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Becoming a Female Electrician: What You Need to Know
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You have a high school Diploma or an equivalent degree such as a GED.
- You have proof that you passed a year-long algebra course in high school.
- You have a valid driver’s license from the state where your apprenticeship program is located.
- You don’t have a criminal record.
- Hard Work: Electrical work is often challenging and riddled with problems. You should expect to pull your equal weight when it comes to the “heavy lifting,” work volume, and problem-solving. When you prove you’re at a jobsite to do your share of the work, you’ll earn the respect of your coworkers and crew.
- Favoritism: You may encounter a time when a crew boss is favoring you because of your gender. It’s critical that you nip this in the bud as quickly as possible, because it will cost you the respect of your peers and build resentment towards you among them. Even when the way you’re treated is favorable, you should still demand to be treated the same way as your peers so you are seen as a serious professional.
- Offers to Help: Some men will offer to help you with your work just to be nice. While their offers don’t mean they doubt your abilities, you should only accept assistance when you need it. If you take advantage of your coworkers’ good nature, it may damage your reputation in the long-term.
Electricity tends to be one of those things people only start thinking about when something goes wrong. Just look at this past February, when a brutal polar vortex surge hit Texas hard and left thousands without power. Suddenly lots of everyday people who had never thought twice about what happened when they hit a light switch were talking about power grids and electrical systems.
Given the latest focus on the electrical industry in the news and in things like congressional infrastructure initiatives, now is a good time to take a look at where we’re at in the year of 2021.
Revenue for the electrician industry hit $185.7 billion in 2020.
That’s hundreds of billions of economic dollars just in the United States — and 2020 wasn’t even the industry’s best year. A lot of this revenue is tied to construction, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of nonresidential construction and industrial production fell slightly, which impacted the electrician business. But growth is expected to tick up again in 2021 by over half a percentage point, and that trend will likely continue as the economy continues to recover and see construction expand once more. Electricians across the country will need to make sure they’re up-to-date on their licensure and continuing education in order to take advantage of it.
Employment of electricians is expected to grow 8%, much faster than average, through 2029.
This is due to a number of different factors, like the need to replace workers who are retiring, increases in construction spending, and the changing energy market. The fact is, though, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that electricians are going to be in-demand over the next several years, and those who can perform a lot of different tasks — like repairing electronic systems and solar photovoltaic installation — are projected to have the best opportunities. The best way for today’s electricians to make the most out of this is to ensure they’re trained in the latest theories, equipment, and technological developments that are shaping the industry through continuing education training and classwork.
Emerging power fields like solar and wind will increasingly need electricians to link them to homes and power grids.A,p>ccording to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States and made up more than 17% of the country’s net electricity generation in 2018. But it’s one thing to build a wind energy farm and another to ensure that the power it generates can be linked to homes and power grids and effectively stored for when energy needs peak. The BLS points out that these emerging fields will be strongly in need of trained electricians to help network, connect, store, and innovate in this sector of the industry as it continues to grow.
The electrical industry is changing rapidly as we adjust to our shifting climate and refocus on the importance of infrastructure, and those who will benefit most are those who keep learning and growing through electrician licensing and continuing education courses. At StateCE, you can access fully online continuing education classes that are self-paced and can be completed at your own time, without having to sacrifice days to sitting in a classroom somewhere. Those are days you could out in the field, getting the job done, and we want to help you reclaim that without shortchanging your credits. To find out more, contact StateCE today or give us a call at 877.603.4073.
Do you want to start a new career? Have you graduated high school and are ready to enter the workforce? Maybe you recently started your career but are looking for a change. Perhaps you have had the same job for years, and you want to make a change that offers the potential for good pay and rewarding work. If you fit into any of these categories, then you may want to consider becoming an electrician.
Being an electrician involves some demanding work, but it can be rewarding. No matter where you are in life or what your goals are, working as an electrician can be a great fit. There are several benefits of becoming an electrician.
Advantages of Being an Electrician
Why become an electrician? Everyone wants a job that is both enjoyable and beneficial. Entering the electrical field offers a chance to engage in satisfying work while meeting your financial needs. Consider the benefits of being an electrician to help you decide if it is right for you.
No Four-Year Degree
Let's face it: a four-year college degree is not for everybody. The hefty loans, the required time, and the environment itself are all aspects of college that make it difficult for many people to pursue. Becoming an electrician allows you to skip these stressful steps. Becoming an electrician may not require a two-year degree, so you can spend less time in the classroom and more time getting firsthand experience.
If you are a tactile learner, which means you learn by doing things with your hands, then electrician training will benefit you. The electrical industry requires doing the activities to learn, so the training you receive will actually benefit your career.
