Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineer vs. Electrician: A Comparison

Electrical Engineer vs. Electrician: A Comparison

Have you ever wondered about the key differences between an electrical engineer and an electrician? While both professionals work with electrical systems, their roles, responsibilities, and educational backgrounds vary significantly.

In this blog, we will delve into the distinctions between these two crucial yet distinct fields, shedding light on the unique skills and expertise they bring to the table.

Whether you’re aspiring to join the industry or simply curious about the intricacies of electrical work, this comparison will help you better understand these essential roles.

What is the difference of electrical and electric engineers?

What is an Electrician? Electricians are skilled tradespeople who specialize in installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems in various settings, such as residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. They focus on hands-on work related to electrical installations and troubleshooting.

What is an Electrical Engineer? Electrical engineers design, develop, and implement electrical systems, components, and devices. They work on conceptualizing and creating electrical system designs, conducting research, and overseeing projects.

They have a more theoretical and engineering-focused role compared to electricians.

Education and Training Requirements

Education and training requirements for electricians and electrical engineers differ significantly due to the distinct nature of their roles and responsibilities. Here’s an overview of the requirements for electrical engineer vs electrician:




Education: Electricians typically require a high school diploma or equivalent as the minimum educational requirement. After completing high school, aspiring electricians usually pursue vocational training or apprenticeship programs in electrical companies in Vancouver.

Training: Vocational training or apprenticeship programs provide practical, hands-on experience in electrical work. These programs can last several years and involve both classroom instruction and on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced electricians.

Licensing: In many jurisdictions, electricians must obtain a professional license. Licensing requirements can vary depending on the region and the type of electrical work they perform.

Optional Certifications: Some electricians may pursue additional certifications to specialize in specific areas of electrical work, such as residential, commercial, or industrial electrical systems.

Electrical Engineers:



Education: Electrical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree or higher in electrical engineering or a related field. The degree program covers mathematics, physics, circuit theory, electronics, control systems, and other engineering disciplines.

Training: While formal education provides a strong foundation, electrical engineers often gain additional training through internships or cooperative education programs during their studies. This provides practical experience and exposure to real-world engineering projects.

Licensing: Electrical engineers may require professional engineering licensure for some engineering roles, such as those that directly impact public safety. The licensure process usually involves passing a professional engineering (PE) exam after obtaining relevant work experience.

Advanced Degrees: Some electrical engineers pursue advanced degrees (master’s or Ph.D.) for specialized research or advanced engineering positions.

Job Responsibilities

Here are the job responsibilities for electrical engineering in Vancouver vs electrician


Installation: Electricians install electrical systems in various settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. This involves wiring, outlets, switches, lighting fixtures, and other electrical components.

Repairs and Maintenance: Electricians troubleshoot and repair faulty electrical systems and equipment. They conduct routine maintenance to ensure electrical systems’ safe and efficient functioning.

Safety Inspections: Electricians perform safety inspections to identify potential hazards and ensure that electrical systems meet the required safety standards.

Wiring and Circuitry: Electricians work with electrical wiring and circuitry to ensure proper connections and adherence to electrical codes.

Upgrades and Modifications: They may be involved in upgrading electrical systems to meet changing needs or modifying existing systems to accommodate new technologies.

Energy Efficiency: Electricians may advise on energy-efficient solutions and implement energy-saving measures to reduce power consumption.

Job Responsibilities of Electrical Engineers

Design and Development: Electrical engineers are involved in designing and developing electrical systems, components, and devices. They create blueprints and specifications for various projects.

Research: Electrical engineers research to explore new technologies, materials, and methods to improve electrical systems and devices.

Project Planning: They participate in project planning and collaborate with other engineering disciplines to integrate electrical systems into larger projects.

Testing and Evaluation: Electrical engineers test prototypes and finished products to ensure they meet design specifications and performance requirements.

Electronics Design: They may focus on designing electronic devices, such as smartphones, microcontrollers, sensors, and other cutting-edge technologies.

Control Systems: Electrical engineers work on control systems that regulate the operation of machines and processes.

Power Generation and Distribution: Some electrical engineers work in power generation and distribution, designing systems for generating and transmitting electrical power.

Salary and Job Outlook


Electricians in the UK earn an average annual salary of around £15,000 during their apprenticeship period, and once fully qualified, their earnings increase to approximately £33,000 per year.

In Australia, apprentice electricians start at around $18 per hour, while experienced and fully qualified electricians can make up to $45 per hour. These salaries may vary depending on location, experience, and the complexity of projects they handle.

Electricians play a vital role in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems, and their salaries reflect the importance of their skilled work.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for electricians in all three countries is positive. As homes and businesses increase, the demand for electricians to repair and maintain electrical systems is expected to grow. This is reflected in the projected job growth of 7% in the US (between 2021 and 2031).

Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers earn an average annual salary of just over $107,000. Entry-level positions in this field start at around $89,000 and experienced electrical engineers can expect to earn salaries in the range of $150,000. Moreover, an hourly rate of $54.83 is paid to experienced engineers.

These figures vary based on factors such as location, level of education, and specialization. Electrical engineers design, develop, and implement electrical systems, components, and technologies.

It makes their expertise crucial in various industries and contributes to their competitive salaries.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for electrical engineers is positive in all three countries, with demand expected to grow due to ongoing technological advancements and the need for innovative electronic devices and technologies. In the US, the job outlook for electrical engineers is projected to increase by 3% between 2021 and 2031.

Choosing a Career in the Electrical Industry

  • High Demand for Skilled Professionals: As technology advances, the demand for skilled electrical professionals remains consistently high. From electricians to electrical engineers, there is a constant need for individuals who can design, install, and maintain electrical systems.
  • Job Stability and Security: The electrical industry offers job stability and security. Electrical systems are critical in various sectors, such as construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, and renewable energy, ensuring a continuous need for qualified professionals.
  • Diverse Career Paths: The electrical industry provides many career paths. Whether you become an electrician or electrical engineer or specialize in electronics, automation, or power distribution, there are abundant opportunities for growth and specialization.
  • Hands-On and Problem-Solving Work: The electrical industry offers just that if you enjoy hands-on work and problem-solving. Electricians work on practical installations and repairs, while electrical engineers design and innovate solutions to real-world challenges.
  • Continuous Learning and Innovation: The electrical industry constantly evolves, embracing new technologies and sustainable practices. As an electrical professional, you can stay updated on the latest advancements and be at the forefront of innovative solutions that contribute to a more sustainable and efficient future.

Summing Up!

In a world fueled by electricity, the roles of electrician and electrical engineer are the unseen gears that power progress. As we’ve explored their unique contributions, it becomes clear that each plays a crucial part in our modern lives.

Electrical engineers, the innovators, weave the tapestry of our electrical infrastructure, while electricians, the guardians, keep the current flowing safely.

Both distinct yet intertwined professions form the backbone of our electrified civilization, propelling us toward a brighter, more efficient future. Together, they light the way to limitless possibilities.

About The Author

Birinder Walia

Birinder is the Founder and Principal of Archos Engineering Consultants, a dynamic firm that’s redefining the way electrical engineering services are delivered in the construction industry. With over a decade of experience in designing and engineering …