Electricians are in demand. With a projected addition of over 59,000 jobs between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this is a field with room to grow. But how do you score your first job? Take a look at the steps to find entry-level employment as an electrician.
Decide Where You Want to Work
This doesn’t mean decide what company you want to work for — this can come later. Instead, think about the type of work environment you want for your first job. This could include:
- A large corporation. Some electricians work for corporations who don’t want to hire outside contractors. You won’t work for an electrical company, but instead could work for a tech, retail, medical, or any other type of corporation.
- A large electric contractor. These companies hire many employees, often have multiple locations, and send employees out to work on a variety of jobs (often both residential and commercial).
- A small independent contractor. This type of environment allows new electricians to get to know their boss and the business. If you want to eventually own your own company, this is an ideal option.
- Your own company. While some electricians need more experience before they open their own shop, you may feel that you’re ready to do so now. This option provides added flexibility in choice of jobs and scheduling.
After you choose a general field or type of job, it’s time to select specific employers. Make a list, explore the companies on it (visit websites or talk to existing employees), and narrow down your choices to make the job-seeking process more manageable.
Write a Resume
Now that you know where you want to work, you need a stand-out resume to get the job of your dreams. If you’ve never written a resume or haven’t had to write one for several years, these tips can get you started:
- Include applicable education. Add any classroom, hands-on, or other educational and training experiences that directly speak to your electrician abilities. Exclude unrelated schooling from past careers.
- Highlight your electrical skills. This includes technical skills, training on specific procedures, or the ability to work in specific types of environments.
- Highlight other applicable skills. Electricians also need other skills, such as basic math, time management, and communication abilities. Note these on your resume under a general “skills” section.
- Add internship, externship, and apprenticeship experience. These experiences show that you’ve had plenty of hands-on, real-world training.
- Career objectives. This is an optional section to include. Even though you don’t always need to write out your objectives or goals, it demonstrates your drive to succeed and shows future employers where you see yourself down the road.
You may need more than one version of your resume. This can help you to match this document to the job’s specific requirements.
Network in the Field
While it’s acceptable to send out resumes to prospective employers or in response to job advertisements, an inside connection can put you at the front of the line of potential employees. How can you get this type of connection? The key is to network well.
To network in the electrical field:
- Talk to your teachers. Ask former instructors, field placement supervisors, or mentors if they know hiring managers or supervisors you can directly speak to.
- Attend events. Go to events, activities, and workshops that electrical organizations or other similar associations offer.
- Join an online group. Social media groups (such as Facebook groups) provide an easy way to meet other professionals in your field.
With a name in-hand you can contact a company, make sure the right person receives your resume, or have an informational interview that may lead to the job of your dreams.
Are you ready to start your career as an electrician? Contact Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati for more information.