Four-year degrees often demand internships to receive your diploma. Most of the time, this is the only real-world experience you will get during your time at a college or university. This type of education may not be right for everyone, especially if you want a more experience-based career, such as being an electrician. Unlike undergraduates who sometimes get on-the-job experience through unpaid internships, you’ll participate in a paid apprenticeship at the start of your career in the electrical field.
An electrician apprenticeship takes about five years to complete. You will have to fulfill several hundred hours of on-the-job learning with an experienced professional in the field. In the meantime, you must complete a set amount of class hours to learn more about the industry. A great benefit of this time as an apprentice is the payment you will receive. You will be making money as you get real-world experience and learn more about what it means to be an electrician.
Experts expect the electrical industry to experience an increase in demand over the next several years. Between 2019 and 2029, the number of electrician jobs in the United States is expected to increase by 8%, which is twice the average growth rate expected across all occupations. This means that more people need electricians. There will be job openings for new electricians, so it is a great time to enter the electrician field.
Many people have dream careers, but if the demand for a position is low, it is going to be hard for them to achieve that goal. As an electrician, you will have the privilege of being in an expanding career. This offers more opportunities for steady employment.
What are the benefits of being a licensed electrician? One factor is respect. The more experience an electrician has, the more respect they deserve and receive. This is doubly true when the work is essential to people's daily lives. Given their mandatory apprenticeships and the complexity of the work they do, electricians are respected professionals. In fact, many view electrical work as the top trade in the construction industry.
Without electricity, people cannot perform daily functions like turning on lights or charging phones. Businesses require electricity to keep things going to make their profits. Construction projects are incomplete until the electrical work is installed and functioning. Because of this, people regard electricians highly as necessary for business and society. Most people cannot do an electrician's work themselves. It is a respectable career in the eyes of many.
No Seasonal Layoffs
Many careers pay well when they're in season, but during off months, work is scarce. Electricians do not have to worry about layoffs, as there is always a demand for electricity. People need electricity throughout the day, and when things go wrong, the demand for an electrician to come and fix things is high. Companies build new construction projects throughout the year as well, and they need electricians to install the right wiring and fixtures to make them electric-ready.
Winter brings with it the need for heat. Even with alternative energy sources, people need electricity. Wood pellet stoves, oil furnaces, and other heat sources often require electricity to ignite and function. People need electricians throughout the winter to make sure their sources of heat stay functional.
As an electrician, you can advance quickly in your field. You start as a paid apprentice, but before long, you will be qualified to work for an electrical company and climb the ranks. If you choose to continue your education, you can take the Master Electrician exam after a few years of on-the-job experience. If you pass this comprehensive exam, you’ll be a Master Electrician, which is the highest designation an electrician can get.
In addition to adding to your list of credentials, working in the field of electricity presents other opportunities for career growth. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you can become an entry-level service technician with an electrical company. You can then rise to field manager, operation manager, and finally to a distribution manager position.
Staying active is a great incentive for becoming an electrician. Exercise is always a good idea, but some jobs make this easier than others. Electrical work is one of those jobs. Climbing ladders, lifting heavy objects, crawling in hard-to-reach areas, and consistent walking are all activities associated with being an electrician. These actions will burn calories and keep your blood pumping.
Many other jobs lack this physical exertion, causing people to need to set aside time for their physical activity. Jobs lacking movement make it more of a challenge to live a healthy lifestyle. As an electrician, your physical exertion is part of the job!
Be Your Own Boss
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can become your own boss as an electrician. You can open your own electrical business once you have enough experience and a referral network of clients and fellow industry-workers. Many people long to become their own boss one day and run their own business, yet most careers do not offer this opportunity. As an electrician, you have the potential to gain enough experience to venture out and try your hand as an independent contractor.
If you own your own electrician company, you get to make choices for yourself. You choose which jobs to take and when to get to the job site. You can pick your own holidays and challenge yourself with new and exciting electrical jobs. You can control what happens in your business. As your own boss, the money you make goes to you and not someone else. You are in control of your career.
Prepare for an Electrician Career With StateCE
When it's time to make a career choice, StateCE wants to help you take the next step. Being an electrician can be a rewarding career, but it takes time, effort, and dedication. Our online electrician courses can help prepare you to enter this growing industry and set you apart from others.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your career goals. Take the next step in becoming a licensed electrician.
A vast range of industries need electrical work. While it is not a white-collar trade, an electrician's salary can ascend the upper five figures. Upon completion of a training program from an electrician trade school, you could earn an electrician apprenticeship and work your way up from there. Electrician jobs are abundant throughout the country, with a median annual wage that varies by rank and state. Any job you land will require knowledge of electrical equipment and an ability to take devices apart and put them back together, whether you work for a local business or a national electrical company.
