A Day in the Life of an Electrician

5 August 2022

Being an electrician is not always an easy job. To avoid dangerous situations, an electrician has pay attention to safety, be well organized and oversee even the finest details.

Being curious on how a day in the life of an electrician looks like, we recently talked to Cedrik, @cenergy.nord. Cedrik started his career 11 years ago and he is a great example on how hard work and passion help you get where you want. He loves his job and he believes trades will become even more important in the future.

Let’s get to know him better!

How did it all start? Did you always want to work in trades, or did you only decide on it later? Did you do an apprenticeship?

Most of my family members are craftsmen from different fields. My father always wanted me to learn his job, he is an HVAC engineer, but I didn't want to do what everyone else was doing. However, I took part in Girls' and Boys' Days [a German special day for teenagers] and did lots of internships to get a taste of everything related to different fields. After secondary school, I was undecided about what I wanted to do. At that time, I was interested in technology and editing graphics and videos, but I was attracted to the trades as well, as they have always been part of my life ever since.

In 2011 I got an internship as an electrician at a company, but the first day went so bad that I quit straight away. Then, in January 2012, I found my future training company. I started as a trainee for 2 weeks, which became 4 weeks, then 6 weeks, then 8 weeks and, in the end, I was there for 8 months. The internship ended with a 3.5-year apprenticeship as an electrician in the company. During this time, I was well trained and I learned everything related to electrical engineering. I was so interested in these subjects that I passed the apprentice examination part 1 and part 2 with an A. That was a completely new feeling for me because I wasn't a very good student in secondary school.

By the time I got my apprentice certificate, I got to know many areas of electrical engineering, from industry, photovoltaics, and construction sites to the reparation of toasters or other small electronics. I worked with small cross-sections (0.25mm²) to very large ones (630mm²) and because of this diversity, I was able to work on different electrical jobs.

In 2018 I started my master's degree at an evening school and starting with February 2022 I am a master craftsman in the electrical engineering field. After 10 years in my training company, at the beginning of January 2022, I changed my job. Now I am a branch manager in a company in charge of charging stations for electric vehicles, photovoltaics, and battery storage. I am responsible for Hamburg and a 100 km surrounding area. We are 130 colleagues throughout Germany.

Have you considered starting your own business?

I thought about self-employment for a long time, but as Plan B. Plan A was to take over the company where I completed my apprenticeship. Unfortunately, there were a few complications, so I had Plan B as self-employment and Plan C as a job in a different company. I decided on C, but B would not be something I would rule out in the long run.

Do you work alone or with other colleagues?

Generally, we always work as a team, which makes everything very pleasant. I am an absolute team player. We work on the DC side (on the roof) and the AC side (in the basement). On the AC side, we are always working with 1 - 2 colleagues and on the DC side with 3. So, we are always with 4 - 5 people on the site and try to cover everything at the same time. This works for everyone, because we work as a team and we support each other at any time. If, for example, a roofer is unavailable, I also go on the roof and do the work of the assembly assistant. Teamwork is very important to us.

How does a working day in your life look like? (Monday - Friday)

The regular working hours are Monday to Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:45 PM. I'm usually the first one arriving just before 7 AM and I start by unlocking everything. After that, we grab a coffee, and we meet in the common room. It's a morning habit and, because of team building, it's mandatory so that we are always in touch with our colleagues. We talk about the day and everything that's coming up. After that, we fan out and load the vehicles. We usually try to unload the vehicles the day before so that we only have to load them in the morning.

Afterwards, we drive to the construction sites. A normal procedure on site is that the scaffolder has been there a few days earlier and set everything up. When we arrive, we set up the site for ourselves, which means everything is loaded out of the vehicle and all things and tools are sorted where they belong. Stations with chargers and cable drums are set up so that we always have a full battery at hand. Then we do the actual electrical work scheduled for that day and meet back at the company in the afternoon. We usually have a coffee or, sometimes, a beer together and talk about the day we have had. Are there any problems? Is there something that still needs to be done? Do we have to take care of anything else? All these things are discussed. Usually, the vehicles are unloaded afterwards, depending on how late it is.

Sometimes it also happens that we need to go to customers with an energy supplier and do a meter approval or commissioning of the system so that the system can officially be connected to the grid.

Wednesdays are my OSA-days (on-site appointment):

In the morning and afternoon, the procedure is as explained before. On the so-called OSA-day, I exclusively drive out to customers and inspect the houses before installation. I look at the conditions so that there are no surprises on the construction site day and inform myself about the electrical system: what do we have to add, renew, or extend? I also look at the installation systems and check how we can set up, how we can get from the roof to the basement with the cables and so on. I talk about this with the client so that everything runs smoothly on the construction site day.

Fridays are my office days:

On this day I work through everything that was left over during the week. This includes, for example, the approval documentation, emails, travel expenses for colleagues who were on site, reimbursement of expenses, and orders for materials and clothing. On this day I also take time for the personal well-being of the employees, which could be family problems, illnesses, holidays and so on. Of course, I also have an open ear for my colleagues every other day.

So, as you can see, you don't get bored on the job 😉

Which Klauke tools do you use and how often?

I've owned the EK30IDML since May, which I got as part of the Klauketester campaign. I use the tool every day. For me, the crimping tool definitely makes work easier for tubular cable lugs. I particularly like the rotating head, which allows me to get into all corners. I use many other Klauke tools, for example: 

VDE side cutter KL040145IS

Side cutter KL04580IS

Stripping tool K433

Automatic wire stripper K432U

Hand cutting tool K118

Crimping tool K32 TWIST-it

Self-adjusting crimping tool K30/6 K

What is your favourite Klauke tool?

My absolute favourite Klauke tool is the VDE cable cutter KL010160IS, which I also use every day. The cable shears have a really good feel and cutting power. In addition, they can be used universally.

A message to people who want to start a job in the trades or even as an electrician

The electrical trade is quite a great and diverse craft. Many might associate it with installing a few switches and sockets on a large construction site and fixing cables into walls. But there is so much more to the job, and it is incredibly diverse. If you look at every area of the electrical trade, you'll find a lot of things that are incredibly exciting to do. Whether it is in industry, alarm systems, networks, telephone systems, photovoltaics, or battery storage. In the photovoltaic sector, for example, you can do something for the energy turnaround. The trade has a future. I love my job. Besides, if you master your craft and run it the way it is regarded, you can also earn a lot of money.

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