The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Electrician vs. Entertainment Electrician

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by felixm, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. felixm

    felixm Member

    Likes Received:
    Well after reading and making a few posts I realize that I don't know everything that I would like to about electrical wiring.

    Are there any electricians that can tell me how to be come one. I know that there may be a few years of school and some on the job training. I have been thinking about a career change over that last few month.

    Also is the such a thing as an entertainment electrician, if so what is the difference?
  2. len

    len Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    An electrician can install the wiring in a house or other building. They have (I think) NECA training, they have certifications, they have standards, etc. A lot are also in the union, but that's not a requirement.

    An entertainment electrician, at a minimum, can get a show up in the air and make sure that everything is plugged in where it's supposed to be so that the board op can do his job. But they aren't necessarily qualified to do anything to the wiring in the building. They may have training, they may have certifications from ETCP etc. but it isn't necessary to achieve the minimum. Minimum proficiency comes from on the job training and experience.
  3. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Len paints a very good picture of the minimum that you might find out in the field (although I have seen some apprentice electricians wiring houses that really shouldn't be). If you want one standard of what a good entertainment electrician is look at ETCP's certification program for entertainment electricians.

    If I personally had to give you a definition I'd say that an electrician knows how to properly wire buildings. An entertainment electrician knows how to utilize a properly wired building to hang a show so that everything that plugs in and turns on works properly.
  4. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Technical Director
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I can't say how the process works in the U.S. or other countries but I can say with certainty how it works in Canada (As I am an electrical apprentice).

    In Canada they are toying with the idea of making an "entertainment electrician" apprenticeship as well, that will give a licence to do small things, and hook up to existing installs.

    To become an electrician ("Construction and Maintenance Electrician") you must first apply to a company for an apprenticeship position. If you are accepted, there is a normal 3-month period when you are evaluated. After this time the company will contact the Ministry of Collages and Training, Apprenticeship division and 'sign you up'. The apprenticeship usually takes 4-5 years, and you have to goto school 3 times, and complete a number of hours of work determined by the ministry. Once you satisfy these requirements you can write your CofQ exam (Certificate of Qualification). You have to get at least at 70% score on the CofQ to pass, and obtain your licence.
    To then become a master electrician you have to be licenced for at least a year, and then complete additional schooling (and write another test).

    Electricians are responsible for installation and maintenance of pretty much any electrical equipment (any permanent installs that are hard wired should be done by an electrician). We wire the building, install, maintain... Even spend enough time just changing lamps in certain settings.

    I've put in so many fluorescent tubes, and changed so many ballasts... Well I would have to ability to count them lol.
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Likes Received:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    How do you know that a person who claims to be an "electrician" knows anything about stage electrical issues? How do you know that a person who claims to be an expert on stage electrical issues knows anything about electricity in the real world? The ETCP certification program is something relatively new that the industry has created in order to try to solve this very problem. It's new so there are a lot of very good electricians (and riggers) out there who are not certified. If they are smart they will get certified as soon as they can as more and more employers will be requiring it. It's also not easy to do. It's not just a matter of studying and taking a test--you have to prove that you've been doing it in the real world safely and effectively too.

    If you have questions about the program, I recommend you send a PM to [user]derekleffew[/user], [user]STEVETERRY[/user], or [user]abbyt[/user], all ETCP-Certified.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2009

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice