Discuss No question, but i personally find domestic work more ("fun") than commercial & industrial... change my mind. in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

snowhead

snowhead

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What can be more fun than turning up at a multi-milion pound site and being asked how long it's going to take to sort the problem out, when you've not even seen what it is.
Then when you're working on trying to get machinery or lights or power back on having a constant stream of people asking Is it fixed yet, How long are you going to be, Can't you get more people in to help.
Then add it could be in the middle of the night and you're miles from home on your own on a site you've never been to, Loved it.

What's even more fun is all the above and you walk in a plantroom, press a reset or move a pile of cardboard boxes off the reset / DB Isolator etc and bingo they're back on.

If the last company that took over the contract I worked on hadn't been a complete set of A*seoles, I'd have probably still been there now instead of being sat at home in retirement.
 
littlespark

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We had a recent “domestic vs industrial” thread that turned into a nasty tit for tat, so let’s try and keep this one on track…

Domestic:
Generally less money… can be working in restrictive space… attics, underfloors and cupboard… feel guilty making a mess (in clean house) or fear of catching something (in not so clean)

Industrial:
Can be boring if just metalwork for days on end…. More strenuous work because working with heavier cable etc…. Get to play with large machines (cherry pickers etc) ….. 3 phase
 
James

James

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Being able to spend hours or days on a complex fault finding job
not having a home owner looking over you thinking “he is just milking this job for as much as he can get from me”

eventually methodically finding and repairing the fault.
rather than have someone gasp and say HOW MUCH, YOU ONLY CHANGED ONE PART!!!
you get a pleased manager/director tell you that they are impressed and thank you because you were the 3rd spark they called I and the Other 2 couldn’t fix it.
often followed by “send your bill in, will get it paid immediately “
 
C

CamoElectric

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I'm working commercial but got sent on a domestic job the other day. Just had to put a single cooker feed in and it was a right ballache. The cable needed to go into ceiling space under glued laminate floor and where the previous guy had chased out and drill a hole ready for the cable he'd gone upwards into a wall plate so it had to all be redrilled. Noisy, dusty, dirty. Then i had to get all the floorboards back, put the carpet down, hoover, sweep up, cover floors, liaise with the customer.

Yeah i got a cup of tea out of it but give me tray work off a lifter any day of the week. Then there's the other lads at work who constantly complain on our whatsapp group about customers not being in or not answering the door.

Domestic:
Generally less money
I've asked before about this but is this really true? If you have a steady flow of work, being self employed in domestic settings is much better paid than working cards in for someone else on site. Look at job sites, pay is crap around the country, max you'll see advertised is around £25 an hour which is all pre-tax don't forget.
no pressure to get the job done quickly to compensate for the fact that you underquoted.
Lol tell that to our supervisor!
 
D

Dustydazzler

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I have spent 85% of my working life doing domestics but occasionally help a mate with commercial cable pulls and the off bit of wiring 3 phase equipment. It makes a nice change as its a different mind set and skill set wrangling with a 95mm 4c swa and getting to use the cherry lift etc,

But Is the pay better ??? There are domestic installers who comfortably earn £600-700 per day doing upper end domestic work, board changes, eicrs and fault repairs etc. There can't be too many commercial sparks out there earning that kind of money on a daily basis ?

As for the bordem factor , any job can get boring if you let it. Its all about the mind set you have and trying to find work that keeps you interested. I quite enjoy fault finding and doing awkward re-wring, where I know others who hate domestic and steer clear of it as much as possible
 
telectrix

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different ball game with industrial/commercial fro cards in to self=employed contractor. factory has a partial shut down, costing thousands. you go fix, name your price. domestic..... Mrs. Jones can wait for you to fix that tripping fault that takes you an hour and earns <£60.
 
