Have you ever thought about becoming an electrician or wondered what they do?
Electricians install and maintain the electrical and power systems in new and existing structures. The complex wiring, outlets, switches and circuit breakers that turn on lights, charge phones and even keep large factories running are the handiwork of electricians.
With skilled craft careers having a high job satisfaction rating, a career as an electrician is a great option for people who are detail-oriented, active and looking for exciting opportunities.
Here are the top five reasons to become an electrician.
Construction is a massive industry with many opportunities. The construction industry creates about $1.4 trillion worth of structures every year.
Due to several different factors, the construction industry is facing a workforce shortage, including electricians. There aren’t enough trades professionals currently working to meet the needs of all the different projects going on around the country. There is an estimated total skilled worker demand of 6.7 million through 2025, but a projected shortage of 1.9 million craft professionals.
Because of the high demand for skilled electricians and other craft professionals, these careers offer ample opportunities, more job security and enhanced benefits. Good electricians should always be able to find work in the current market.
One of the top reasons craft professionals in the skilled trades like electricians have high job satisfaction is the opportunity to do hands-on work.
For many people, the idea of sitting at a desk in a cubicle staring at a computer screen or doing paperwork isn’t the best way to earn a living.
Electricians and other craft professionals, however, get to help build and create something with their own hands. Every project and every day is unique, so the work is less monotonous than in other career paths.
Being able to see the real-time progress and fruits of their labor makes construction an enjoyable and fulfilling job for electricians.
Construction is a very merit-based industry, so professional electricians who prove their skill and value in the field can earn opportunities to advance their careers to more prominent positions.
Adding to this opportunity is the status of the aging workforce. The median age of a skilled craft professional is 43, which is higher than most industries. This number has been growing because the bulk of the construction workforce is nearing retirement age, and fewer young people have joined the industry behind them.
As the seasoned veterans of the construction industry retire or change roles, the leadership positions they are leaving will become available. Important jobs like foreman, site superintendent or project manager will need someone to step up and fill those boots.
Someone might start their career installing complex wiring today and after a few years of training and gaining experience, doors will open for new opportunities to grow.
Like with any job, how much it pays is a key factor.
Craft skills are unique and high in demand, meaning that wages can be particularly good in the construction industry. Electricians have an average base salary of $69,303, or about $33.32/hour. On top of these strong base salaries, additional incentives for travel and overtime can increase take-home pay.
An additional benefit of pursuing a career as an electrician is the absence of college debt. Many other popular careers require a four-year university degree, which can cost a significant amount of money. There is an estimated $1.7 trillion in total student debt in the United States. However, education and training for careers as an electrician and similar crafts are mostly conducted through much cheaper methods. Some of these training options, such as apprenticeships, pay the apprentice wages for their work completed during on-the-job training and allow them to earn while they learn.
By factoring in the good pay, the lack of student debt, and the opportunity to start earning money sooner, careers in electrical and other trades offer a great head start compared to their peers attending a university.
Everyone wants to leave their impact on the world. A career as an electrician offers a chance to make a difference in the lives of other people.
Working in construction, the things you build will leave a lasting benefit to that community. Families will grow in those homes. Students will learn in those schools. Lives will be changed because of those gyms, churches, and businesses.
The projects you might work on for only a few months could stand for the next 100 years or more. You could have a small but significant part to play in people’s happiest memories or most important events. Talk about leaving a legacy!
For these reasons and more, a career as an electrician is a wonderful job and a worthy option.
Check out our electrician career page for more information and resources about careers in this field.