What is the Difference between Residential Electrician vs Commercial Electrician?

Hiring an electrician for an electrical job is as challenging as running a marathon. Those who have never worked with an electrician may find it difficult to differentiate between a Residential electrician and a Commercial electrician. They both can resolve your electrical issues, but they are different in terms of what they do and how they work. To help you understand their roles, we have compiled a complete guide on the difference between residential and commercial electricians.

Commercial Electrician: 

A commercial electrician looks after installing, maintaining, and repairing the electrical systems of commercial buildings such as offices, shops, shopping malls, and industries. They work with massive and complex electrical systems and ensure the workplace’s safety while meeting clients’ power needs. They are experts in designing, repairing, and scheduling power distribution systems per industry standards. 

Residential Electrician:

On the other hand, residential electrician is skilled and qualified to install, repair and maintain electrical systems in residential homes. They perform safety and compliance procedures to ensure that the wiring systems in their clients’ homes are safe. The main responsibilities of domestic electrical contractors include:

  • Installation of electrical systems in newly built homes
  • Compliance with local and national power system standards
  • Diagnosis, repair and maintenance of electrical faults.

The major difference between a Commercial Electrician and a Residential Electrician:


An electrical contractor performs similar tasks as a residential contractor, but on a larger and much more complex scale. Since they work with large corporations, they are liable for installing transformers, generators, cables, lighting, and heating panels in commercial buildings.

In contrast, residential contractors work with general home electrical requirements, including the installation and fixtures of electrical components in residential housing.

Working environment:

Commercial electricians usually work on big projects and typically work in industrial settings, including retail stores, corporate offices, restaurants, and other public places. 

Domestic electricians operate in many different environments, as they primarily work with households to perform general electrical tasks such as installing lighting, appliances, fans and heating panels.


While the primary education and training for both types of electrical contractors are the same, a commercial electrician needs more experience and skills to deal with massive and complex power systems. They must have in-depth knowledge and leadership experience to handle commercial electrical work.

Type of equipment:

One of the significant differences between residential and commercial contractors is the type of equipment they work with. Residential electrician typically work with single-phase, low-voltage power systems ranging between 120V -240V. They often use hand tools such as screwdrivers and pliers to accomplish their job.

Commercial buildings incorporate three-phase, high-voltage electrical systems due to the high power needs of the business. They often use heavy electrical  tools like drill presses. 

It is also essential to understand that commercial electrical systems fail more often and must be placed in accessible areas for quick troubleshooting. Also, the electrical standards and regulations for commercial contractors are more stringent. Thus, they need to acquire the proper license and certifications from state and municipal authorities to ensure their expertise for the particular job. 

End Note:

Electrical contractors, whether residential or commercial, are both equally good at dealing with your power requirements. However, one must understand the fundamental difference between them to ensure they recruit the right person for the specific electrical job. Regardless of the difference, a qualified and well-trained electrical contractor will always ensure that you have a safe and efficient power system at your premises.

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