The Pros and Cons of Becoming an Electrician
The demand for electricians is expected to increase considerably in the next few years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a growth of 8% by 2029, which could make this a great career option. We have outlined some of the advantages and disadvantages of this job, so that you can make a more informed decision on whether you would like to pursue this career path or not.
* What does an electrician do?
An electrician’s job includes installing electrical power, wiring, lighting, equipment and appliances. An important part of the job is also to test and maintain all of these areas to ensure that the system is safe to use.
If something goes wrong, an electrician needs to understand how to remedy the problem.
An important advantage of working as an electrician is not only a potentially interesting job but also the ability to work outside of an office. Electricians could be hired to work on projects in a private home, business, or in a public place. There are many options to find work.
According to estimations by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) there is expected to be a shortage of electricians in the years to come.
What do I need to do to become an electrician?
As an aspiring electrician, you have the option to skip college and go straight to trade school or apply for an apprenticeship. While students don’t have to spend as much time studying to become an electrician, you shouldn’t underestimate the effort it takes to earn a license.
Electrical work can be complex and requires several years of studying (usually about three to five years), depending on which option you choose. Students who prefer a classroom setting should consider applying to trade school, while those who are more interested in a mix (classroom and hands-on work), may feel more comfortable as an apprentice.
* Where could I work?
While the American Jobs Plan was set up by the White House in order to increase jobs for electricians and other tradesmen, the number of job opportunities may have decreased during the pandemic. Nonetheless, electricians fulfil important roles that will likely always be in demand. Mandatory electrical safety inspections, installations and repairs will keep electricians occupied.
Where could electricians find work?
- Private homes
- Inhouse/freelance for businesses.
- Stadiums, theatres, cinemas, and other public or private venues
- Projects involving alternative energy
- Electricity distribution work
- and many more.
Understand the work environment and terms
Since electric work is not easy to grasp (in fact, it is considered to be one of the most difficult trades to learn), an electrician should know all the materials and terms that the job involves extremely well. From knowing how wiring works to becoming an expert at grounding products such as bus bars and electric power distribution you will increase your chances of earning a license and finding work.
- Learning the trade takes years. Often up to five years as an apprentice with a significant amount of classroom work.
- This Job can be dangerous. That working on faulty electrical systems can be dangerous needs no further explanation.
- Difficult to learn. This is not an easy profession to learn, so make sure that you really want to learn it.
- You can earn money during an apprenticeship. The amount that you are paid for projects during an apprenticeship will be lower but still a good way to earn money.
- Electricians are well paid. Electricians earn a median salary of about $56,900 – $62,940 per year (2020, 2019).
- Job growth and demand is strong. There will likely always be a demand for skilled electricians. Funding of construction and projects involving alternative energy are expected to increase demand.
- Interesting work. Electrical work is almost never boring and is a highly interesting field to work in.
Hopefully, this article has been helpful, and you now understand what it takes to become a qualified electrician.