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Dustydazzler

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talking install work / day work / piece work , i can't see many commercial guys getting 600-700£ per day

fault work / emergency call back is different , especially if its evenings and nights

I helped in a call out to a factory after a fire in an attempt to get it up and running / power back on again over a weekend , I think my company at the time were charging us out at £1000 per shift / night. we had guys working 12 hours then the next guys 12 hours
 
C

CamoElectric

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But Is the pay better ??? There are domestic installers who comfortably earn £600-700 per day doing upper end domestic work, board changes, eicrs and fault repairs etc. There can't be too many commercial sparks out there earning that kind of money on a daily basis ?
Exactly. If you're not the one with the contract the pay isn't better.
different ball game with industrial/commercial fro cards in to self=employed contractor. factory has a partial shut down, costing thousands. you go fix, name your price. domestic..... Mrs. Jones can wait for you to fix that tripping fault that takes you an hour and earns <£60.
Well yeah but how many lads in commercial and industrial are going on as the main contractor? Hardly any, there's usually one main subby and then CIS lads are being paid £18-25 an hour.

The 'self employed contractors' on our site are on £19 an hour, because they're subbying for a company that's subbying for a company. Our company is probably getting £75 an hour for us all but we don't get that we just get wages.
 
ferg

ferg

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It's just down to personal preference.

I hated industrial and left the trade entirely.
Came back to it after a long break. Doing domestics only and now I love it. I honestly wish I hadn't listened to and fallen for the snobbery around domestics.

In fairness domestics has changed significantly since then. Gone are the days of a couple of sockets and a pendant per room.

Life is too short to be stuck in a job you don't like.
If you can make enough money to support your family do whatever makes you happy. Unhappiness spreads to those around you so money is definitely NOT everything.
 
C

CamoElectric

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It's just down to personal preference.

I hated industrial and left the trade entirely.
Came back to it after a long break. Doing domestics only and now I love it. I honestly wish I hadn't listened to and fallen for the snobbery around domestics.

In fairness domestics has changed significantly since then. Gone are the days of a couple of sockets and a pendant per room.

Life is too short to be stuck in a job you don't like.
If you can make enough money to support your family do whatever makes you happy. Unhappiness spreads to those around you so money is definitely NOT everything.
There is more money in domestic though. Although i know there are certain contracts out there that pay very well even cards in and come with perks like fuel allowance, digs paid for etc, the maths don't lie - i'm going to be extremely lucky to find a cards in job paying all expenses and giving £30 an hour, whereas you can easily clear £40-50+ doing domestic.

That's why i started the other thread - i see domestic being bashed all the time but imo the work is of no higher quality on site, you get paid less and the knobs you have to deal with can be draining.

On my site the lads are like a bunch of old women, moaning and b**ching about each other all the time, slagging off the management. We also have checks, passes, drug/alcohol swabs, strict PPE rules, all that jazz. Eyes watching you all the time.

Swings and roundabouts but the actual work itself is much less of a faff on site imo.
 
ferg

ferg

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There is more money in domestic though. Although i know there are certain contracts out there that pay very well even cards in and come with perks like fuel allowance, digs paid for etc, the maths don't lie - i'm going to be extremely lucky to find a cards in job paying all expenses and giving £30 an hour, whereas you can easily clear £40-50+ doing domestic.

That's why i started the other thread - i see domestic being bashed all the time but imo the work is of no higher quality on site, you get paid less and the knobs you have to deal with can be draining.

On my site the lads are like a bunch of old women, moaning and b**ching about each other all the time, slagging off the management. We also have checks, passes, drug/alcohol swabs, strict PPE rules, all that jazz. Eyes watching you all the time.

Swings and roundabouts but the actual work itself is much less of a faff on site imo.
I'd be wary of those numbers TBH.
It looks like you are comparing cards in with self employed, two totally different things.
Self employment has significant extra financial and time costs associated with it, hence the higher hourly rate.

Don't forget the additional stress involved which if not managed carefully can affect those around you, there are a fair few failed marriages and estranged families due to this.
 
C

CamoElectric

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I'd be wary of those numbers TBH.
It looks like you are comparing cards in with self employed, two totally different things.
Self employment has significant extra financial and time costs associated with it, hence the higher hourly rate.

