Industrial electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems in factories, warehouses, and other companies. They assess electrical systems to determine if the equipment is working properly or if it should be replaced.
They work with equipment like switches, motors, and regulators. The systems they work on are pneumatic or hydraulic. As technology advances, industrial electricians are increasingly working with robotic equipment as well.
Among the most important skills industrial electricians need are reasoning skills – the ability to solve problems, to think critically and analytically. Time management and organizational skills are also important.
In addition, industrial engineers should be skilled in installing different kinds of industrial equipment, repairing and maintaining hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems, calibrating and repairing circuitry, and reading and interpreting wiring diagrams.
He or she needs to be able to read manuals in order to install, maintain and repair equipment like programmable logic controllers, variable speed drives, and automated control systems. Also, he or she needs to be able to read an electrical code book to learn about regulations. The electrician needs to be able to grasp complex technical information and how to apply general principles to specific tasks.
When dealing with equipment that is not functioning properly, the electrician needs to know how to apply established troubleshooting progressions, checking a sequence of possible problems. This could include checking if the equipment is connected properly to the electrical source, or looking at diagnostic schematics on a computer to find the problem.
If a machine is not working, and the cause of the problem is not apparent, the electrician needs to know how to work with the manuals, consult with other people, and use his past experience to try to find a solution.
Because judgment plays such an important role in the job, decision-making skills are essential. The electrician needs to know how to set priorities, so for example, he can determine how long he needs to complete a complex job.
He needs to know whether to repair or replace a machine based on cost, time, and the importance of the equipment to plant operation. And the electrician needs to have the skills to handle emergencies, such as a short circuit that leads to sparking in a flammable area. He needs to know whether the area should be evacuated or not, using his knowledge of the electrical system to assess the risks to workers.