills are necessarily required.
1. Electrical Power and Energy
According to BLS or Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1 in 10 electrical engineers are currently employed by industries wherein there is a need for electric transmission, power generation and distribution. Read further below:
· Improve power distribution and generation
· Maintain and secure power and electrical systems
· Design power delivery systems for reliable and efficient operations
· Use advanced electronics for efficient power conversion
2. Consumer Electronics
A team of electricians works on smartphones, laptops, and tablets before entering mass production. In the construction industry, they focus more on the crucial components of the hardware used onside. They ensure the electrical system is efficiently and safely operated.
· Have a thorough knowledge of the technical distinction between various types of networks
· Understanding interference, tradeoffs, and performance in wireless communication systems
· Testing and designing circuitry that adheres to the specifications given by the manufacturers
3. Communication and Networks
Businesses and individuals increasingly rely on various digital communications for everyday transactions and interactions. Construction companies are one of the common fields that rely on digital communications and advanced technologies like construction management software. A study shows that by the year 2025, there will be 6 billion unique users worldwide. Electrical engineers need to have extra skills such as below:
· Understand and use the standard principles of digital communication systems
· Deployed control structures and computer networks
· Wireless communication channels should be modeled properly
· Employ different modulation techniques
There are few popular conceptions of robots as they are being portrayed as humanoid things. In reality, robots exist in industrial settings and also in the construction industry. They are used to support laborers and to maintain the efficiency of the work.
· Circuit analysis should be performed to optimize robot performance
· Overseeing and monitoring testing and firmware development
· Debugging electronics and devices to search for bugs and solve errors
5. Renewable Power
The solar industry has been growing massively this year as the costs of the panels have fallen. The majority of industries and consumers are moving forward to more sustainable energy sources. As expected, electrical engineers contribute electrical support to the development of solar infrastructure, especially in the construction industry:
· Creating and designing electronics and inverters for power conversion
· Improving overall efficiency and gains for solar power systems
· Designing a safe power distribution system
· Using a builder software to monitor a series of electrical project updates
6. Computer Software and Programming Language
So what software should electrical engineers needed to learn? Computer software is considered in many industries as a powerful tool. For engineers, computer software supports in optimizing and creating electrical equipment systems. Below are some of the most vital types of software and programming languages an electrical engineer must learn and know:
· Project management software like crew schedule is used to track labor, tasks, crew and costs.
· Computing software specifically for operations such as curve fitting and differential equations
· Circuit simulators and power systems to test and analyze electrical designs
· Computer-aided drafting tools for electrical schematics and circuit diagrams
· Use of advanced programming languages like Python to code microcontrollers
· An in-depth knowledge of the object-oriented language like C++ is necessary for building hardware simulations
To lead effectively, electrical engineers should obtain different skillsets and calculate the demands every project needs. Making strategic choices and optimizing every phase of operations are also considered essential things they need to focus on. Engineering leaders and contractors have to understand how their contribution fits into larger industries entirely. In return, they are highly capable of guiding other aspiring professionals to achieve and set their career goals.