The demand for electricians is going to grow by double-digits over the next decade, so there has never been a better time to enter this satisfying, well-paying career. There will be plenty of job opportunities in conventional electrician’s work, including both residential and commercial installation and repair.
However, you may not be aware there are many other career paths for electricians. That means while the mainstream opportunities are abundant, there are many other exciting jobs that will be available to you.
Below are just a few of the more unconventional jobs that electrical training will qualify you for:
Electrical inspectors are needed for performing inspections of electrical installations, and they also regularly inspect existing equipment and electrical infrastructure. Federal, state and local laws all mandate that certain practices be enforced in the electrical industry, and that means inspectors are crucial to making sure these laws are obeyed and implemented.
Electrical inspectors must have an excellent grasp of the National Electrical Code as well as an in-depth understanding of electrical safety and standards, in general. Attention to detail is a “must” for anyone who
desires to pursue a career as an inspector.
Another lesser-known job opportunity for electricians is a position as a railroad locomotive electrician. Modern diesel locomotives use high-voltage electric motors to operate the wheels and thus provide the power
to pull trains. That means there is a need for trained electricians who understand how to service and repair these sophisticated, powerful machines. Your job as a locomotive electrician will likely find you working on computerized control systems in locomotive cabs as well as with heavy duty motors that are directly attached to the wheels.
Locomotive electricians are hired by all major American railroads as well as numerous regional and shortline railroads, and there is a need to replace retiring workers. Benefits and pay are usually excellent, but railroad employees are often expected to work irregular hours at any time of day or night and in all weather conditions, especially for the first few years on the job. However, locomotive electricians with seniority will often be assigned regular work shifts with predictable schedules.
Electrical Distribution Specialists
A specialist job for electricians that is also less well-known is electrical distribution specialist. Electrical distribution refers to how power producers, including government authorities, efficiently route electricity where it is needed and will be needed in the future. There is a need for qualified electricians to help participate and lead in this planning process.
If you are looking for a less “hands on” job, working as an electrical distribution specialist may be a great fit. It is important to keep in mind that electrical distribution specialists often have advanced training, including college credits in engineering and other planning disciplines. However, if you are interested in continuing your education and aren’t afraid of branching into new territory, then working as an electrical distribution specialist may be in your future.
LED Lighting Electrician
An energy and technological revolution is quietly sweeping the nation, as the rapid rise of LED lighting is quickly pushing outdated incandescent and fluorescent fixtures into the dustbin. LED lighting is more
efficient by several factors, lasts much longer, and generates far less wasted heat than other lighting technologies.
However, LED lighting requires additional electrical support to function. For example, there is a need for transformers to properly handle the electrical current flow through LEDs. Those special support functions and power infrastructure must be installed and maintained by knowledgeable LED electricians. If you possess an in-depth understanding of LEDs, or wish to add it to your repertoire of electrical skills, then you can be assured of having a high-demand skillset that will provide exciting, lucrative opportunities.