In 2016 there were close to 666,900 electricians working in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With a projected 9 percent growth rate, experts believe that the industry will add 60,100 more jobs between the years 2016 and 2026.
If you’re considering a career as an electrician, you need to understand the work environment for your future job success. When you know about where you’ll work before you even start school (or an apprenticeship program, you will be better able make a decision about which direction you want to go in and what specialty you’ll eventually want.
Every specialty in electric work has a different average. While all electricians work with electricity, you’ll find more than a few different jobs and places where people in this profession work. One of the most common work environments is the residential setting. If this is a job you’re considering, take a look at what you need to know about working in this type of environment.
Sixty-five percent of all electricians work for electrical contractors, according to the BLS. While electricians work in a variety of settings, private homes provide plenty of opportunities for electricians to use their skills.
Residential work environments include free-standing homes, apartment buildings and other structures where people live. Some of these structures are in-process. This means that you may work on a construction site where a client is building a new home. If this is your job choice, you’ll likely need to work with several other contractors. These may include plumbers, HVAC technicians and decorators.
One of the pros to working for a residential contractor is that you’re likely to work during daylight hours. This type of work is appealing if you have children who are in school during the day or have a spouse or significant other who also works during this time. A similar schedule to your family gives you plenty of extra time at the end of the day or on the weekends to spend together.
If you don’t have children or a spouse right now but see yourself having a family in the future, you could get benefits of spending time with family later if you choose residential electrician work.
If you want your days free, some residential jobs provide opportunities to work during off-hours. Emergency residential electricians work over-night and weekend shifts.
The ability to work non-business day hours is perfect for professionals with children who are under school age. With this type of job, you can take care of your baby or young child during the day. When your spouse or significant other gets home from work or school, you can trade off parenting duties and go to work.
Indoor or Outdoor
If being in a comfortable indoor environment is for you, residential electrical work provides plenty of opportunities for this. For the most part, you’ll work inside of people’s homes or apartments, although sometimes residential electricians also work outdoors.
Along with working on wiring inside of the customer’s home, you may need to install lights on a patio or other outdoor area or make electrical repairs to the exterior. You are unlikely to work exclusively outside, but you may not work exclusively indoors either.
Balancing the two types of work settings is a bonus for many electricians. The changing environment can make the job more interesting and give you a break from the same old routine.
If you are considering a career in the electrical field, IEC Greater Cincinnati can help get you started with classroom learning and experience in the field doing hands-on training.