Nearly every building is outfitted with an electrical system that is installed during construction and requires continuing maintenance in order to work at its optimum capacity. Electricians are trained to install and maintain these electrical systems, which can pose a health and safety threat when issues are left unaddressed. Since electrical systems play such an important part in new and present construction of homes and businesses, the overall job outlook for an electrician is excellent.

The Overall Outlook for Electricians

The need for workers to oversee the installation and maintenance of electrical systems has led to the creation of more than 550,000 jobs in the electrician field in the United States since 2010. Entrance into the field is relatively easy to pursue after graduation from technical school programs and completion of apprenticeships. Some candidates for an electrician’s position spend time as a ‘helper’ before they are allowed to accept an entry-level position in the field.

How Electrician Jobs are Growing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of electricians is expected to grow 23% from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. This increase includes an anticipating addition of about 133,700 jobs throughout the industry. In 2010, electricians held about 577,000 jobs, of which 62% were employed as electrical contractors and working with other wiring installation contractors, while around 10% of electricians were self-employed.

Why the Growth is Happening

The anticipated growth for electrician jobs relates to the constant need for homes and businesses to receive maintenance and upkeep of their wiring and electrical systems. A rise in new construction across the nation requires the skills of electricians to install and maintain their electrical systems. In manufacturing plants, electricians maintain and replace older equipment. The emerging range of alternative options in power generation will require electricians trained to address specific industry needs, such as solar and wind installation and maintenance. The linking of newer sources of power to homes and power grids will also become the responsibility of electricians.

Opportunities for Electricians

Although the overall economy affects the employment of electricians, homes and businesses will always have a need for the maintenance and installation of necessary electrical components. As government policies make the increasing transition towards preserving more of the planet’s natural resources and embracing different sources of energy, employment growth for electricians is expected to rise. Electricians trained to work with new and emerging sources of power will most likely find employment faster as the climate of the field changes. Electricians are often in great demand during peak periods of building and manufacturing – new construction increases with the stability of the economy.
Electricians possessing the widest variety of skills and references are most likely to encounter the best job opportunities in the field. Graduates of technical schools typically receive credit towards their four-year apprenticeship. While some electricians may be required to take additional education courses to enhance their job prospects, they usually include learning changes to electrical code and receiving training from manufacturers on how to work with specific products.