must have electrical books

The following are a curated list of electrical books that are essential in reading if you hope to understand electricity, and how it pertains to the electrical trade. No-matter where you’re at in your career, these are books that will give you great value whether it be for studying for an exam, understanding electrical theory, figuring out how motors work, understanding transformers, wiring diagrams, or just basic electrical theory.


Electricity 1-7

For beginners really trying to wrap their heads around how electricity works, this visual guide is a killer book to have in your collection. Even if you’ve read 2 or 3 other books and you think you have a firm grasp on this stuff, this book will fill the gaps that you may have in your understanding because it does so visually. It is an old book yes, but an outstanding book nonetheless. It’s a great foundation to building an understanding from, and I highly recommend buying it no-matter how far along you are in this trade.


industrial motor controls

Once you’ve wrapped your head around the basic concepts of electricity, and have gotten your hands dirty out in the field applying your knowledge - it’s time to step your game up a notch. This book is a great advanced book for a Journeyman level understanding of how to control motors, relays, plcs, and industrial machinery. It covers schematics, diagrams, motor controls, control circuits, ladder-logic, ladder diagrams, and MUCH more. This will take things to a new level for you my friend.


electrical courses for apprentices & journeymen

This was the first book I read on electricity, many years ago. It’s a modern, fresh look at electricity that helps field electricians wrap their heads around how electricity works, in terms an electrician understands. There are a ton of helpful graphics in the book, and ample explanations to step up your knowledge-base on topics like single-phase vs three-phase, different types of motor windings, transforming AC electricity, capacitive reactance, inductive reactance, electrical theory, AC vs DC, and SO much more.


Transformer Principles and Applications

This book is a must have in your collection of Electrical Nerd-Out books. It covers pretty much anything and everything you could want to know about transformers. It talks about every type of transformer that exists, the fields around them, ways to cool them, how they can be damaged, how to size them, and a lot more.


Ugly’s Electrical References

A great tool for every electrician, whether Apprentice, Journeyman, or Master is an up-to-date Ugly’s book. Ugly’s takes a wealth of knowledge from the National Electrical Code, to safety, pipe-bending, motor windings, transformers, tying knots, basic mechanics and mathematics, CPR, and basically everything you may need to know out in the field as an electrician - and wraps it all into a spiral-bound reference book that fits in your back pocket. Dope as hell!


Understanding The National Electrical Code Vol 1

Understanding the NEC can be a difficult thing to do because of how it is written. If you’re studying for a test or simply trying to digest the content so that you have a better grasp about what codes mean, then you should check out Understanding The National Electrical Code - Volume 1 by Mike Holt. This is a visual guide to understanding the NEC, and it is laid out beautifully. Not only does it cover the first half of the NEC in depth with explanations and examples, it gives you diagrams and illustrations so you can visually see what is being talked about. This will help you really dig in to code mastery.


Understanding The National Electrical Code Vol 2

This is Part 2 to Understanding The Electrical Code - This volume covers Chapters 5 - 7 of the National Electrical Code, and gives explanations, examples, and outstanding visual graphics that help you to really understand what the NEC is saying. If you’re stumped by code, get this book and get Volume 1 while you’re at it. They’re both a must have in your collection of Electrical Knowl


American Electricians’ Handbook

This is a pretty awesome little pocket guide to troubleshooting electrical systems. For most Journeyman and Master Electricians a lot of this information is common sense, but there are some things that deal with Thermal troubleshooting, as well as dealing with Triplen Harmonics and heating of grounded conductors caused by Non-Linear Load distribution that I think are worth the read.


Delmar’s Standard Textbook of Electricity

This is really a well put together textbook that covers all of the essentials of understanding electricity in how it relates to an electrician. It goes over safety practices, static electricity, magnetism, ohm’s law, conduction of liquids and gases, AC inductors, resistance, and SO much more. Get this book if you want something that covers everything in a well-presented complete package.


Electrical Studies for Trades

Electrical Studies for Trades is yet another fantastic book written by Stephen L. Herman, who writes a lot of books on electrical theory. This book is great because it is directed specifically at the trades, so it is meant for an electrician-level understanding. It doesn’t dive off too deep into engineering topics, but rather stays appropriately in the realm of being an electrician in the construction or service trades.


Electricity and Magnetism

I love this book because it talks a lot deeper about the theory of electricity and magnetism than the mechanics of it. It does that too, but really focuses on topics like Electrostatics, Fields Around Moving Charges, Currents, Electromagnetic Induction, Electric Fields in Matter, and WAY more. When you’re ready to nerd the fuck out, peep this book.


Electric Power Generation - A Non-Technical Guide

This book is a lot of fun because, as it states, it is a non-technical guide. It doesn’t aim to bore you with too many details and calculations, rather it explains things in a very easy-to-understand way so you grasp the concepts of power generation without getting “lost in the sauce” so to speak, with mathematical/engineering jargon.


Fundamentals Of Motor Control

Fundamentals of motor control is a great textbook to start with if you’re trying to wrap your mind around controlling motors - simply put. There are a lot of ways motors can be controlled, through switches, motor controllers, variable speed drives, relays, contactors, programmable logic controllers, etc. This book covers many of the methods and hardware that is used in modern motor-control circuits.


Principles Of Electric Machines and Power Electronics

This is a fantastic book on advanced engineering topics, but written in a way that if you really take the time to try to understand - you can find your way through it. This book is very math-heavy, so it does require some understanding of higher-level mathematics to get through. It covers topics like multi-machine systems, brushless motors, and switched reluctance motors are covered, as well as constant flux and constant current operation of induction motors.