Have you found yourself at a career crossroads? Maybe you just finished high school but aren’t excited about seeking a traditional college education. Perhaps you feel that your current job offers you no opportunities for advancement. You may even hope to enter a higher-paying career field or to escape a boring desk job.
If any of those situations sound familiar, consider becoming an electrician. Read through our list of six reasons to pursue a career as an electrician to discover if this field suits you.
1. Obtain an Affordable, Hands-On Education
Trade schools provide an affordable method for gaining the skills necessary to work as an electrician. At some schools, you can finish your training in a year or less. When you finish, you won’t leave with huge amounts of student debt because you completed the program quickly. You may also have financial aid options to help you pay for the courses.
Many trade schools offer several class schedule options. You may have a choice between day classes or night classes. You can pick the courses that fit your schedule and allow you to work when you’re not in class. When you finish your education, you’ll be prepared to take applicable licensing and certification exams. After you pass these exams, you can begin working in the industry.
Most electricians complete a hands-on apprenticeship with a qualified, experienced electrician before working on their own. During an apprenticeship, you receive additional on-the-job training and get paid while you learn. At the conclusion of your apprenticeship, you become a journeyman electrician, a higher skill level that usually comes with a higher earning potential.
2. Work in a Respected Career Field
Electricians perform highly technical work, and the work requires skill and care. While homeowners will often attempt DIY projects like framing in a new room or installing new cabinets, they usually hire a professional to complete electrical work. They know that working with electricity can be dangerous, so they rely on trained electricians to finish complicated tasks.
Similarly, nearly every new construction project requires an electrician’s expertise at some point. Other construction professionals trust and respect the electricians they work with.
3. Stimulate Your Mind and Face New Challenges Daily
Although electricians perform the same types of work on most job sites, the work they do is not monotonous. You may spend a few hours a week completing paperwork or doing other desk-based work (especially if you run your own business), but for the most part, you will work in the field at various job sites.
One day you might be wiring in a new home, and the next you could be repairing an electrical panel at a large warehouse. If you like solving problems, working with your hands, and meeting new people, you can play to those strengths in this job field.
4. Choose Between Several Career Paths
Electricians have numerous career opportunities, so you can select a career path that suits your personality. The most common types of work for electricians include installations at new construction sites, repairs and upgrades for private customers, and union work. You will also have the option of switching career tracks if you want a change down the road.
Even if you stay in one career track throughout your working years, you still have opportunities for advancement. For example, you could begin as a service technician for a local electrician’s business. After a few years, you might receive a promotion to manager. Eventually, you may even decide to open your own business.
5. Increase Your Earning Potential
Electricians have one of the highest average salaries among trade professionals and construction industry workers. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported $51,110 as the average national salary in this career field. The average hourly pay rate is just below $25.
After you complete your training, your pay could be lower or higher, depending on factors like previous work experience, job field, skill level, and location. For example, many electricians in Illinois earn more than the national average. BLS data from 2014 reports that an Illinois electrician’s annual mean wage in that year was $69,940 with an hourly mean wage of $33.62.
6. Take Advantage of Growing Demand for Qualified Electricians
Over the next 10 years, job opportunities for electricians are expected to grow by 14% according to BLS estimates. That pace is faster than anticipated job growth in most other fields.
This growing demand for electricians occurs in part because there is a consistent need for their services. Our society depends on electricity, and new electrical technologies emerge regularly. When homeowners and business owners desire to implement these new technologies in their buildings, they depend on trained electricians to carry out the work.
Another reason for the growing demand is that many long-time electricians will be retiring in the next decade. Although they won’t be working, clients will still require their services, so new electricians must train now to replace them. Once you complete your training, you can work in this career field that offers excellent job security.
Does a job as an electrician sound like a good fit for you? The reasons above should help you decide. If you’re ready to begin your career as an electrician, contact a trade school today.