Which Ladders Should Electricians Use?

Some of you might consider it as just a ladder. But trust me, anything inside the electrical world cannot be unimportant. It should not expose you to risks such as getting an electric shock or suddenly sliding off.

So, even if you don’t spend days of researching to buy a ladder for your electrical handlings, make sure to at least study for one or two hours. Know about the different things related to it especially types of electrician ladder.

This way you are making a one-time investment after much consideration and most likely, it will last a lifetime. Let’s find out more about various ladders from an electrician’s angle.

The Right Ladders for Electrical Work: From Good Varieties to Avoidable Options!

Ladders are not the most necessary stuff for electric work but then again, you absolutely can’t think a few tasks without one.

For example, when the need to fit a Generator Transfer Switch in a high place pops out, you won’t want to risk it by using some cheap material stool or chair. Or maybe you need to reach some wires that are located up in a higher place.

For such needs, you’ll have to use a ladder that is safe and does the job of holding your weight right.

Which Ladders Should Electricians

Analysis Your Needs First!

There are a bunch of options available at the market right now for ladders. A clean-cut way to start is by analyzing your needs first. No matter what skill category you belong to as an electrician, it’s important to be conscious about your work requirements and possibilities.

You can have a look at the work environment and evaluate it. Ask yourself these questions first and decide an answer to start practically:

  1. Are there any chances of working with ladder on uneven surfaces?
  2. Will your working site include crowds of materials or people?
  3. Are you going to have obstacles in the climbing path?

Meeting Various Types.

There are basics and some out-of-ordinary types available for ladders. The basic ladder categories involve designs that support different electrical needs. While the not-so-popular types might be useful for some uncertain situations. You need to be aware of each category to find out what meets your needs the most.

Basic types are including platform, step, extension and learning step ladders. For the specialty categories, there are step stools, attic ladders, and rolling type as well. The later categories involve a special feature to help you do a lot more than just climbing.

2 Most Common Ladder Types!

First one is called step ladders. These are better than the huge dinosaur shape ladders from your grandparent’s era. You might remember how rickety they were and some even have bad memories of breaking rung while climbing.

Today’s step ladder is way safer with fixed length support. You can do your chores from a close distance safely with step ladders. Also, the freestanding designs are pretty good for double function. Including a work platform is no big deal here.

The second most common type is probably extension ladders. You can easily enjoy height adjustment with these. Of course, flexibility is better than a regular ladder. Manhole ladders are a very popular variant here. They come with a single section for length setting continuously.

Less Popular Ladder Types:

The specialty ladders or less popular ones are of course made with a certain purpose in mind. They may not seem extremely practical for usual situations. But sometimes the need of a special job might want you to think about getting these uncommon types.

Warehouse ladders are a great example here. The electrical chores that need bigger and heavy-duty involvements are better to work with warehouse ladders. Mobile platforms, trestle ladders, and rolling scaffolds are also included in instances list.

Attic ladders are quite common from specialty categories. These are great for sturdiness and foldability. You may have seen them in movies already.

Different Weight Capacity Ladders.

If you are a beginner, there’s no need for a heavy-duty ladder. On the other hand, professional workers have to consider a sturdy pick that can handle the weight of tools as well. There are usually three different categories here.

  • If you don’t work with more than 250 Pounds, industrial ladders are the way to go.
  • For medium load capacity needs, a 225 pounds commercial ladder is ideal.
  • For super light works, the household ladders are more than enough with 200 pounds load capacity.

Make sure you calculate this weight or load capacity adding some other things as well. The sum needs to include:

Your Weight + Clothing & Protective Wear Weight + Tools You Are Carrying Weight + Supplies Stored Over the Ladder Weight.

Different Resources for Construction.

Considering ladders based on materials is one of the most important things to do. There is certain material that can’t involve in any sort of electrical works.

Basically, there are two types of ladders based on materials. These are wood and fiberglass ladders. There are some ladders made of metal as well. But you can’t use these for electrical works.

Because the metal will surely work as an electrical conductor. This will literally turn your body into a circuit. And so, the electricity passing through your body can make you injured and sometimes, even cause death.

The Best Choice?

From the perspective of an electrician, I must say this ladder type is an all-rounder. It’s the fiberglass step ladder. I’ve combined both material and design types for this conclusion.

These are possibly the best at providing superior strength.Also, the lightweight features of these ladders are great for easy transporting and moving.

Unfortunately, the ladders do need your constant maintenance and care. Because these are prone to become damp or dirty quite often.

