Could AI Take an Electrician’s Job?


To many, the idea that artificial intelligence can and will take over the job market is fast approaching. I’ve even seen some chatter online and in my daily life that no job is safe from this horrific robot takeover as AI begins to develop more and more. But how rational is this fear? Should you as a Built Environment Professional be concerned about the rise of AI and its potential takeover? 

Table of Contents 

  1. What is AI
  2. The Impact of AI on Electrical Work
  3. The Integration of Smart Grids
  4. Should Electricians be Concerned?
  5. The Importance of the Human Touch
  6. The Best Application of AI in BEP industries
  7. The Future of AI within BEP Sectors



What is AI? 

AI, or Artificial Intelligence is probably one of the most fascinating and astounding creations ever made in the history of mankind. In layman’s terms, Artificial Intelligence can be defined as a branch of computer science that can simulate human intelligence. AI is implemented in machines to perform tasks that require human intelligence. Some of their primary functions include reasoning, learning, problem-solving, and quick decision-making. 

Artificial intelligence has become an important tool across many industries. Automating tasks that don't require human intervention saves money and time and can reduce the risk of human error.  

The Impact of AI on Electrical Work  

If you’re in the electrical industry, odds are you’ve likely already integrated some form of AI into your work. Artificial intelligence has been slowly redefining electrical work, a field traditionally reliant on manual expertise and human judgment. Contrary to public opinion, the integration of AI isn’t about replacing the skilled electrician; it’s about augmenting their capabilities with precision and efficiency.   

AI is working to revolutionize maintenance work by shifting the focus from reactive to predictive. As an example, in the past, if there was an electrical outage, power companies relied on their customers to report the problem before they could identify the issue. While this system does work, it has proven to be a slow and very reactive method to a major problem.  



Through these issues, AI has been implemented to bring about solutions to the most common systematic problems in the Built Environment Professional landscape. A real-world example of artificial intelligence being used to assist electricians is found in tools like the Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor, which uses AI to analyze electrical systems and identify potential issues like overheating circuits or faulty wiring which can lead to blackouts. 

The Integration of Smart Grids 

In the larger landscape of electrical work, AI is playing a crucial role in the development of smart grids. Companies like Siemens and General Electric are using AI to optimize the performance of electrical grids, balancing supply and demand, and integrating renewable energy sources more efficiently.   

One of the most important applications of AI in the electrical sector is its ability to integrate batteries, rooftop solar PV, and electric vehicles to harness the enormous potential of renewable energy. Using complex AI analysis, these smart grids will result in improved energy efficiency, prevent blackouts, and provide consumers with better power supply. 



Should Electricians be Concerned? 

Despite the great potential of AI to revolutionize the BEP sector, there’s concern that these smart systems might become so smart that they push humans out of a job. According to a report released by Goldman Sachs economists earlier this year, as many as 300 million full-time jobs could be eliminated globally by new advances in generative AI. 

Electricians specifically were predicted to experience a 9% fall in demand between 2018 and 2028 according to an Oxford Economics report investigating the impact of AI on Australian and American workers. Data from AlphaBeta suggests 42% of an electrician’s job is susceptible to automation. 


Truthfully, so long as artificial intelligence continues to grow, there are some qualities of most jobs that are at risk of replacement. So then what human qualities are deemed irreplaceable? 

Well, according to AI experts, jobs requiring dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and flexibility are least likely to be replaced for the time being. AI is presently unable to replicate this human behavior and therefore cannot carry out tasks requiring these skills. It seems like most veteran electricians agree. 

One electrician on Reddit expressed the following sentiment: 

“90% of my job is figuring out why something doesn't work because a "computer" got confused and can't finish its logic because an input or sensor failed, or something overdeveloped. I don't see how AI could solve these issues, at least not for a while until technology is far more advanced.” 



The Importance of the Human Touch 

Electricians and contractors play such an important role in a handful of landscapes that to consider them replaceable is an unpopular opinion to hold.  The BEP industries have a unique blend of craftsmanship and human collaboration that's integral to project success. While AI has made impressive strides in automating certain tasks and optimizing processes, the "people" factor remains irreplaceable. 

“On a recent project, I had the chance to use the construction optioneering from Alice Technologies, and it was a game-changer,” One Redditor noted. “The AI-powered platform helped me analyze different construction scenarios, fine-tune schedules, and allocate resources efficiently, allowing us to deliver a complex project seamlessly while still harnessing the expertise and teamwork that make the industry thrive. So, while AI streamlines processes, the human touch remains the heart of construction.  

The electrical trade is only getting more and more complicated, and the addition of smart devices and computer control will only add another layer of that complication. 



The Best Application of AI in BEP industries 

Even amid worry regarding artificial intelligence and machine learning taking over peoples’ jobs, there have been some pretty amazing advancements in AI that are more assistive than scary.  

One example that I find fascinating is the Jaibot Drilling Robot. The Hilti Jaibot is a semi-automated drilling technology robot that helps add more productivity to installation projects. Using digital plans, the Jaibot marks and drills holes, relieving construction workers from the strenuous task of overhead drilling and allowing them to focus on the operation of the construction robot, along with other, less dangerous structural aspects of the project. 

Additionally, some BEPs are already utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets to sell projects and remodels by filming real-time virtual walk-throughs of the job site. This technology can also change colors and sizes in real-time, even from miles away. The AI implemented in VR can be a great organization tool for project management and selling. There is also talk of inspections being done this way in the future. 



The Future of AI within BEP Sectors 

Do I think that AI can do the entire job of an electrician? Not in my lifetime at least. I can see the benefits of the existing and in-development artificial intelligence being used to assist Built Environment Professionals, but that’s about it from where AI stands today.  

The integration of AI into electrical services is truly a leap into a future where electrical work is safer, more efficient, and more aligned with the needs of a rapidly evolving world. In this new era, electricians are not just tradespeople doing a physical job—they are innovators at the forefront of the technological revolution in the industry, utilizing these tools to grow the efficiency of the industry.  

There’s little doubt AI will revolutionize the electrical industry in much the same way as it has other professions and facets of modern life. But one thing is certain—the human touch that’s unique to the work of electricians means that the advancement of automation presents as an opportunity, rather than a threat. 

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