Electrical Engineering vs Electrician: Key Differences and Similarities 

Our reliance on electricity has increased dramatically since the late 1800s, when the simple lightbulb was invented. It’s a need for the majority of houses and companies, making it one of the most sought-after trades.

Both electrical engineers and electricians are employed in the electrical industry; however, occasionally people use the terms interchangeably. However, their duties are truly extremely distinct from one another, from daily tasks to training and education.

In this blog, we shall look into electrical engineering vs electrician, After comparing electrical engineers and electricians, consider your other alternatives as well:

What Does An Electrician Do?

  • connects the electrical systems of homes and businesses.
  • connects power supplies to electrical systems.
  • Keep major industrial operations’ electrical equipment in working order.
  • examines and fixes current wiring.

In a nutshell, the primary function of an electrician is to install and maintain electrical systems. They can be taught to accomplish this in a variety of contexts, including industrial, commercial  and residential ones.

Minor and significant repairs, as well as necessary testing to make sure every part of the system the electrician built is operating as it should, are all included in the maintenance of electrical systems.

What An Electrical Engineer Does?

  • creates designs for new items using computer software, ranging from large-scale power plants to domestic appliances.
  • oversees the production of products.
  • Make sure items are functioning correctly by evaluating them.
  • oversees and maintains electrical services and goods.

To put it simply, the day-to-day work of electrical engineers involves both planning and constructing new electrical systems that keep up with the rapidly evolving technological environment and fixing significant difficulties that come from electrical testing.

Larger-scale projects, such as those involving telecommunication, transportation and power production, can cover significant areas of industry or land and employ electrical engineers.

Exploring the Life of an Electrician

This is an overview of the daily activities, typical work location, and hours spent by electrical engineers and electricians.

What then makes a difference?

To put it simply, electrical engineers will create and design new and enhanced electronic equipment, which electricians will then install in or on residences, commercial buildings, and other crucial infrastructure.

In a world where technology is used so extensively, electricians and electrical engineers collaborate to keep innovation and installation at the forefront.

What is the Duration Required to Become an Electrician vs an Electrical Engineer?

It seems that being a fully certified electrician in the UK takes between two and four years on average, depending on whether one chooses to pursue an apprenticeship, which takes a little longer, or a combination of diplomas and technical certifications, which usually take two to three years.

Becoming an electrical engineer offers additional training alternatives, but the work is believed to be more complex, so it takes a little longer. Taking classes at a university or college is one of these alternatives. Another is applying for an apprenticeship, which is similar to becoming an electrician.

If you enroll in an apprenticeship, it can last anywhere from four to six years, whereas a full-time university study in electrical engineering lasts the typical three years (four plus a placement year).

How much does an electrical engineer make compared to an electrician?

The National Careers Service states that the starting pay for an electrician in the UK is around £18,000 annually, with entry-level electrical engineers potentially making up to £20,000.

Although the beginning pay for these two professions doesn’t seem to differ much, the earning potential is where the differences really lie. According to the National Careers Service, an experienced electrician may make up to £42,000 a year, with more experienced engineers potentially earning up to £60,000.

The majority of electrical work, if not all of it, involves being on call, which many businesses charge more for during this period. This might marginally raise the average.

While both electrical engineers and electricians are vital to the electrical sector overall, their daily tasks and paths to success differ greatly. We have a wide range of items for different areas of the electrical industry, including consumer units, cable and management, so you can get everything you need in one location.

What Are the Steps to Becoming an Electrical Engineer?

Once you have earned your GED or high school graduation, you need to apply to a four-year electrical engineering program. Verify if the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or a comparable certifying organization has accredited your program.

During your bachelor’s degree program, you’ll study advanced arithmetic, electronic circuits, electrical goods, digital systems, power distribution networks, industrial automation, control systems, and more. You’ll complete practical internships, lab work, and lectures in the classroom as part of your study. You can apply for entry-level engineering jobs and obtain your degree after completing the necessary credit hours.

As an alternative, you can continue your education with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology after completing an associate’s program in high school.

Qualifications for Professionals and Licensure

After receiving their bachelor’s degree, electrical engineers who wish to work must first pass the Fundamentals of Engineering test in order to qualify as engineers-in-training. You can apply for the Professional Engineer test after gaining four years of work experience, which will completely qualify you to pursue any career. A master’s in electrical engineering will help you go farther if research or teaching are your areas of interest.

Comparably, in order to become a certified journeyman or electrician, you must often pass a certification exam after completing your apprenticeship. The majority of states accept the certification exam offered by the National Electrical Contractors Association. The National Electrical Code, building codes and safe electrical equipment and wire installation are among the topics that electricians are required to respond to.

You can apply for the master electrician qualification after working as a journeyman for two years. You can progress to more senior positions in your industry with the master electrician credential. After that, you may start hiring apprentices, get permits and manage groups of apprentices and junior electricians.

Professional Requirements and Licensure

Do Electrical Engineers Make More Money Than Electricians in Salary?

In May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median income for electricians was $56,900 year, or around $27.36 per hour. The top 10% of electricians in the industry made over $98,720 a year in pay. Electrical engineers earned an average of $105,990 annually over the same time period.

Job Prospects

According to BLS projections, the employment of electricians is expected to grow by 9% per year between 2020 and 2030, translating into an additional 66,100 jobs. In a similar vein, there will be a 7% increase in the number of electrical engineers employed, or 12,700 new posts.


Domestic installation, instrumentation electricians, machine repair, maintenance electricians and highway electrical system repairers are among the electricians’ specializations. Electricians can progress in their professions by obtaining further qualifications in areas such as solar photovoltaics, power production, electrical equipment maintenance, or lighting systems.

To work in certain sectors, engineering experts can also enroll in advanced certificate courses in coding, embedded systems, computer design software, radio and communication devices, non-renewable systems, energy management, etc.


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