What is the job of a low voltage electrician?
A low voltage electrician installs, repairs, upgrades, and troubleshoots low voltage electrical systems. Low voltage electrical systems are comprised of electrical equipment that uses 50 volts (V) of electricity or less. Some examples of low voltage electrical systems include digital and cable television, security and fire systems, telephone systems, fiber optic networks, and entertainment systems. Low voltage electricians typically work in commercial and residential buildings such as homes, hospitals, schools, and public service buildings. Additional non-traditional environments where low voltage electrical work is needed includes transportation vehicles such as ships, airplanes, trains, buses, and automobiles.
What are some job responsibilities of low voltage electricians?
In order to be able to install electrical systems, electricians will start by reading drawings, blueprints, or other visual aids that will tell them how to properly install the system or its parts.
If things go wrong with a low voltage system, the electrician must run diagnostic tests to determine where the issue is. Is it a wiring issue? Is it an issue with a part? Does the whole system need to be replaced? Many low voltage electricians work for companies that serve clients, and therefore they often must go to the residence or building of the client to inspect the systems.
Preparing estimates for clients
As experts in low voltage systems, it is the responsibility of the electrician to determine what tools and materials will be needed for the job they are assigned. They will also have to evaluate what the cost and work time needed will be. Electricians will then pass this estimate along to the client or submit it to their supervisor for approval.
Any time a low voltage electrician installs, repairs, or updates a system, they must make a detailed log of what they did. Electricians will keep a log of all parts and materials, as well as anything that they use and order for the system. They will also keep notes of any problems, malfunctions, and repairs throughout their time working on the system.
Performing regular maintenance
Many low-voltage electricians not only install electrical systems but also maintain them. Electricians will create a schedule to inspect systems so that they are able to detect problems early before any major issues arise and costly or time consuming repairs are required. Learn more about Santella’s maintenance program here.
What kind of certifications and skills do low voltage electricians need?
Low voltage electricians need to take and pass the C-7 Low Voltage Systems Exam. Once the C-7 exam has been passed and all other requirements have been met, low voltage electricians must submit their exam scores, work history, and proof of experience to their state, and they will receive their license.
Some states may require other certifications outside of the C-7. Examples of this include a fire alarm or audio system certification.
In addition to these certifications, low voltage electricians must also earn a high school diploma or GED and pursue trade-specific education. There are a few ways to pursue trade specific education, and many of those depend on the state that you are looking to work in. Generally, electricians can either go to trade school to learn the basics and then do on-the-job training, or they can do an apprenticeship and learn on the job immediately. Choosing an educational path should include a mix of what the student can afford, what specialty they want to pursue, and what their state requirements are.
After the low voltage electrician certifications have been received, it is also important to maintain the skills you learned through continuing education in order to maintain your license. Continuing education courses are not only helpful for keeping your license but can also help you remain up-to-date on your skills as technology and electrical systems evolve and advance. Additionally, depending on your location, in order to become a master electrician, you may need to complete additional training and requirements outside of your initial certification.
How can I hire Santella Electric?
Santella Electric is an owner operated electrical service and repair company that has been servicing our local area for over 55 years. We provide residential and commercial services and would love to help you. If you are looking for residential services, Santella Electric can provide assistance with generators, safety inspections, service panel upgrades, surge protectors, lighting design and maintenance, and data/voice lines among other things. For commercial services, we act as an energy saving consultant. Santella Electric also specializes in emergency generators and backup systems, surge protectors, voice/data/cabling systems, and control writing systems. Call us at 203-966-9595 – a live operator is always available to help.