Don't forget the additional stress involved which if not managed carefully can affect those around you, there are a fair few failed marriages and estranged families due to this.
Nah if you do your pricing properly the £50 an hour is after expenses. Plus all the expenses are pre tax not post tax which makes a huge difference. This isn't speculation, i know people pulling this. The ones that aren't are still pulling much more than £19 an hour pre tax. Domestic pays more unless you have the contract and it's not even close.

Having said that most self employed people i know never do their finances properly and never take advantage of going LTD.
 
Gavin John Hyde

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Personally i focus on domestics... Dabble in odd bit of commercial stuff in various trading estates.
Good money to be made. Could earn more but i have a good work life balance. No desire to work myself to death.
Commercial electrics seems to be a bit marmite. I know an electrician who does call outs only in the Avonmouth and Severn beach area of Bristol £100+vat first hour £60+vat subsequent. Out of hours £150+ vat for 1st hour. Some companies have said no thanks. Others bite his hand off as he is available.
He doesnt have to do many jobs a week to make a living and loves it.
Compare to some domestic jobs where people see adverts saying car charger installed for 499 nonsense and you have a battle on pricing.
Its about quality not quantity for me. If somebody doesnt like my quote then they are not my customer and i am the wrong electrician for them. I know what i do inside out, i know my niche and charge accordingly for it.
Once upon a time a likely charged too little and priced to get the job. Now i have learnt about the value of time.
 
nicebutdim

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If somebody doesnt like my quote then they are not my customer and i am the wrong electrician for them. I know what i do inside out, i know my niche and charge accordingly for it.

This about sums up my entire working life, although starting again as an apprentice requires a very different approach. People who are unable to say no (or walk away) usually end up working for next to nothing.
 
C

cliffed

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many years in house bashing… 2nd fixing then testing faults on ring faults on lighting..decorations all done…nails through channelling.
Chop out wall fix…get moaned @ all the mess.
With industrial just fit another cable on the tray or trunking charge a fortune & they will pay.
Industrial bit more rewarding I think too
 
J
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I find commercial work better, sometimes no need to clean up - domestic they want the earth and then they say 'dont worry about cleaning up' and then you get a call from the office because you never cleaned up.....
 
rapparee

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Being able to spend hours or days on a complex fault finding job
not having a home owner looking over you thinking “he is just milking this job for as much as he can get from me”

eventually methodically finding and repairing the fault.
rather than have someone gasp and say HOW MUCH, YOU ONLY CHANGED ONE PART!!!
you get a pleased manager/director tell you that they are impressed and thank you because you were the 3rd spark they called I and the Other 2 couldn’t fix it.
often followed by “send your bill in, will get it paid immediately “
I had one of these on Wednesday

Turned up at 7am, glum Polish nightshift charge hand.

Small problem.

The busiest machine in the factory didn't run last night.

The 24v power supply was tripping out.

No contingency, no Plan B

The factory is running out of parts fast

I'm crawling about under a conveyer looking for a broken sensor cable.

I suspect 24v is shorting to earth somewhere.

I find out after a while, I'm dealing with a mixture of NPN and PNP 24v power supplies.

If I disconnect one of the zero volt legs the PSU stays on.


5 separate panels and the same bloody 0v is zig zapped between the 5 panels

A fault in one panel is cutting out the PSU in another.

All you can do is keep calm and logically eliminate different problems

If you start frantically jumping around from one panel to the other or press to robot etc, you would miss something

4 and a half hours later and I got it going.

