It’s hard to imagine not having electricity when almost all of our daily activities depend on it. From the moment you wake up, check your phone for emails and messages, get to the office and sit in front of your computer, to turning on the air conditioner when you go back to sleep. All these things are run by electricity.
What an Electrician Does
To over-simplify it in a bit, the electrician lays down the wires that will carry electricity into homes and commercial buildings. They also maintain the electrical systems, making sure that panel boards are not overloaded and that all the pieces maintain their structural integrity.
It is, of course, not that simple. There are many types of electricians, and every work varies a lot between each type. A residential electrician installs electrical systems in, you guessed it, a home. They also perform the maintenance here, making sure that the cables are not frayed, twisted, or broken. If the systems need an upgrade, the take care of that, too.
A commercial electrician works on bigger projects, like in commercial buildings or construction sites. They lay the groundwork for electrical needs like commercial security systems and electronic key systems in hotels, office spaces, and the like.
A journeyman electrician works on projects of an even bigger scale, like building roads, power plants, manufacturing plants, offshore drilling sites, and the like.
What Civil Engineers Do
A civil engineer, on the other hand, build the infrastructure in which we humans live our daily lives. These are the big, all-encompassing structures like roads, bridges, flyovers, and railways. Civil engineers also build the energy grids, water supplies, and waste treatment networks.
A civil engineer’s main purpose is to solve problems like keeping transportation efficient and waste treatment effective. In short, they play a huge role in shaping the world we live in.
Working with Civil Engineers
You can probably see now how an electrician would be working side-by-side with a civil engineer. The engineer has to take into account how to lay out the power lines and the best way to keep them out the way from human traffic.
Let’s say for example that the civil engineer is in charge of building a major highway. The road would need stop lights, lamp posts, and sources of electricity for houses or commercial buildings to connect to when they decided to build there.
The electrical engineer would lay out the plans for what kind and how much electricity is necessary, what kind of cables are needed, and where they would be laid down. This would take into consideration the building and electrical codes for that particular type of project and area.
The electricians (in this case a journeyman electrician) would then be made to build tracks in which to lay the wires. To be involved in a project this big, an electrician would need to be able to read blueprints and other technical diagrams.
The electricians’ expertise is necessary because they are the ones who would actually know how certain types of electrical cables, outlets, panel boards, and the like would act under certain circumstances. They are, after all, the ones who work with those on a day-to-day basis.
Read about electrician training here.