Career Outlook for the General Electrician Industry for 2019 and Beyond
One field that is bound for infinite expansion is the industry of electricians, who are in demand for a vast range of tasks across the global electrical grid. While automation threatens many industries, electricity will be the driving force behind automation, which will, in turn, require electricians to make these innovations possible. A range of sectors, both new and old, need electricians. At power plants and along grid lines, the call for electricians will increase in the years ahead as developments require vast overhauls in infrastructure.
The prospects of an electrician career are numerous, but you should consider various aspects of the trade before you decide on this line of work. The pay scale for electricians ranges from moderate to high, and you could realistically expect to move up the ladder if you dedicate yourself to advancing from an apprenticeship to a master’s position. You should also consider whether the technical requirements and physical tasks of the trade would be well-suited to your natural abilities.
Salary by Electrician Type
Various industries, some of which offer higher pay than others, need electrician skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying field for electricians is natural gas distribution, where an electrician can earn as much as $96,920 per year. In close second is the repair and maintenance industry, where electricians can earn as much as $89,020 per year. In third place, electricians in the general merchandise industry can earn as much as $81,160. Electricians in the real estate and motion picture industries can make at least $77,000 per year.
For apprentices, the pay is lower, yet still relatively high. The highest-paid field for an apprentice electrician is local government, where you could earn at least $51,700 as an apprentice. The second-highest-paying apprentice jobs for technicians are in the medical and surgical fields, where you could earn as much as $42,600. Other jobs that are relatively high-paying for electrician apprentices include electric power generation and utility system construction, which respectively earn an average of $38.3k and $36.5k annually.
Foreman Electrician Salary
As an electrical foreman, you would be the one to oversee large projects and be responsible for delegating tasks and monitoring the performances of all of your subordinates on an electrical work team. To achieve the rank of foreman, you would first need to complete an apprenticeship of several years to gain hands-on experience with various aspects of the trade. Most facilities would also require you to hold a current license as either a journeyman electrician or master’s electrician. Other tasks of a foreman electrician may include the following:
- Train new staff members
- Resolve disputes between team members
- Attend and conduct meetings
At construction sites and other applicable working environments, the foreman is responsible for organizing projects, assigning tasks, inspecting work quality, and evaluating finished work for code compliance. As of 2019, the average hourly pay rate for an electrical foreman is $20.50.
Journeyman Electrician Salary
A journeyman electrician is what you ultimately become once you have completed an apprenticeship and earned all the credentials of the trade. As a journeyman electrician, you would be responsible for the various aspects of running a facility, from hands-on technical work to computer data entry. The role also requires strong communication skills to articulate problems and formulate solutions. Each day, you would be inputting data into computer systems for record keeping and incident reporting. Other tasks of the journeyman role may include the following:
- Maintenance and repair of HVAC systems
- Repair and swap out switches on electrical generators
- Maintenance and repair of AC and DC systems
In the electrical workplace environment, it would be your responsibility as a journeyman electrician to report incidents and work out solutions the moment issues arise. As of 2019, the average hourly pay for a journeyman electrician is $24.75.
Union Electrician Salary
After you enroll at an electrician trade school and complete a training program, you can apply for an apprenticeship with a union and reap numerous benefits. As a union electrician, you could earn a secure hourly pay rate, have representation from a union sponsor, and be eligible for health benefits and retirement packages. In contrast, you would lack these benefits as a non-union electrician because you would be working as an independent contractor. Union electricians work for companies, whereas non-union workers are effectively self-employed.
When you are part of a union, a company assigns you a steady workflow. Depending on the type of company, you will either get assigned onsite work or dispatched to a worksite. If you work as a non-union electrician, you would need to hustle for work opportunities and find clients on your own. Otherwise, the responsibilities of union and non-union electricians are largely the same, with work that consists of hands-on and data-entry tasks. In 2017, the average pay for union electricians was $51,110 per year or $26 per hour.
Master Electrician Salary
The role of a master electrician is the highest designation in the field. As a master technician, you would oversee a company’s electrician workforce and be responsible for the scheduling and supplies of each successive project. To become a master technician, you would need to undergo the requisite training programs and complete the sequence of a three-year apprenticeship, followed by several years as a journeyman electrician. Some of the chief responsibilities of a master electrician include the following:
- Oversee apprentice and journeymen electricians on inbound and outbound assignments
- Review project blueprints with contractors
- Schedule jobs and order parts and materials
To be a master electrician, you would need to have the technical know-how to assemble and repair electrical components. You would also need to input data into computer systems and have a full understanding of database programs. Master electricians generally earn between $25 and $30 per hour.
