Can An Electrical Engineer Work As An Electrician?

Which is better: the electrical engineer or the electrician? Which one do you want rewiring your home?

An electrical engineer has a grand title, and his knowledge of electronics is second to none. But, it stops there. Electrical engineers design and understand how to make things work electrically. The electrician knows the regulations and how to install a working system. The jobs are enormously different.

Why is an electrician not an engineer?

Two very different jobs. Let’s look at the electrical engineer. The electrical engineer understands the desired outcome from a client with a large machine or a series of appliances.

The machine may have a motor that typically would use a star-delta starter, but the engineer may decide it’s better to use a soft start soft stop to protect the motor and the electrical system.

The electrical engineer will take a concept and build a working drawing that an electrician will work from.

The electrician

An electrician, in many cases, will take the design of the electrical engineers and implement the system following the drawing and component specifications.

Because electricians and electrical engineers have vastly different training, they rarely interact with each other, since they work in completely different fields.

Electricians have in-depth knowledge of building regulations and an electrical engineer would be lost onsite when it comes to cabling and installation.

Being an electrician can be a physically demanding job and requires a certain level of fitness and agility to work onsite.

Which is better, electrician or electrical engineer?

Both are different, and it’s hard to compare differences. However, it’s said an electrician could undertake some of the work of an electrical engineer due to his superior knowledge of the regulatory system in the UK.

What’s the difference between electrical engineering and electrical installation?

An electrical engineer is responsible for improving electrics in his work environment, your home or another facility. The electrician takes the engineer’s drawing and instals the plan to the drawing using the specified equipment.

The electrical engineer works on a project from concept to end and can be found tweaking the system as they go. The engineer can and will undertake to test, but the electrician’s responsibility is the final sign-off.

You can think of the electrician as the builder. He will construct the system design from the ground up and test it all the way through.

Although both the electrician and the electrical engineer do not work hand in glove, both are inseparable, and either function could not exist without the other.

Can an electronic engineer do electrical work?

To some extent, yes, but the electrical engineer will not be familiar with building regs to the extent your electrician is. They may not also be accredited as competent when it comes to installations.

There is an example online of an experienced electrical engineer building his home. He decides to wire the house from start to finish, including undertaking the manual side of the job and pulling his cables.

After a short time, he realised that the only way the electrical system could be completed was with the assistance of an electrician.

He was clueless about what cable went to what room and the reason for the selection. He also struggled with the demanding physical side of the job.

Both skill sets are far apart, and the crossover is difficult.

Why is an electrician not an engineer?

They are two different job functions, and both have different skill sets. The electrician will mainly be onsite and is installing. He is known as a domestic installer in the trade in your home.

But don’t get hung up on the terminology. Electricians are highly skilled individuals who have undergone years of academic and onsite skills training.

Before an electrician can be accredited, he must have served at least 7 years from starting his NVQ program at college. Let’s put that into perspective, a doctor in the US is qualified in 8 years!

An electrical engineer takes a different route in terms of education from an electrician, and it can take 6 years to qualify.

The electrical engineering course will likely be a degree course, and the engineer chooses what part of electrical engineering they wish to specialise in.

Do electrical engineers get paid well in the UK?

Not as well as you would imagine. If you are an electrician working for a company, your salary may be comparable with a bit of overtime.

On qualifying, it’s reported that an electrical engineer will earn around 33k per annum and the electrician 27K per annum. 

As both professions progress, the electrical engineer can earn as much as 60k per annum, and the electrician can exceed this amount easily, particularly if he becomes self-employed.

So, the lesson here is not to get hung up on job titles. They mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, and the electrician is just as in demand as the engineers and maybe more so.

Does the engineer do the job of the electrician?

In most cases, no. There is a distinction between being able to solder a few wires to a circuit board and making a few good electrical connections. Both electricians and engineers need these skills, but the similarity stops there.

Your average electrical engineer is not designing electrical components. He scours through catalogues to find a component close to his needs to fit in with his scheme.

The electrician is onsite, crawling on his hands and knees, getting the job done. These hands-on skills are not taught at university, which is the main reason an electrical engineer would be lost on site.

It is one thing to come up with a splendid drawing from your CAD system to run cables through the loft on your hands and knees on a cold winter day.

Both jobs have very different skill sets.

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