With the late nineteenth century seeing developments in using electricity for residential and industrial use, along with this came the electrician for installation and maintenance. There was a rapid expansion in the use of electrical technology from this period due to the versatility of using electricity as an energy source. Electricity became a foundation and still is for modern society to advance as a civilisation. Electrical lighting was one of the first uses for domestic and commercial appliances using the flexible form of energy electricity allowed. The electrician trade was born with experts in this field taught how to install, maintain and repair the electrical infrastructure that enabled the use of lighting and other emerging electrical appliances.
Into the twentieth century electrical engineering broke into many fields in research and technology like electrical engineering or electronic engineering. The first being associated with large scale electrical systems like electrical networks power systems and the latter associated with smaller scale electronic systems like computers and small circuits. This lead to different areas of expertise for the electrician in installation, maintenance and repair including electricians specifically trained for certain appliances like TV repair. Towards the end of the twentieth century the electrician could be split into three different sections. These were divided into domestic, commercial and industrial electricians with each one having to learn particular skills to install, maintain, repair and test electrical equipment for safety. Safety became an important part of the electrician’s trade due to the risk involved not only for the electrician but for everyone involved with electrical appliances. Portable appliance testing was introduced.
The future of electricians looks to be in high demand as it’s estimated that the shortage of trained and qualified electricians stands at about 36,900 in the UK. Ways of using electric as an energy source is still diversifying with solar energy systems being installed which convert to electricity and new types of devices like electric cars being worked on. The electrician will need to break into many more fields to be able to learn his trade and use it in an efficient and safe manner.
Written By Barry Walker