That was a tester but was satisfying
 
U

UNG

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Having been fortunate to learn my trade across the domestic, commercial, healthcare and industrial sectors I find the perceptions that some people have of the different sectors quite interesting to say the least

There is far more to the industrial sector than just the "metal munching" that some believe it is all about, the company I served my apprenticeship with and stayed with for a few years post apprenticeship quite often sent electricians and sometimes apprentice's on loan to the big industrial companies locally when they needed electricians to cover for staff holidays or just needed an electrician or two to help out with plant upgrades, the work varied from minor installation work to fault finding on machines some of which were quite complex and occasionally with the added pressure of stopped production. There is something that is quite satisfying about turning up to a machine fault, picking up the wiring diagram and fixing the problem in less than an hour never having seen the machine before
I always remember one fault many years ago, customer rang up and asked us how quickly we could fix a fault at his site as he was likely to lose a £25k machine full of glue if it was off for more than 2 hours as the glue would set solid, I arrived on site about 10 minutes later and found the main 3 phase switch fuse to the factory had a burnt out switch contact, got someone back at our office to locate a new switch fuse of the same make and model and get it to me while I started stripping out the damaged switch after persuading the DNO to let me pull the cut out fuses and prepare it as much as possible for the new switch fuse when it landed. When the new switch fuse arrived we only had about 30 mins to meet the 2 hour deadline which we did make just much to the customers relief. With domestic you don't get those pressure moments

Every sector has it's pro's and con's, it's positives and negatives and a lot of the techniques used do crossover and can be effectively adapted between all the sectors of the industry

Do I have a preference over the sector I work in and the answer is no, I just enjoy solving those faults that others have failed to find and fix

My question would be what makes a good all round electrician these days when there are those who are hell bent on splitting the the industry up into domestic, commercial and industrial etc. I'm not a ................(insert an industry sector) Electrician, I am and consider myself an Electrician as it was taught when I went to college trained so they could work in any sector they chose
 
I

Intoelectrics

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High end domestic is nice, easier and pays better . And you get better perks
What perks have you enjoyed then over the years doing domestic?

For me I met some really nice people some who became my friends. I also met and had relationships with a couple of ladies (not at the same time, before anyone comments). I have also, though not often received a decent tip.
 
L

LukeD

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What perks have you enjoyed then over the years doing domestic?

For me I met some really nice people some who became my friends. I also met and had relationships with a couple of ladies (not at the same time, before anyone comments). I have also, though not often received a decent tip.
Firstly good friends and then picking up the kids as they left home etc as clients . Great laughs . Excellent food and gifts. Attended weddings and 2 clients attended mine . Excellent legal advice from people who charge north of 1k a hour ..!


last but never least ....Trust and Pride .
 
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LukeD

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Firstly good friends and then picking up the kids as they left home etc as clients . Great laughs . Excellent food and gifts. Attended weddings and 2 clients attended mine . Excellent legal advice from people who charge north of 1k a hour ..!


last but never least ....Trust and Pride .
And I always walk away from any chance of a woman flirting .Its never ever worth messing around
 
I

Intoelectrics

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And I always walk away from any chance of a woman flirting .Its never ever worth messing around
I was single and the ladies were single in both cases for me, one in particular I had a long term relationship and we ended up having a child together. I also avoid the flirtatious ones, as you say its not worth the hassle.
 
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LukeD

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I was single and the ladies were single in both cases for me, one in particular I had a long term relationship and we ended up having a child together. I also avoid the flirtatious ones, as you say its not worth the hassle.
Seen a friend do it with a very very sexy rich lady ..... And then she used the event against her Husband (absolute rich nightmare of a man ) one night in a drunken rage . Mate sleeps with one eye open.
 
P

Petej999

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Firstly good friends and then picking up the kids as they left home etc as clients . Great laughs . Excellent food and gifts. Attended weddings and 2 clients attended mine . Excellent legal advice from people who charge north of 1k a hour ..!


last but never least ....Trust and Pride .
Not questioning you Mate but does it mean that if you class yourself as a domestic Electrician, you can't do commercial or industrial Electrics?
 
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Petej999

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I would guess it means you primarily work in domestic properties.
You might think so Mate but we have sparks calling themselves domestic sparks, ind or Comm, surely if yo, nothing more nothing less. I guess u are an Electrician you are just that,
 

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