What is it like to work in the electrical industry? There are four primary specialties in electrical work:

• INSIDE WIREMEN – primarily perform electrical construction work in commercial and industrial settings.
• OUTSIDE LINEMEN – primarily perform electrical work
for transmissions and distribution of electrical energy.
• RESIDENTIAL WIREMEN – primarily perform electrical construction work in residential settings.
• TELECOMMUNICATIONS INSTALLER-TECHNICIANS – primarily perform electrical installations for voice, data, video, sound, and other telecommunications areas.

By far, Inside Wiremen is the largest of the four electrical work specialties. Nationally, the Inside Wiremen position has over 200,000 Journeymen and Apprentices who are members of the IBEW. Just as important, though fewer in number, are the Outside Linemen, Residential Wiremen, and Telecommunications Installer-Technicians.

Training programs vary in length for the four electrical work specialties. Inside Wiremen apprenticeship programs are five years; Outside Linemen apprenticeship programs are three and a half years; Residential Wiremen and Telecommunications Installer-Technicians apprenticeship programs are three years.

The following pages provide additional information about each of the four specialties. An abilities checklist, designed to help you determine how well suited you are for electrical work, appears at the end of this section.