Top 5 Reasons to Become an Electrician

By: Amy Bonilla | Jun 16, 2015

#1: Tons of Career Options.

Electrical Career Options
Electricians have a variety of career options

In the electrical world there are many career paths to choose from. You can work as an outside lineman, wire cell towers, work as an industrial control specialist, or install and repair traffic/train signals and outdoor lighting. You can work as a maintenance electrician and be in charge of updating electrical systems, repairing/installing transformers, motor control circuits, and troubleshooting. You can work as a construction electrician and install new wiring systems. You can work as an inside wireman with duties that include: installing fire or security alarm systems, installing new wiring, and maintaining the systems at commercial facilities like hospitals, factories, schools, or office buildings.   Another career option is as a limited energy technician. In this position you will establish voice, data, and multimedia networks through cabling, install and maintain all types of telecommunications equipment, and install and terminate fiber optic cables. You can also advance to become an electrical inspector and perform electrical inspections in your city or county.   Or, you can advance to become a crew supervisor, foreman, or project manager. As an electrician you may also choose to go into business for yourself, so if you have ever wanted to be your own boss, then becoming an electrician will help you achieve this goal.

 

#2: Find a Job Anywhere.

As the job market picks up and businesses thrive, the need for electricians nationwide has been on the rise. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that in the year 2020 there will be about 700,000 positions for electricians. While the overall job growth in the U.S. is about 11%, the job growth for electricians is predicted to be 20%. The need for electricians is projected to increase as alternative power sources will become more popular and electricians will have to install them. Becoming an electrician will ensure that you have a career for a long, long time. And with a lot of baby-boomers scheduled to retire soon, there are not enough skilled electricians to replace them. Soon there will be a shortage of electricians if younger generations do not start joining the electrical workforce.

Electrician Salary
2015 Median wage for electricians

 

#3: Make Money.

The national average salary for an electrician is $56,650 annually (2016, BLS). An electrician’s pay grade is much higher than most of the other construction industry occupations.  For example:

Trade Mean Annual Salary
Construction Laborer $32,230
Roofer $42,080
Cement Mason $43,720
Carpet Installer $44,310
HVAC Installer $48,320

 

Electricians enjoy a steady and competitive salary and have the potential to make over $70,000 per year. If you choose to run your own business, expand into renewable energy, or become an electrical inspector, you may earn even more than that. Electricians annual salaries vary by state, of course, and the top 5 earning states are:

State Mean Annual Salary
Alaska $81,600
Hawaii $74,770
Illinois $73,160
New York $73,010
New Jersey $71,310

//www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472111.htm

 

#4: Get Started Today.

Just finished high school, looking for a new career path, or sick of your current job? You don’t have to have a ton of background knowledge, family experience, or a college diploma to get started. Since there are many apprenticeship and electrician training programs available, becoming an electrician is simple. You can join a construction industry-sponsored apprenticeship program, or enroll in a program through your local community college. Gaining knowledge and expertise in the electrical field can be achieved easily with all of the accessible resources in your area. During your apprenticeship you will receive in-class training as well as on-the-job training in the field. This hands-on approach makes becoming an electrician straightforward and interesting. After a four-year apprenticeship you will be qualified for journeyman status, which means more challenging work and more money.

 

#5: Enjoy Your Work Environment.

If you become an electrician, you will be able to grow professionally and personally. Your career will be filled with life-long learning since there are constantly new technologies and advances within the industry and new editions of the National Electrical Code to learn. After you get licensed, you can always count on JADE Learning to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information, with courses available on the Code changes, Residential Wiring, Commercial and Industrial Wiring, and more. As an electrician you will be able to combine learning and craftsmanship, and take pride when you see the end result of that you helped create. If you become an electrician, your “office” may be outside, so if you do like being outside and moving around to different job sites, then this will be a perfect fit for you. If you become an outside lineman, you will have the thrill of working on elevated structures, so make sure you a good climber and not afraid of heights. Becoming an electrician is also the job for you if you like working with your hands and being active – electricians have to be active and mobile to perform their work.

With the current decline of skilled workers in the electrical industry, it is imperative that new, young workers come forward and take their place as skilled electricians. Get started with your electrical career today – the industry needs you!

Ready to start practicing for the electrician’s exam? Sign up for JADE Learning’s Electrical Exam Prep.

14 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to Become an Electrician

  1. To become an electrician is a challenging job. Risks involved prove dangerous @ times. But yet an interesting field to get involved in.

  2. My son’s high school just had a career fair and now he thinks that he wants to become an electrical contractor. I have to admit that I was hesitant about the idea, but from what I read in this post, it sounds like it could be a stable job with a lot of options. However, I had no idea that electricians could make about 54 grand a year average and almost 79 grand in Alaska. I definitely can support him having a career like that!

  3. I didn’t realize that the average electrician’s pay grade is much higher than most of the other construction industry occupations. I think that pay is definitely something to keep in mind when choosing a career. In addition, I think that it is also important to keep in mind job satisfaction. No matter how much you get paid, if you aren’t happy where you are, odds are you won’t last very long.

    1. What you say is true. The great thing about learning the electrical trade is there are so many different paths you can take: electrician, supervisor, superintendent, estimator, inspector, plans examiner, instructor. All the new technology like DC microgrids, solar and wind generator will provide lots of opportunites.

  4. Taking up this path is very challenging yet fulfilling. Learning the nitty gritty of the electrical industry is interesting and can branch out to different fields too. In addition, gaining a license is something really worthy of this career.

  5. My husband has been talking about looking into a career of being an electrician. I wanted to check and see what kind of tips he should know before finding a trade school to learn and get his licensing. You talked about how you can find a job anywhere when you are in this trade sine the need for electricians nationwide has been on the rise. That is a good point to remember in case we ever have to move for my job. Thank you for the information.

  6. I think it’s great that there are so many career options for electrical contractors. I have a friend who is looking to get licensed but hasn’t decided on the right path after his education is completed. I think it is important to do research before choosing a career and make sure that you are getting the proper education.

  7. I thought it was great how the article mentioned that the need for electricians nationwide has been on the rise as the job market picks up and businesses thrive. My brother recently graduated from high school and he decided that he really wants to become an electrician for his career. It would be great if he could find a place that could provide him with all of the proper training in order to become one.

  8. It’s awesome that electricians will be able to find a job anywhere. My son is thinking about what he wants to do for a living. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look into his options for becoming an electrician.

  9. I had no idea that electricians can make over $80,000 a year! My brother recently told me that he would like to train to be an electrician or a plumber since they always have work to do. I will suggest that he look more into a job as an electrician than as a plumber.

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