Shortage of Skills: Electricians
April 7, 2017 – Washington, DC – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 7.2 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.6 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This gap in labor exists because employers demand job-ready employees and millions of prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate career education and training. One such career is electricians, where 85,900 skilled professionals will be needed to fill new jobs by 2024.
According to BLS, the need for trained electricians is expected to rise in the next 10 years in response to more wiring needs in homes and businesses, as well as an overall growth of the construction industry. In manufacturing plants as well, electricians will be needed to maintain old equipment and install new systems. Due to these needs, the electrician field is projected to see a much faster than average growth rate of 14% in the decade ahead, resulting in 85,900 new jobs by 2024. In addition, BLS notes that because many employers have reported “difficulty finding qualified applicants,” the job outlook for those going into this profession will be quite good.
According to CECU research supported by data from the U.S. Department of Education’s IPEDS database and BLS, private sector career colleges and universities produced over 26,000 academic awards in the electrician field from 2011-2015. By 2025, these institutions are projected to produce over 40,000 academic awards in this field – nearly half of the 85,900 new jobs that will be added.
Electricians’ work is critical in both maintaining and installing electricals systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They manage tasks such as reading blueprints, conducting repairs, and collaborating with other electricians or other construction workers to get a job done. In addition to the manual work, electricians possess skills and qualities such as business skills, customer service skills, and troubleshooting skills that enable them to accomplish jobs efficiently and effectively. With a median income of $51,880, higher than construction trades workers and higher than the median for all occupations, electricians make livable wages in a high-growth career.
“A career as an electrician is a great avenue for students who enjoy problem-solving and helping maintain functionality in our power systems,” said Timothy McMahon, president of Triangle Tech. “Electricians keep our industries and cities running.”
“The need for trained electricians is growing, and our institutions are integral to responding to this demand,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of CECU. “By training skilled electricians, our institutions not only contribute to the economy and job demand, but also help students find a meaningful and sustainable career.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues. See previous SOS releases here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that education millions of students.
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