What comes to mind when you think of essential service workers?
If you’re anything like most people, your mind draws up images of doctors, nurses, delivery workers… but not electricians.
Well, without electricians, there would be no one to fix the electrical lighting in our homes and businesses. We would be in the dark, literally!
If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as an electrician, you’ve made a smart decision. Electricians might not be the first person most people think of, but you’ll play an important role in society.
Continue reading for more reasons why becoming an electrician will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
1. The Demand for Electricians Is High
Even before the term “essential service workers” became a buzzword as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, electricians were hot in demand.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of electricians is forecast to grow 10 percent through 2028. Considering that average growth for all occupations in the United States is 5 percent, it’s accurate to say electricians are high in demand right now and will continue to be so for several years.
What’s fueling the demand for electricians, though?
The U.S. construction industry is massive. At any given time, there are thousands of construction projects being launched across the country. The owners of these projects must hire electricians to take care of electrical installations and lighting.
An increasing number of Americas are embracing alternative energy, such as solar and wind power. To switch from traditional sources, they have to hire qualified electricians.
So, if you were hesitant to join this career because you weren’t sure of your job prospects, we’re pleased to inform you that you’ll likely get hired as soon as you secure the necessary qualifications.
2. Easy Entry Requirements
Speaking of qualifications, what does it take to become an electrician? Do you need to pursue a four-year degree?
You’d be pleased to learn that it’s easy to become an electrician. As long as you have your heart set on pursuing this career, don’t expect qualification requirements to stop you.
As an aspiring electrician, there are two paths you can follow: join an apprenticeship program or go to college and pursue an associate’s degree.
If you’d love to get started as an apprentice, the first step is to identify a suitable apprenticeship program. There are several reputable organizations, such as the Home Builder’s Institute, offering apprenticeship programs. Try and join these programs.
However, if you’re unable to get into a widely-recognized program, don’t fret. There are probably established electrical contractors in your area who can take you in and train you on the job for about three to four years.
You just need a high school diploma to qualify for an apprenticeship program. What’s more, apprentices are typically remunerated, so you’ll be earning some money as you train.
The second path involves pursuing either a diploma or an associate’s degree in electrical technology. Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of electricity and power distribution, national electrical code requirements, basic trade mathematics, and more.
Most of these courses are offered on-campus, but you can also find online electrician programs.
Diploma and associate degree programs take at most two years to complete.
Do employers have a preference for apprentices or college graduates?
Well, this varies from employer to employer. An employer who would rather electricians who entered the profession through an apprenticeship most likely has an in-house apprenticeship program through which they bring new people on board.
3. An Attractive Salary
Even if all you’ve ever wanted to do was work with wires and circuitry; so much that you would do it for free, when you become a professional electrician, you care about what you’ll be taking home at the end of the month.
Turns out electricians are competently compensated.
As of May 2019, the mean annual wage for electricians was $59,190. Your salary can deviate from this amount depending on a number of factors, including the organization you work for, your location, and level of training and experience.
Imagine earning just a diploma or associate’s degree and getting paid well over $50K annually. To put this into context, people with an associate’s degree earn $41K a year, on average. Bachelor’s degree holders earn $59K!
4. Diverse Work Environment
Do you hate wearing a tie and working behind a desk all day, all week?
You’ll love being an electrician. These professionals spend most of their time outside of a typical office environment.
In fact, an electrician’s work environment is constantly changing. You could be installing electrical equipment and wiring in a mega-construction project this week and fixing an electrical fault in a residential property next week.
You’re just never too sure about the nature of work tomorrow will bring.
5. Ideal Career for Self-Employment
Are you the kind of person who doesn’t fancy working for other people? You probably want to be your own boss.
As an electrician, you have a good opportunity to work for yourself. All you need to do is become an electrical contractor.
Here’s the thing, though. Becoming a contractor is a big step. You are not just an electrician, but also a business person. You have to know how to find your own clients; otherwise, you won’t be making any money.
It’s advisable to start out by working for other people. This way, you’ll gain the necessary experience needed to succeed when you venture into self-employment.
Becoming an Electrician Is a Smart Career Move
If you had misgivings about becoming an electrician, there’s no doubt by now your mind is made up. The job of an electrician is rewarding and exciting. You have every reason to pursue it.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more career advice.