What is a Residential Electrician? – Definition of a Residential Electrician


Residential electricians are electricians that perform electrical work in residential premises such as houses, flats, apartments and residential estates. More importantly, these properties are generally classified as home dwellings and as a result, a residential electrician would supply services to these types of home dwellings.

To understand where a residential electrician fits into the broader types of electricians, one would need to understand the differences between a lineman and wireman. Most importantly, electricians can be divided into two main categories: electrical lineman who will work on power supply lines and wireman who install, repair and maintain electrical circuits in buildings and premises. As a result, residential electricians are classified as wireman and not electrical lineman.

Electrical wiremen can specialise further into industrial, commercial and residential electricians. Each of these specialisations require specific study and qualifications.

What work does a residential electrician do?

A residential electrician performs installations, maintenance, inspections and electrical repairs to keep electrical systems and components in good working order. Furthermore, they need to inspect and repair electrical wiring. Residential electricians need to be qualified and licensed in South Africa and must belong to the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa and the Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECB).

Some residential electricians may also manage teams of electrical technicians and deploy them to multiple electrical jobs or projects.

Typical responsibilities of a residential electrician are:

  • Keeping up to date with regulations for electrical systems and safety
  • Being able to interpret technical drawings and electrical wiring diagrams.
  • Inspecting and repairing appliances, switches, lights, wall sockets and ensuring they are safe.
  • General electrical installations, maintenance and repairs.
  • Appliance installations
  • Inspecting and repairing tripp switches, fuse boards, circuit breakers
  • Issuing Electrical compliance certificates (C.O.C) if the electrical installation is compliant with regulation
  • Large or small rewiring jobs including installation of new wiring.
  • Installation of lighting and other electrical components
  • Fault finding, diagnosis and electrical repairs
  • Inspection and testing of electrical installation and electrical systems.
  • Domestic electrical installations
  • Electrician maintenance jobs

What are the required qualifications of a residential electrician in South Africa?

Residential electricians in South Africa are required to prove that they have the necessary skills to perform their role by firstly having a Wiremans license and secondly, a registration certificate from the Department of Labour (DoL). You are only recognised as a legal residential electrician when you have met the two requirements stipulated above. There are also further qualification requirements for an electrician which you can read by clicking this link.


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