Commercial electricians may plan and diagram electrical systems, including the conduits of tubing or pipe often required by local electrical codes. Or, the electrician may work from blueprints provided by the general contractor.
Whether designing the system or working from blueprints, the electrician installs the conduits and runs the electrical wiring. These wires are usually terminated at switches, circuit breaker panels and relays. Commercial electricians wire instruments that control the power, lighting and heating units in buildings. They also provide wiring for air conditioning and refrigeration units.
Using electrical test meters and ohmmeters, commercial electricians ensure the continuity of wiring to ascertain compatibility and safety of the components. These tests may be performed during the installation of a new electrical system, to ensure its proper performance. The tests are also used to locate shorts and system breaks. After locating the source of the problem, the electrician repairs or replaces the wiring and conduits as needed.
Commercial electricians work with many standard hand tools including sawzalls, screwdrivers, pliers and knives. Heavier equipment may be provided by the employer. Most electricians are familiar with using power tools, test meters, pipe threaders and conduit benders.