Residential and Commercial Electricians – What’s the Difference?

by | Mar 6, 2023

When considering the services of an electrician, it can be difficult to decide whether you should hire a residential electrician or a commercial one. Both types of electricians can perform various tasks, each with their specialty. Understanding the key differences between residential and commercial electricians is important to ensure you choose the right person for the job.

This article will provide insight into the distinctions between the two and what sets them apart.

Residential Electricians

Residential electricians are responsible for a multitude of tasks related to wiring and equipment in homes, apartments, and condos. These professionals must meet specific qualifications and adhere to certain state regulations. Essential duties of residential electricians include:

  • Installing, repairing, and upgrading electrical systems
  • Testing electrical systems as a means of maintenance, troubleshooting, or safety
  • Connecting wiring from the primary source of power to individual outlets
  • Installing and repairing heating and air-conditioning units with related electrical wiring
  • Installing and connecting electrical fixtures such as light fixtures, fans, switches, and receptacles
  • Interpreting and installing home automation systems and programmable thermostats
  • Providing cost estimates for electrical project

Commercial Electricians

Commercial electricians perform tasks related to wiring and equipment in businesses, storefronts, industrial and manufacturing facilities, and more. They may work with electrical systems, machines, and wiring that require significantly larger power capacity than residential buildings. Essential duties of commercial electricians include:

  • Installing, inspecting, repairing, and maintaining all commercial electrical systems and related equipment
  • Connecting wiring and testing systems to main power sources
  • Installing and troubleshooting lighting systems, heating and air-conditioning units, and programmable controls
  • Troubleshooting, diagnosing, repairing, and inspecting electrical wiring
  • Preparing detailed reports and providing cost estimates for projects
  • Reading and interpreting electrical wiring diagrams
  • Setting up grounding and lightning protection systems

Residential vs. Commercial Electricians: Types of Projects

Residential electricians take on smaller projects, such as wiring a new light fixture or installing a ceiling fan. They are also responsible for general maintenance and repairs on existing electrical systems in a home or apartment. On the other hand, commercial electricians are typically in charge of large-scale projects such as installing building wiring, constructing electrical systems, and testing large electrical equipment. They also install and repair commercial-grade backup generators and electric vehicle charging systems.

Level of Experience and Training

Both residential and commercial electricians must be licensed and insured to practice in the field. However, it is worth noting that residential electricians may have different experience and training than those specializing in commercial electrical work. Commercial electricians must have extensive knowledge and experience, considering their duties and responsibilities.


Now that you have an idea of how residential and commercial electricians differ, you can decide what your specific project needs. And if you want to make sure that you are hiring the right person for the job, it is best to get the service of a reputable electrical company.

Laswell Electric Company, Inc. has been providing the highest quality electrical service and installations since 1995. We are the most trusted electric company in Louisville, KY—whether residential, commercial, or industrial. Our clients’ review justifies the quality of our service. Call us today, and we’ll assist you regarding your electrical needs!