They can be found working in hospitals, factories, and other industries. They are usually in charge of keeping the electrical system, including generators and lighting, in top working condition.
Maintenance electricians make periodic inspections of electrical systems and equipment to determine sources of possible defects in order to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Their specific duties mainly depend on the buildings or industry where they can be found working. In factories for example, maintenance electricians maintain the equipment and machines that produce their products. Those who work in large buildings, schools or hospitals are usually in charge of maintaining the air conditioning and lighting systems. Those who are in mines or public utility companies are responsible for maintaining generators that supply electricity to the facilities. Maintenance electricians use testing instruments to ensure that switches and circuit breakers function properly. They read blueprints, wiring diagrams in planning their preventive maintenance work. They use common hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and knives for this purpose, and meters for testing amps, ohms and voltage of electrical systems. They are required to act expeditiously when electrical system and equipment breakdown occurs. They are expected to inform the company’s management about the extent of damage and make recommendations regarding the continuation of operations and how to repair the damaged equipment. They will have to present an estimate of the duration of shutdown if operations will have to be stopped.
Most companies look for maintenance electricians who are high school graduates and have lessons in trigonometry, algebra and physics, including shop experience. However, maintenance electricians learn by working as helpers or apprentice of electricians with long and wide experience in the trade. Many companies also require them to undergo a four-year program for apprenticeship. As apprentices, they have to learn the latest technologies used in electrical systems and electrical theory, welding, motor repair, and electrical circuits and control repair. Because electrical wires are usually color coded, they must have excellent color perception ability. In some cities, the local government requires maintenance electricians to obtain a master electrician’s license.
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