A new report shows that the number of experienced or journeyman electricians is declining. Though the report reaches no solid conclusions about why, there are several factors that may be involved. These are discussed below.
The requirements for journeyman electricians
In order to become a journeyman electrician, you must join electrical trade programs. These include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
You can take up to four years of classroom courses. On-the-job training is important as well. Then you can get your license to be an electrician. Most people start out as an electrician’s helper. After working for several years in this position, you can pick up all the nuances of the day-to-day work. Classroom training is important, but there are many small details to learn about the job. These require working on actual electrical installations or repairs. This is all a part of the learning process.
A job in high demand
The good news is that within six years, you’ll be an experienced electrician with all the skills and credentials to work on any project. Since the number of qualified electricians is declining, there are many good job opportunities available. A number of countries all over the world are upgrading their power grid to include some solar and wind technology. That means they will need good, experienced electricians.
Opportunities to move to other countries
If you are interested in moving to other countries to work, there are always a number of projects that require electricians. For instance, Germany is trying to move their entire power grid over to alternative forms of energy. A project this big requires many electricians for an extended period of time.
Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are also building new and amazing cities, both on land and in the ocean. These will require large crews of construction workers, plumbers and electricians. Projects like these do often take years to complete, but you can move to the region and learn all about a new culture. This gives you an opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn a new language and see the world.
A stronger resume
If you ever do return to the United States, jobs like this look really good on your job application. It tells an employer that you’re willing to take risks and not afraid of new challenges.
Is the money good?
According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a third-class electrician is $59,000. Of course, this amount will be higher in big metropolitan cities like New York and lower in small cities. As you become more experienced working on a range of projects, you can expect to earn upwards of $70,000 per year.
Starting your own business
Many experienced electricians start their own business once they are established in their community. Getting a good reputation in the community is one way to build your business. Electricians, along with a few other trades, are often recommended by word of mouth. That’s why your reputation is so important. Work hard, do a good job and try to work out any problems with customers.
In any industry where you must work directly with people, it can be difficult to consistently get along well with people. It’s challenging to say the least, but also rewarding to learn how to work through common issues and still come out of it with good feedback from your customer. As they say, things like this build character.
Another important aspect of your work is buying your first work truck or van. A cargo van is a good choice because you can carry quite a few tools, people and equipment and everything is protected from bad weather. Your storage system is also important. It’s an investment in your business and most of the tools and equipment you purchase will be tax deductible, so be sure to save receipts.