Commercial VS. Residential

When you need a licensed electrician, it is crucial to understand that the type of work and its location will dictate the specific kind of electrician you need. While many consumers believe that all Minneapolis/St. Paul electricians are the same, that is not the case. There are some significant differences between a commercial electrician and a residential electrician.

What All Licensed Electricians Have In Common

All licensed electricians follow the same path to earn that highly respected license. The requirements include:

  • A high school diploma
  • Completion of an apprenticeship program
  • Successful completion of a specific class load
  • 8,000 to 10,000 hours of on the job, hands-on experience
  • A passing grade on a complete competency test

After achieving licensing, it is up to the electrician to determine any specialties or additional certifications that they wish to earn. Many are content to work on residential systems, while others want to expand their knowledge and skillset to encompass expertise in working on more complex commercial systems.

The Differences Between Residential And Commercial Electrical Systems

The size and complexity of a commercial electrical system are vast in comparison to a typical residential system. The average house, or even a large one, generally uses only single-phase 120V or 240V power. Commercial electrical systems use three-phase where the conductors carry from 120V to 480V loads due to the higher demands of commercial equipment and mechanical systems.

Because of the intricacy of the commercial electrical systems, they require far more care, maintenance, and monitoring than a residential system. In addition, a commercial electrician's tasks and services are not necessarily included in a residential electrician's skillset and expertise. So when you are placing your commercial property's electrical system in the hands of an electrician, the pro must be a certified commercial electrician.

The Added Skills And Technical Knowledge Of A Commercial Electrician

While all electricians start on the same training and education path, commercial electricians must continue to learn through added education and training. Three-phase electrical systems are far more complicated to build and maintain. Some of the added complexities that a commercial electrician must be ready to manage include:

  • Voltage Balancing
  • Phase Diagrams
  • Additional Control Systems
  • Multiple Power Sources
  • Multiple Buildings On A Single System
  • Added Safety Standards

The Added Value Of A Commercial Electrician

Clearly, a commercial electrician brings a great deal more knowledge and a broader skillset to your property. That added experience and background ensures that any electrical issues at your property are handled professionally and to industry standards. In addition, due to the size of the systems and the commercial properties, commercial electricians typically carry much more insurance to protect you, your property, and the electrical contractor.

The best way to compare residential and commercial electricians is that a commercial electrician is well qualified to work on both residential and commercial projects. But the same is not true for a residential electrician. So when you need an electrician for your commercial property, be sure to call 612-236-9052 to request an appointment with a Lumberjack Electric certified commercial electrician.


Lumberjack Electric

5720 International Parkway
New Hope, MN 55428