What Is the Job Outlook for an Electrician?

electrician working on electrical box

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that electrician jobs nationwide will grow around 9% over the next ten years, between 2020-2030.1 An estimated 66,100 more electricians will be expected to join the workforce across the next decade.1

Why are electricians in high demand?

Like many jobs, new employment positions for electricians can be expected due to older professionals retiring.2 However, more electricians may be required thanks to emerging technology in the fields of solar and wind power.2 Depending on government policy, electrician skills could be needed to link power grids and new energy sources as renewable energy expands.2

Where are electricians in high demand?

According to data compiled from U.S. Department of Labor sources, the top 5 states with the fastest-growing demand for electricians between 2018 and 2028 are:3,4

1. Nevada

While the national average for electrician job growth is 9%, the projected need for electricians in the state of Nevada is 31.6%!4 Nevada expects to add 2,180 new electricians over the next few years, increasing employed electricians from 6,900 in 2018 to 9,080 in 2028.4

2. Colorado

Coming in close behind Nevada, Colorado expects to increase its pool of electricians by 28% over the next few years!4 Around 2,570 job openings are expected annually. In 2018, there were 16,050 electricians, and the state expects around 4,500 more jobs for electricians by 2028.4

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3. Utah

Utah’s demand for electricians is nearly as high as Colorado, with a projected job growth rate of 27.5%.4 This state hopes to add 3,330 more electricians to its workforce between 2018 and 2028, increasing total employed electricians to 15,460.4

4. Arizona

Arizona’s population of electricians is expected to increase by 18% over the next 7 years, adding 990 new electricians to the workforce between 2018 and 2028.4

5. Idaho

Idaho expects to add 750 more electricians over the next few years, with a projected job growth rate of 17.1%.4

Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Idaho are the top 5 states for highest job growth rate for electricians by percentage.4

Because different states have different population densities, another way to understand how many electricians are needed by state is to consider the total numbers of projected job openings.5

The top 5 states for most job openings for electricians between 2018 and 2028 are Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, and New York.5

Other than Colorado, these are all very populous states, so while the growth rate may not be as high, there are plenty of electricians expected to be added due to sheer population size.5 For example, the job growth rate in Texas is 14.1% but because total population is so high, the number of electricians needed in The Lone Star State is also high.5 Texas currently has the highest projected openings for electricians, with 9,570 more professionals needed by 2028.5

Is an electrician a good career choice?

experienced electrician at power plant

Like any career, some people may be better suited to become electricians than others. For those who might be inclined to consider electrician as a career choice, consider the various aspects of the job and what might make electrician work appealing.

Type of Work

For people who enjoy technical, hands-on work, electrician could be a very rewarding career choice.6 If you enjoy critical thinking, mechanical problem solving, and troubleshooting, you may enjoy applying these skillsets to electrical wiring systems.6

Electricians spend their days reading diagrams, installing wiring systems, and troubleshooting electrical problems.7 This tends to be an active job, as workers may need to be moving around the job site to run wires and sometimes lifting heavy components.6

Electricians must have excellent color vision to identify wires.6 They use equipment to test, diagnose, and repair electrical wiring issues in homes and businesses.6 Customer service is also a regular part of many electricians’ lives, so this career would be suited for people like to interact with customers.6

Schedule

Electricians typically enjoy full-time work with possible overtime and may even set their own schedule if they are self-employed.8

Pay

The median salary for electricians as of 2020 was $27.36 per hour, or $56,900 per year, so electricians can often make good money.1 In the top-paying states for electricians, that salary could be higher. For example, electricians in Illinois made an average of $81,650 in 2020.9

Training

People who enjoy clear direction may appreciate the straightforward career path of an electrician. A high school diploma or GED is required to start.10 Because of the specialized field, electricians need specialized technical training.10 However, formal college education is not required.10

Many electricians begin learning the trade at a vocational school.10 Electrical training programs provide students foundational knowledge and skills to help them qualify for entry-level jobs in the workforce, such as a paid apprenticeship. The

Electricians generally need to apply for and complete a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship of around 2,000 hours.10 This way, they can then master the trade under supervision of experienced professionals.10 After completing an apprenticeship, electricians “graduate” to journey-level workers, and may perform electrical tasks on their own without supervision anymore.10 Most states require electricians to pass a licensing test.10

Electricians who wish to advance their careers may decide to become supervisors, project managers, business owners, or licensed master electricians.10 They might also decide to get specializations in related areas, such as solar photovoltaic or lighting systems.10

Electrician can be a fulfilling career for many people, and data from the BLS predicts that electrician jobs will continue to grow over the next decade. As long as people use electricity, it would be reasonable to expect that electricians will remain valuable to society.

Additional Sources