Many people earn good livings as electricians, but you shouldn’t make any career decision based solely on how well a friend or neighbor does in the field. Before training for a specific career, you ought to look for numbers that verify it’s a viable path. The numbers listed in this article show that working as an electrician is not only a viable career, but also can be excellent long-term work.

Future Job Growth: 9 Percent

First, you should look at projected job growth for the career field that you’re considering. This number will help you determine both the immediate and long-term job outlook for the field.

A field that has negative job growth is shrinking, and there are good reasons to avoid such a field. With fewer jobs available, you could have trouble getting hired initially as openings will likely go to more experienced workers who have been in the field a few years. Long-term, you may have trouble getting hired to new positions towards the end of your career if the field shrinks substantially.

A field with stagnant projected job growth won’t be quite as competitive as one that’s shrinking, but you may still face some challenges during your job search. Without actual growth, there may not be enough jobs for everyone who’s entering the field.

A field that’s growing holds a lot of potential, and you should be able to find a good job in it. As companies in the industry look to hire more workers, they have to take on newly trained people. The long-term prospects are also quite good, as there will likely be more and more openings that you can consider.

Projected job growth for electricians is quite good. The field is expected to grow at a 9 percent rate from 2016 to 2026, which will result in 59,600 new jobs for qualified workers. That’s in addition to any job openings that are created by people retiring or leaving the field for other reasons. With this type of growth, you can expect to find a good job if you’re qualified.

Salary Range: Average $55,190 Annually

Second, you want to know how much you can expect to make in the field. When looking at potential salaries, however, you don’t just want to know what a neighbor makes or even what the average worker in the career field earns. Instead, a range of income is much more helpful as it provides a more comprehensive view of what you could earn throughout your career.

The wages for electricians are quite good across the board. The median annual salary is $55,190, but this doesn’t represent all electricians.

Half of all electricians earn somewhere between $41,260 and $72,680 per year, which works out to $19.84 to $34.99 per hour. You’ll probably be toward the lower end of this scale when you’re first starting out, but even the $41,260 that the 25th percentile earns is respectable. It’s several thousand more than the average annual wage of all occupations, which is $38,640.

As you gain experience and advance your skills, you should have opportunities to increase your pay through raises and different jobs. You may reach the $72,680 that the 75th percentile earns, or you could even make more than that. The top 10 percent of electricians bring in $94,620 per year or more — that’s near six figures.

Training Length: 4 Years

Finally, you also need to know how long it will take to start working in the field.

To become a fully licensed electrician takes four years, but you don’t need to wait this long before you start earning some income. You can start working as an electrician helper while you go through school or an apprenticeship, so you can both earn money and gain experience throughout your training.

If you’re interested in an electrician apprenticeship, contact Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati for more information.