Electricity is essential to modern life, running our homes, offices, schools, factories, and other everyday essentials. As older professionals in the field retire, new jobs are opening up. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth is projected to increase by 7% over the next 10 years but in some states, the need will be much higher. For example, job growth for electricians in Nevada, Colorado, and Utah ranges from 27% to 31%. And emerging renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power are expected to increase the need for electricians.
If you like technical, hands-on work that allows you to be active on the job, a career as an electrician might be the right choice for you. The field requires problem-solving, critical thinking, math skills, communications skills, and customer service. The field also offers different types of career choices.
Residential electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing the wiring and systems of residential and single-family homes and possibly small apartment buildings. You might read blueprints, install new wiring and lighting, diagnose problematic wiring in older homes, and replace old components like outlets and circuit breakers. It’s important to know the current regulations for your city and state. Many electricians work for a construction company and travel to job sites for new construction or remodeling an existing building. You might also work for an electrical company and handle repairs in homes. Or you could be self-employed, choosing the jobs you want to take. Residential settings require customer service skills and clear communication in a professional manner.
Commercial electricians work in commercial buildings rather than residential ones. That means you’re working with larger electrical systems in larger buildings like office buildings, government buildings, and shopping malls. Electricians who work in commercial buildings do what residential electricians do but on a larger scale. They need to be trained and licensed for commercial wiring and power, which is different from residential power.
Industrial electricians also install, maintain, and repair electrical systems, like commercial and residential electricians do. But these electricians work in factories or plants with high-capacity equipment and even larger electrical systems than commercial systems. Or they might work on getting green energy systems up and running, such as solar or hydroelectric systems.
Learning how to be an electrician can provide a solid livelihood, and it isn’t the sort of job that can easily be outsourced overseas. Fortis Colleges and Institutes offer two different paths in Electrical Trades or Electrical Systems Technician programs at campuses in Alabama and Pennsylvania. To learn more and to find the program offering nearest to you, visit our Skilled Trades program page or give us a call at 855-436-7847.