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Electrician Industry Trends and Career Forecast

Electrician Industry Trends and Career Forecast

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

According to the BLS, as of November 2019, Job prospects for electricians are expected to rise by 10% between now and 2028. This is faster than the national average for all occupations.

If you have ever considered working as an electrician, now may be the perfect time to get started. 

If you have good hand-eye coordination skills and a solid understanding of science and math, a career as an electrician may be perfect for you. 

Let’s take a look at how you can get started on the journey toward your new career.

1. The Demand For Electricians

The past few years have seen an uptick in new renovations and construction throughout the country. Industry operators are beginning to generate more revenue from electrical installations in residential and non-residential structures. These buildings also require repair, retrofit, and maintenance work.

As the demand for services increases, so does the need for skilled workers. Nearly every building requires electrical power, resulting in openings for electricians. 

The emergence of new forms of electrical power also leads to an increase in work for electricians. From wind power to solar, the installation of new systems and the linking of them to grids fall to qualified electricians.

It’s a good idea to look for any sites specific to your electrical field for salary data. These sites will have more info on this industry’s average wages.

Top apprenticeship programs have a decent amount of competition. It may, however, be worth it to pursue your goals in spite of challenges, since many apprentices make more than college graduates. 

2. Education

You may need a high school diploma or equivalent in order to become an electrician. Many prospective electricians attend trade programs where they learn basic skills before entering the field as a trainee (allowed by some states) or becoming apprentices. Courses cover basic electrical information, safety practices, and circuitry.

Apprenticeships are four-to-five year programs that usually include a test on electrical codes. There are some states that allow entry into the field by receiving training from a state-approved trade school or college. In any case, states will typically require one or the other in order for electricians to become licensed.

Electrical apprenticeships usually provide at least 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. They may also include some classroom instruction. 

During apprenticeships, workers will learn about blueprints, safety, and first-aid practices. They will also learn about electrical code requirements, mathematics, and electrical theory. 

3. A Day In The Life

Electricians typically spend their working hours reading technical diagrams, installing and maintaining wiring systems, identifying electrical problems, and repairing equipment and fixtures.

Electricians may install circuit-breaker panels, relays, and switches. They may use testing devices to uncover why equipment is malfunctioning. Repairing and replacing outdated equipment and wiring is also part of the job description.

Installing electrical systems in newly constructed buildings is typically easier than fixing it in older buildings because the equipment is easily accessible during construction. Maintenance work involves identifying problems and repairing equipment that may get difficult to reach.

Electricians may use power tools such as screwdrivers, wire strippers, drills, and saws. They may also use ammeters, voltmeters, and cable testers to locate problems.

Many times, electricians go out on jobs alone. They may also, however, work along with building engineers, air-conditioner installers, or elevator builders to install and maintain electrical and power systems. 

At larger companies, electricians work as part of a crew. They may have apprentices to help them complete their jobs.

Electricians may work on a remote site for a period of days or months before moving on to the next job. Maintenance electricians will keep regular weekday hours. Independent electrical contractors, however, need to be available to complete jobs at short notice at all times.

4. Specializing

You can make yourself more marketable as an electrician by specializing and differentiating your skill-set. Some electricians, for example, may specialize in the design, installation, and maintenance of motor systems. Others may install and maintain electrical systems in residences.

Some electricians may specialize in the systems in iron and steel mills. Others may coordinate lighting for movies and television. 

There are electricians who specialize in the installation of equipment that uses alternative energy sources. Others have skills in maintaining older systems. 

5. Necessary Skills

In order to become an electrician, workers must have an understanding of state-recognized standards for systems and repairs. They must also understand building and safety codes for the state in which they are working.

Electricians should be able to understand memos, blueprints, and technical documents. They will need to have good eyesight in order to work precisely with electrical products, components, and systems.

Electricians need to manage their time well, even when they are working independently. They will need to stand or kneel for extended periods of time. Electricians should also be able to lift up to fifty pounds. 

Electricians will need to pinpoint and solve problems well. They also need to listen to customers and treat them respectfully.

As electricians advance in their careers, they may find themselves taking on apprentices of their own. It is important to have patience and the ability to explain electrical practices to others in a clear and concise manner.

Becoming An Electrician

The career of an electrician is an exciting one. With the right training, apprenticeships, and skill development, you can earn great money in no time. Electricians provide an array of knowledge and skills that our growing economy cannot do without.

For more information on career growth, read our blog today.

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