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What Is an Electrical Superintendent?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2014
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An electrical superintendent or electrical super is someone who oversees the implementation, maintenance, and safety of an electrical system. Electrical supers work in a wide variety of locations, from oil rigs to schools, and generally they have at least 10 years of experience in the field. A qualified and experienced electrical superintendent can usually find ready employment, although it may be necessary to relocate in order to access the best jobs.

Some electrical superintendents are electrical engineers, holding at least a master's degree in engineering. Others are fully qualified electricians. In either case, they have worked in a variety of positions on electrical crews and they may hold special certifications, such as qualifications which allow them to work with high voltage. Typically electrical superintendents work their way up in seniority until they reach a supervisory position, at which point they may remain with the same company, or branch out as freelancers.

When electrical systems are being installed, the electrical superintendent is involved in the design and planning of the system, and supervises the crew doing the installation. This may require coordinating with other construction crews in addition to being on site to monitor the installation and address issues as they arise. Furthermore, an electrical superintendent must also design and implement a safety plan for the crew, organize scheduling, and make sure that costs stay within budget while the project remains on time.

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On an existing system, the electrical superintendent is in charge of the crew which keeps the system running. Superintendents are responsible for making sure that the system remains functional, and for implementing safety, which includes training people who work with and around the system so that they will not endanger themselves or others. The electrical superintendent needs to be able to respond to emergencies quickly, and to identify potential problems before they arise. He or she also supervises overhauls and routine maintenance on the system which will ensure that the system will continue to meet the needs of the users.

Pay for an electrical superintendent varies, depending on the industry he or she works in, and the level of experience and credentialing achieved. More experience usually translates to higher pay. The more dangerous the industry and the work, the higher the pay, and often the benefits will be better as well. Someone who works with high voltage power or in an environment like an oil rig, for example, may make more than an electrical superintendent who manages electrical crews on construction teams.

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JaneAir
Post 2

@indemnifyme - I think high voltage electrical work sounds scary too! Either way, it sounds like this job comes with a lot of responsibility.

Imagine if you made a mistake? A lot of people could get hurt. I suppose the fact that most electrical supers are highly experienced probably cuts down on the amount of errors though, so that's good.

indemnifyme
Post 1

I personally don't think the higher pay would be worth it for working in a dangerous environment. A friend of mine is an electrician, and he eventually hopes to work his way up to the position of electrical superintendent. I hope he decides to stay away from oil rigs!

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