Also, you need to invest quite a generous amount to buy them. A cheaper alternative is wood, but then again there’s frequent dampness that will gradually rot the ladder.

However, you’ll never have to worry about shocks and damages. These are extremely safe from such power sources.

Of course, proper safety manners while working with a ladder is a must. And you can only enjoy the complete benefit of a right electrician’s ladder after ensuring safety maintenance.

Keep in Mind!

  • When you are trying to climb or descend from a ladder, make sure to face it. Never go the other way if you don’t wish to trip or fall.
  • Some people stand with a foot on a rung and another one at some different surface. Avoid doing this and keep both feet together for proper balancing.
  • For a stepladder, never climb more than the second ring. On a straight or extension ladder, highest rung to climb is the third one.
  • There is a paint shelf on some step ladders. These are not appropriate for standing so avoid doing that.
  • Too steep or spanned angle is absolutely dangerous for extension ladders. Follow the recommended angle provided with ladder safety guide.

Two Possible Reasons for Electrocutions

According to Ryan Moss (President of the American Ladder Institute), "Each day, almost 2000 people are getting injured while conducting ladder-related tasks, among them, 100 embrace long-term disabilities".

So, hopefully, you can easily understand how risky the ladder job is. However, the risk will increase more when the ladder job is related to electricity. Let's see how electrocutions can occur from the following discussion.

While moving the ladder, the user may accidentally touch the overhead electrical wire. If the ladder is metal-made or wood with metal reinforcement, then you can easily electrocute yourself.

In the uneven ground, wind, or while reaching the side, the ladder or the person may contact the overhead wire.

Difference between the electrician ladder and regular ladder

Roll your eyes over the following table to know what makes the electrician ladder different from the ordinary ladder.


Electrician ladder

Regular ladder


Fiberglass is a safe material for electrician ladder because it is non-conductive.

Aluminum is the most common material to make any normal use ladder.


The Electrician ladder (fiberglass made) is heavier than the aluminum ladder.

You will find the regular ladder (aluminum-made) isn’t heavier than the electrician ladder.


Direct sunlight is the main problem for the electrician ladder (fiberglass made).

It is considered the trigger of the crack-related problem. That’s why you need to give special care to it.

The aluminum-made regular ladder is suitable to use in any type of outdoor task except the electrical.

You don’t need to give special care to it - just store it in a dry place after finishing the task.


Electrician ladder is pricey so, don’t buy it if you have no electrical job.

The regular ladder is less expensive, hence making it perfect for any job.

What characteristics make an ideal Electrician Ladder?

We enlist some characteristics which will make the ladder safe for an electrician.

Having a decent load capacity (better up to 375 pounds).

Can reach up to 21 feet to touch the overhead electric items in industrial builds or theaters

The ladder offers a webbed pole grip to secure the ladder to poles, corners, or pipes.

It will be better to have twin steps. Therefore, two people can easily work.

If the rung is D-shaped, you will get a large standing area.

To keep the tool in position, the bungee design or holding brackets are perfect.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do electricians need ladders?

When an electrician needs to work in a high position, he needs a ladder to reach that place.

While choosing a ladder, the electrician needs to keep a non-conductive ladder (fiberglass, wooden) as the top priority. That non-conductive ladder helps to avoid electrical hazards.

Why do electricians use wooden ladders?

Similar to fiberglass material, a wooden ladder is a non-conductive ladder. That makes it ideal to use in any electrical job.

But one headache is when this ladder is exposed to moisture, it may rot. Plus, you can't easily use the wooden ladder in wet conditions.

Is using an aluminum ladder safe for electrical work in a wet area?

Although it depends, we suggest you don't use it for electrical work in a wet area. However, if you have no option, then ensure the power is off, which will keep you safe from electrocuting yourself.

If you are looking for a safe option, you have better choose a fiberglass ladder.

Do aluminum ladders conduct electricity?

Yes, aluminum is a conductive material. You can hardly avoid electrical hazards while using this ladder for electrical work, even though the rubber feet aren't safe.


Choosing the best type of ladder for an electrician is not a painful task for sure. You need to be aware of what’s available and the features implemented.

For beginners, it’s only sensible to go for a basic ladder that provides a good amount of sturdiness. You have to be ensuring the ladder is enough safe for whatever chores you’ll be doing.

And once that matter is resolved, choosing a particular ladder becomes super simple.Just be sure to invest in something durable, easy to handle and simple to keep clean.

Because there’s more to work with as an electrician than cleaning and getting bothered with ladders. Good Luck!

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