Ways to Increase Your Salary
There are many ways to increase your salary as an electrician. One of the most obvious ways is to work your way up in the field from apprentice to journeyman to master, which many people can accomplish within five or six years. To make such progress, you would need to dedicate yourself to the work and constantly be willing to take on new and challenging tasks. You will also need to undergo continuing education for your line of work to stay current on the latest technological changes, even years after you complete your formal training.
Another way to increase your salary is to select the markets with the highest median annual wages. In general, the highest-paying work for an electrician is in New York and Massachusetts, where the average technician makes more than $24 per hour and $51,000 per year. Of course, you could vastly exceed those figures by pursuing work in the top-paying fields for electricians, such as gas distribution and the parks and recreation industries.
StateCE's Classes for Electricians
StateCE offers courses that provide continuing education for journeyman and master electricians across the United States. Due to changes in the National Electrical Code, many states now require electricians to stay current and show an understanding of these developments. Enrollees in the electrician programs at StateCE receive continuing education in all areas of the trade, with our up-to-date curriculum. Students who complete our courses re-enter the field with a newfound grasp on the challenges of today’s electrical industry.
At StateCE, courses are online, allowing you to study during your free time and continue with your current job. If you work during the day, you can take the classes and complete your homework during evening hours, or vice versa. You can view and complete courses in most browsers. Continuing education for the electrician field could give you an advantage in the market and prepare you for some of the major technological changes that are likely to restructure the industry in the years to come.
The Future of the Electrical Industry
Changes in technology bode well for the electrical industry, which might see up to 20 percent growth by 2022. The basis of this growth projection is several impending changes on the electrical grid, including the rise of solar power. For starters, many of the current structures across the U.S. electrical grid are reaching the end of their natural lifespan. In the upcoming years, these structures will need replacing, and the workers required for such tasks will likely number in the tens of thousands. Overall, the job will amount to a nationwide overhaul of the electrical grid.
The spread of solar power will also necessitate new electricians. As more and more businesses, homeowners, and rental properties have solar panels installed on their rooftops, electricians will need to handle everything from panel installation to system integration. New electricians will also be in demand to update large systems and link solar panels with traditional power sources at supermarkets throughout the country.
Prospects for Female Electricians
Like all modern industries, the electrician field embraces diversity in hiring. While the industry has traditionally been more than 98 percent male, this has largely been because society has historically steered women toward caretaker industries like teaching or nursing. Electricians must perform hands-on work that requires quick thinking, hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and an ability to follow complex instructions, which makes the electrical industry an excellent career choice for women who want to carve a different path while earning a competitive income.
There is no difference in the tasks female electricians and their male counterparts perform, including mechanical assembly and maintenance, inputting data into computer systems, and explaining any issues you discover on the job.
Upcoming Advances in Technology
Over the next decade, changes in technology are likely to impact electricians. Scientists currently have their eyes on numerous developments, including microscale heat pumps, pulp energy, optical rectenna, and flexible generators. There are various developments in the pipeline that could eventually restructure certain facets of the work demanded of electricians. While the job market will likely remain as lucrative as ever, the skills required could change over time. Therefore, if you work in the field, you will need to retrain periodically to stay on top of the latest technological developments.
One of the most significant changes to affect the field in recent years has been the spread of solar power, which increasing numbers of businesses are now using as an alternative to conventional sources of energy. As the demand for solar panels increases, buildings and factories will need to have electricians who can install such panels and regulate the processes to control the flow and storage of solar power.
Automation in the Electrical Industry
With the rise of robot technology and artificial intelligence, many of today’s job seekers are understandably concerned about the future of specific trades. If you are studying to become an electrician, automation should not affect the prospects of electrician jobs near you in the foreseeable future. Experts predict developing technology will not impact electricians because their work requires high degrees of mental acuity and hand-eye coordination, both of which are qualities today's robots cannot replicate.
What might change are the types of industries that will need human workers. The production and manufacturing sector is one field where automation is already taking over. This shift is due to the uniform, repetitive requirements of production lines, where products consisting of heavy parts get mounted by robotic arms and fastened together by air-powered tools and machinery. As factories require fewer human workers, it could reduce the role of electricians at these facilities in the coming years.
Continuing Education Courses for Electricians at StateCE
A job in the electrical field is one of the best ways to make a living in today’s marketplace. As automation gradually overtakes vast corners of the private sector, the need for electricians will increase. If you hope to rise as an electrician, you will need to retrain periodically to stay current with the changes in electrical technology. Explore the courses StateCE offers for continued education as a journeyman or master electrician. Read our blogs for more information.