The Role of an Electrical Engineer in the Construction Industry

In general, the task of an electrical engineer is to design high-voltage equipment such as wiring systems, power distribution systems, generators, and lighting systems etc. Within the construction industry, however, an electrical engineer has many responsibilities especially when it comes to a construction site. In both residential and commercial buildings, while some elements like lighting fixtures and receptacles, or those with a function that requires it are exposed, most components of electrical installations are hidden from sight using access doors. However, electrical systems in building interiors are more evident in industrial settings where there are no drywalls or dropped ceilings to hide junction boxes, conduits, and other accessories.

electrical engineer

At construction sites, it is the duty of electrical site engineers to direct and oversee electrical engineering projects at construction sites, resolve issues, and ensure that work is completed according to specifications. They also balance project management and engineering tasks that range from designing electrical plans to monitoring contractors. It is also the duty of electrical engineers to ensure that plans and work are completed in compliance with local and national electrical codes. To know more about the role of an electrical engineer in the construction industry, this article will discuss them further in detail. Read on to know more.

1. Designing Electrical Systems

It is the duty of electrical engineers to design electrical systems for commercial, residential, and industrial construction projects. High-voltage systems for delivering power and low-voltage applications such as Ethernet and fiber-optic lines are also included. They also have to work closely with designers in order to determine how to effectively incorporate electrical elements, prepare blueprints, and to incorporate electrical elements.

2. Directing Electrical Contractors

Electrical engineers also have the role of directly overseeing and managing teams of electrical contractors and subcontractors. Moreover, they may direct daily activities, answer questions about power needs and electric codes, as well as guide workers throughout the construction process. Mant engineers also work on elements of construction projects themselves, collaborating with electricians and other contractors.

3. Resolving Electrical Issues

When it comes to issues related to electric systems or devices that arise during the construction project, it is also the duty of electrical engineers to resolve such issues. When existing electrical plans and blueprints are no longer viable, or specifications may change requiring a different power configuration resulting from changes to a building’s design or practical concerns, electrical engineers should quickly revise plans to resolve issues and prevent delays.

4. Developing Cost Estimates

Electrical site engineers help develop cost estimates for both material and labor at the onset of the construction planning process. They also estimate manpower and timelines in order to give project managers the information needed for contractor bids and to ensure that the project stays within budget. They also analyze blueprints and site specifications to project the amount of wire, fixtures, and other required materials.

5. Managing Construction Schedules

Managing construction schedules related to electrical elements of job sites is also one of the duties of electrical engineers. They also have to work closely with both planners and utility providers to determine when project milestones will be completed to avoid delays, as well as maintain profitability. They also frequently determine schedules in collaboration with subcontractors in ensuring that electrical work is completed together with other elements of the project.

6. Conduct of System Testing

Throughout the construction process, electrical engineers also conduct tests of electrical systems. This also includes overseeing final inspections of the job and testing individual components or the whole system itself. They also have to check the contractors’ work to ensure that they adhere to local and national electrical codes, safe operation of all devices, and even accurate power delivery.

Lastly, it is also the role of an electrician to ensure that electrical systems requiring more care and protection are safely encased inside quality access doors. 

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