19 Nov High Demand for Skilled Tradespeople
Skilled tradespeople are the builders of our country. Infrastructure and facility improvements, expansion, and maintenance does not happen without their invaluable contribution. Their training, talent, and hard work provide essential services for which the demand has never been higher. Regardless of market fluctuations or economic downturns, the need for electricians, plumbers, and other skilled tradespeople is ever present. Electricity and internet must work, plumbing must function, and infrastructure maintenance still need to occur. As we rebound from our recent challenges, the number of skilled tradespeople needed to complete retrofit, maintenance, and construction projects is the highest it has been in decades.
Having been in the lighting industry for over 35 years and done everything from changing light bulbs to managing multi-million-dollar projects, I could not be prouder of my career path.
– Shane Petitt, VP Client Relations, Lumenal Lighting
Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Career in the Trades
Recent high school graduates and entry-level employees should pursue career paths that best meet their financial and personal life goals. Most people want to earn good pay right away and be proud of the work they do. Starting a career in the trades allows people to earn a stable income while learning and provides long-term career growth potential on a chosen path. Five of the top reasons to choose a career in the trades are:
- Receive a paycheck while you learn instead of incurring huge college tuition debt
- Achieve job security by having high-demand skills and licenses
- Well-paid career with Prevailing Wage opportunities
- Chance to work on new and interesting projects all the time instead of being stuck in a cubicle
- Multiple careers advancement paths including supervisory, project management, and quality inspection
Why is there a Shortage of Skilled Tradespeople?
Since the latter part of the 20th century, the United States has seen a surge in the number of college bound students. These students were told by teachers, parents, and school advisors that the best way to achieve financial and career success was to attend college, specifically four-year universities. This belief has been held and perpetuated to this day. This one-track career path model led to an initial shortage of skilled trades workers and now, generations later, results in a shortage of skilled trades teachers. Only now with improvements in technology, a shift in mindset, and skyrocketing college costs, people are more willing and able to explore alternative educational paths. Remote and specialized learning are helping technology and computer students gain the skills they need in their field of choice. On the job training and apprenticeship programs are growing the number of skilled and well-paid tradespeople. It is essential that students and entry-level employees understand they do not have to attend college to have a financially and personally fulfilling career. The number of skilled tradespeople must keep pace with the volume of infrastructure, technology, and maintenance projects planned for the future.
Journey Level Electricians are Invaluable
Earning a great salary and job opportunity abundance make a career as an electrician particularly attractive. The number of available electrician job openings is likely to average 84,000 in each of the next ten years. The nationwide median pay for electricians in 2020 was $27.36 per hour. However, Journeyman Electricians working on Prevailing Wage jobs could earn over $160,000 per year in Portland, Oregon and $178,000 in Seattle, Washington. In addition to the stable pay, Journeyman electricians get to perform a wide variety of tasks, regularly troubleshoot unique problems, and achieve a sense of pride for contributing to a final product.
How to Become a Journeyman Electrician
The requirements to become a Licensed Journey Level Electrician vary by state, but the typical Apprentice-Journeyman career path requires:
- Proof of age (must be 18 or older)
- Proof of high school graduation or GED®
- Official transcript(s) showing courses and grades
- Completion of classroom instruction hours
- Complete 8,000 hours of documented on-the-job training (OJT)
- Pass Journeyman Electrician’s Examination
Looking for a new Opportunity?
If you are a Licensed Journey Level Electrician in Washington State or Oregon, please Contact us online or call Lumenal Lighting at 425-481-5001 today to continue your career on our team of exceptional electricians.
- Lumenal Lighting – Careers
- CITC – Construction Industry Training Council of Washington
- Wiki – History of Higher Education
- U.S. Department of Labor – Apprenticeship
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook for Electricians
- Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries – Prevailing Wage
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries – Prevailing Wage Rates for Public Works Contracts
Last Modified: November 20, 2021