Low Voltage Technician Vs Electrician?

Is there a difference between a low voltage technician and an electrician working in your home or an office setting? Is an LV technician the same as an electrician?

The term low voltage electrician indicates the electrician who works on electrical systems below 1000 volts. This includes the electrician who works in your home or office. Low voltage technicians work on data cables in office blocks, from fibre optics to other low voltage cables.

What is classed as low voltage UK?

Any voltage under 1000 volts is classed as low voltage in the industry. Your home voltage is 240 volts, allowing the standard electrician to work competently in your home.

Here is the classification by voltage level:

Voltage LevelCodeVoltage Rating
Low VoltageLVup to 1000V
Medium VoltageMV1000V to 35kV
High VoltageHV35kV to 230kV
Extra High Voltageabove 230kV

Which is better: high voltage or low voltage?

For the domestic user, low voltage is better as it removes some of the dangers associated with high voltage electricity.

High voltage electricity can form an arc that can be very dangerous if the electrician has made a simple error. The chances of surviving high voltage shocks are slim.

What does a low voltage technician do?

The low voltage technician is entirely different from an electrician. The technician will run and terminate data cables such as fibre optics that send internet signals,

Low voltage electricians can work in residential settings by installing burglar alarms, CCTV and internet repeaters to extend signal coverage. The low voltage technician is more akin to a Telecomms person than an electrician in many ways.

Low voltage technicians do work in industrial settings. Many electrical motors have low voltage signal take-offs to monitor the performance of the motor. These are measured neither milliamps mA, such as a signal of 4-20 mA or a lower voltage like 12 volts or 24 volts, depending on the distance the signals are required to travel.

These would be classed as low voltage instrumentation signals that would terminate in a PLC in a control room.

How do you train to become a low voltage technician?

You can apply to recognised companies in the industry, such as telecoms companies, to undertake a formal apprenticeship culminating in a City and Guilds qualification.

The other option is to register for a course with a training company that specialises in training low voltage technicians, there will be college work, and you will need to gain some hands-on experience.

How much does a low voltage technician make?

Approximately 25K yearly plus overtime and other perks after an initial probationary period.

The low volt technician earns significantly less than an electrician, and sadly the skills are not transferable to earn more as your career progresses.

However, being a low voltage electrician is considered a good career, and there will always be a demand for their skill sets.

Low voltage electricians

The trainee or apprentice electricians progress through a long and arduous training program that makes them knowledgeable and ready for work as qualified electricians.

The term low voltage is correct, but for the average person, it is a misnomer. The electricity in your home or office is enough to cause severe injury and possibly kill you, so is it low voltage?

When considering high voltage, it is reasonable to state 240 volts as low compared with 20,000 volts or more.

How long does an electrician train to become qualified?

The average electrician who wants to be qualified to work in domestic settings will train for 4 years.

The training will include a day release to a college to gain the theoretical side of the electrician’s job. Then the rest of the time will be working with and supervised by a qualified electrician who will teach the practical side of the job.

What makes the course arduous? The final year is evidence-based on the modules you complete. The evidence must be signed off by a competent person and must fit in with the course syllabus.

Is an electrician a respected career?

Yes, once you qualify as an electrician, you are considered professional and at the top of your game. This does not mean you will not be having banter with the other trades.

Its well known in the industry that the electrician has taken a lot of time to learn his trade and become qualified, and the learning never stops.

For instance, the regulations for electricians have been amended for 2022 and came into effect at the end of March. 

All qualified electricians in the UK need to read and understand the new amendments to comply with the law and building regulations.

Who are electricians governed by?

The electrical industry has a code of practice and a legal framework implemented by voluntary bodies such as NICEIC, which will audit electricians and accredit them electricians being competent.

Electricians are conscientious individuals, and although they can be audited at any time by a governing body, the electrician is always striving to do the best job possible in terms of safety and quality of work.

Which Organisation has the responsibility for the electrical wiring regulations?

To maintain the standards of the IET?BSI technical committee JPEL/64 UK national committee for wiring regulations take on the responsibility for the industry progression in safety and latest technologies.

When certified or accredited, the electrician undertakes to keep up to date with industry changes and to comply with the rules.

What is IEEE regulation?

The latest edition of wiring regulations is given to the industry covered by BS 7671.

All qualified electricians should adhere to the specifications laid out in the IEE to comply with the legal framework.

The IEE regs are accepted worldwide, with some 153 participating countries registered and working to the principles of safe wiring in domestic homes.

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