Electrician Career Types

How To Become a Residential Wiremen

An electrical career as a residential wireman is ideal if you enjoy working with your hands and enjoy the construction industry. A residential wireman installs the wiring system of a home. With this job you could install electrical systems in new houses or you might upgrade outdated wiring in older homes. The working conditions are pleasant as most of the work is done indoors, however the job is physically demanding as it involves climbing ladders, bending and lifting. This field of employment requires an apprenticeship of about four years in order to fully learn the trade. In fact, as an electrician you should be committed to lifelong learning in order to maintain your license and stay abreast of the latest advances in technology.

Residential Wireman work solely in residential settings (single and multi-family dwellings).IBEW, NJATC and NECA made it all possible to have a great program such as this. This is a three year program consisting of a minimum of 4,800 hours of OJT and 480 hours of classroom.

The American Council on Education(ACE)recommends 20 credits for this program.

Major duties include:

  • Planning and Initiating Projects.
  • Establishing Temporary Power during Construction.
  • Establishing Grounding Systems.
  • Installing Underground Systems (Slab/Foundation).
  • Rough-In (Frame Stage).
  • Installing Wire and Cable.
  • Performing “Hot” Checks.
  • Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Systems.

Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Systems.

In performing these duties, they must use many different kinds of tools, ranging from simple ones and two-hand tools (such as screwdrivers and cable cutters) to power-assisted tools like electric drills and screw guns.

They occasionally operate heavy equipment such as trenchers.Over the course of the three-year, apprentices must become competent in many technical areas.

A recent job analysis identified specific areas of knowledge that are important for their job performance.

A few of the most important ones are knowledge of:

  • National Electrical Code.
  • How to Work With Energized Circuits.
  • Know blueprint reading
  • Electrical Schematic Diagrams.
  • State and Local Electrical Codes
  • The Principles of Grounding.
  • First Aid.
  • Hazardous Materials.
  • Specific Job Safety Rules.
  • Proper Wire/Cable to Use in Different Circumstances.

Electricians that Provide Everything for Residential Homes

A residential wireman is perhaps the type of electrician that most people are familiar with.  The reason for this is that the residential wireman is the electrician that works on homes before, during and after construction.  Their job duties include everything from setting up the temporary power at the onset of construction to upgrading old electrical systems in dwellings.

Residential wiremen are needed throughout the construction process of a new home and so they are in demand—especially in areas of the country where there is large or rapid growth.  At the very beginning of the building of a home, a residential wireman goes out and establishes electricity for the other construction workers to use while they work.  Generally this is done by the placement and set up of a “temporary pole” which is used specifically during construction phase and then removed once the dwelling is built and the electrician has completed a final connection to the house.

Specialize in Electrical Upgrades in Homes


During construction, when the home has been completely framed, a residential wireman goes and does what is referred to as “rough-in” the necessary wires.  Completion such as installing receptacles, light fixtures and switches isn’t done until after the home is complete as these items are on the outside of finished walls.  So, as you can see, their services are needed throughout the construction process.

A residential wireman also does upgrading of existing electrical systems.  People who purchase older homes often have to upgrade the existing service and breaker box to meet today’s electrical codes.  Sometimes it means even changing out the older wires in a home and other times, there needs only be a main panel upgrade.  Also, during renovations and additions, residential wiremen are needed throughout the process to do things like rough-in and finish the electrical circuits and it often includes the add-in of additional breakers to a main panel.

The need for residential wiremen fluctuates with the economy. However, there is a great deal of stability in the field and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 12% increase in need for qualified electricians by the year 2018.  Therefore, becoming a residential wireman is great choice for a secure future in the employment arena.