Commercial vs Industrial electrician

When it comes to your electrical system, there is a lot more to it than watching a YouTube video to figure out how to fix a circuit breaker or do wiring on your own. Even within the circuits, they are not all the same. Even if you are an electrician, you may not have experience or be comfortable with all types of circuits.

With the different currents in mind, you may understand that the higher the power in the wires, the higher the chances for something to go wrong when attempting to repair or replace it. In another words, the more protection and experience the electrician needs. There are some electricians who only work in residences. Others specialize in industrial electrical systems such as Richard, an industrial electrician Santa Barbara has been trusting for years. In this article, we will outline the main differences when workout on different electrical systems.


Voltage is the difference in electrical potential between two points. Different countries use different currents for example. Different industries also. For example, your home is most likely 120 V, unless it is old and is less, or it has already been upgraded to 240 V current. For businesses and commercial properties, these most likely have a higher current to allow for large amounts of lights and electrical appliances to run. As you can imagine, industries run the most number of lights, generators, and equipment all day long and are most likely to deal with higher amounts of power.  For that reason, you may see different voltages being used depending on the area. “Here in Santa Barbara, we have industries with power up to 240, 480, and 600 volts” says Richard.


Both commercial and industrial electricians run exposed wires, as opposed to residential wires which remain hidden underground or in the walls. However, in the industrial field, they mostly work with RMC conduit or powers control circuits, instead of running MTC or MC cables. These is because of running higher levels of power through the wires.

Single Phase vs Three Phase Power

Single-phase power is used in regular homes. In means that the voltages of the electricity vary in unison. This means that the cycles of power occur simultaneously. If you would draw a line for a wave of electricity, imagine multiple waves all over the same lines.

As the name indicates, three-phase power has the electrical waves occurring one after another by one third of a cycle. If you were to draw the waves, you would see 3 waves one after another. This type of system can produce more power at a more stable and consistent level. Therefore, it is used for commercial and industrial warehouses, factories, and more.

Safety and Equipment

As industrial electrical contractor deals with higher levels of current. As you can imagine, they must be knowledgeable, experienced, and have the right material and equipment to diagnose and repair the problem. They also need to know what to buy as the materials will be different.

Lastly, certain industries have equipment which may involve different levels of current. The attention to detail an experience in the field becomes crucial and most likely they will be dealing with expensive equipment and possibly sensitive data stored.

Commercial and industrial electricians are likely to deal with different problems than if they were working on house electrical systems. The level of expertise to be an industrial electrician is above commercial and can be quite different. Specific training and experience are needed for safety and it is recommended to hire accordingly.

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