Finding a Commercial Electrician
A commercial electrician is one who is licensed to work on commercial grade electrical projects. While that may sound overly simplistic, it is important to note that there are several types of commercial grade electrical projects. One type is the obvious commercial buildings. These are so labeled due to the type of wiring inside. Residential wiring has certain amounts of wiring that can go inside a house of a certain size. The voltage and amount of wiring in commercial buildings is often higher than normal. At the very least, the location and size of a commercial building makes the wiring different from residential wiring.
Hiring a commercial electrician can be difficult. Many of them only work through unions, although you may find the odd one out who is licensed commercially and has left union work to pursue his own business. Unions handle the pay grade and work available in many areas, depending on if your area is “closed shop” or “open shop,” meaning that people can take work outside of the union or not.
Open shop areas are areas where electricians and other tradesmen may take work without getting the details of hiring and pay from the union. Closed shop areas are areas where this is not possible. In most areas, whether they are closed or open, it is fairly difficult to get a commercial electrician without calling a union shop anyways. Commercial work for union workers often pays better than that of non-union commercial work, so often the commercial electricians are only to be found on union job sites. You may need a union phone number anyway to get in contact with them, even if your area is open shop.
Commercial electricians have different pay grades and they often come in teams. After all, hardly anyone can wire heavy gauge wire in large buildings by themselves. Hiring just one commercial electrician may be tricky, but you may luck out if you hire a lead commercial electrician by name and let his shop handle the rest of the hires. In this way, you can spread his knowledge throughout the team of less trained electricians and benefit that way from the expert you want to get in contact with. If you don’t specifically request a lead that you know or are looking to work with, sometimes the workers come bundled together as the shop puts them in teams. This may or may not be what you are looking for on a custom job, so be sure to specify who you want to work with.
Overall, commercial electricians tend to work in unions. You may find a few companies that specialize in commercial work if you look hard. It is best to book them months in advance, as they can be very busy. This is mostly due to the nature of licensing. Commercial electricians are hard to certify since commercial electric work is difficult and requires a lot of training.