Many people aren’t excited about the prospect of working in the same office from the time they get their first job until the day they retire. They cringe when they think about the length of time they’ll need to spend sitting underneath fluorescent lights staring at their computer screens analyzing data and preparing reports. Some even count the number of times they’ll eat their lunch in same old break room before they can take their next vacation.
If you want to work in a different location almost every day, avoid sitting behind a desk, and escape the break room, perhaps it’s time for you to consider becoming an electrician.
The Electrical Field: Filled With Benefits
Working in the electrical field provides several key benefits you won’t find in many other industries. One of the most significant advantages of pursuing a career in this line of work is that it doesn’t require you to earn a four-year degree or even a two-year degree. Since you don’t need a degree, you won’t have to worry about paying off student loans as you embark on your electrical career.
In addition to not having to accumulate student debt to obtain a degree, you can enjoy many of the following benefits by becoming an electrician:
- Paid Apprenticeship: 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 electrical apprenticeship normally takes between four and five years to complete. During that time, you’ll learn your trade from a journeyman or licensed electrician and earn money as you work. You’ll also complete a minimum of 144 hours of classroom instruction every year your apprenticeship continues.
- Job Growth: According to national research, the demand for electricians will grow in upcoming years. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of electrician jobs in the United States is expected to increase by 14 percent — a rate that’s significantly higher than the seven percent increase projected for all occupations during the same period. Between 2014 and 2024, it’s estimated that approximately 85,900 new electrician positions will become available in the U.S.
- Respect: Given their mandatory apprenticeships and the complexity of the work they do, electricians are generally highly respected professionals. In fact, many view electrician work as the top trade in the construction industry.
- No Seasonal Layoffs: Unlike some other tradesmen and women, electricians work year-round regardless of the weather. Electricians also don’t need to be worried about getting laid off if the regional or national economy takes a turn for the worse. Just about every home and business in the country needs electricity to run, which means there’s normally plenty of work for electricians to do.
When you consider the number of alternative energy sources available, it’s unlikely the workload for electricians will shrink any time soon, since they’ll be needed to connect these power sources to homes and businesses throughout the country.
- Career Growth: While you’ll start your career in the electrical field as an apprentice, you’ll be a journeyman or licensed electrician when you complete your apprenticeship. If you choose to continue your education, you can take the Master Electrician exam after you accumulate at least three years of experience in the field. 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 your apprenticeship is done, you can become an entry-level service technician with an electrical company. From there, you might be promoted to field manager, then operation manager, and finally to a distribution manager position.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you may even want to open your own electrical business once you have enough experience and you’ve established a referral network.