Many people think of home construction and blue collar trades when they think of electricians. It’s actually a very interesting profession that requires a lot of education and offers many different jobs beyond the traditional position in construction.
Consider the following: It takes almost as many years to become a master electrician as it does to become a doctor. Master electricians have received almost eight years of education and experience by the time they earn that designation. They earn these years as apprentices and journeymen electricians. In addition, electricians can choose specialties such as commercial, industrial, residential, and outside lineman. The latter means that they work with power plants to get the electricity to consumers.
Electricians have a lot of choice, beyond construction, within these specialties. You can work for a company or yourself as a private contractor. Electricity is an integral aspect of everything from how your home or any building functions to making most machines work. You can choose a job in the armed forces, restoring historical buildings, creating new machinery and repairing old machinery, doing research on future applications and forms of energy usage and technology; you can troubleshoot for companies around the world, or stay within your home town. Whether your interests are sports, animals, engineering, or buildings, there is a job for an electrician in all of these areas. There are few limits.
Many perceive an electrician as being a somewhat sedentary job but that isn’t true. Many electrical panels are located in places that are not chosen for their comfort. You don’t get to sit very often and almost never at a desk. Instead, electricians climb into attics and onto roofs; they go under houses and into crawl spaces. They stoop, bend, climb, and wiggle their way into small spaces on a regular basis. This is not a job for someone who is not willing to keep themselves in decent shape. It is also not a job for someone who is clumsy or color blind. Many wires are color coded and being unable to distinguish between them can lead to serious injury.
Trades are generally viewed as being a reliable source of employment and they are. Electricity is a basic aspect of most things in life and so electricians can be fairly sure of an ongoing source of employment. What you may not realize is that many different labor groups project growth of 20 – 25% in the field of electricians between now and 2020. They make a good wage too with most electricians earning at least $20/hour and, depending on where you live, often $25/hour or more. The hours can be long since a job site cannot be left in unsafe conditions which often means the job must be completed before leaving the site.
Choosing to work for yourself though means you do have some options in terms of how much you work and when. Save your money wisely and you can winter in a warmer climate if that’s your wish. You can even work elsewhere each season if that appeals to you. Provided that you earn your license and learn the local codes and bylaws, it is an occupation that you can travel with. Licensing is important and most places require that you be licensed to work within the region.
There are many benefits to choosing to work for yourself. You can choose where you work and move into a new region or area if that works better for your family without worrying about being unable to find a new job. You can choose your own hours. Although many electricians offer emergency hours, you don’t have to and you can take time off when you need to. Perhaps you have relatives visiting or have just brought your new baby home from the hospital. Being self-employed means that you can take some time off to accommodate changes in your schedule if needed.
As discussed above, you can winter elsewhere and work at the same time if you desire it. You set your own prices too. You’ll want to be competitive but you can charge more for specialized services if you want to offer them to your clients. Being your own boss can be good although it does require self-discipline, organizational skills and management. Some self-employed people turn their own business into a family business, providing employment for their spouse, children, and other relatives. Much depends on how big you want your business to get and how well you enjoy working with others. For some people, working by yourself is preferable but the options are open with self-employment.
The world is a big place and there are so many options available to explore. Being an electrician can be an excellent skill that can lead to employment anywhere in the world, in almost any area that interests you. It’s a varied job that opens many doors to different opportunities. It is up to you to take advantage of them.