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Employment Prospects for Electrician Apprentices

Choosing a career entails planning out your life’s work.  However, in order to successfully plan out a career path, an individual must know which jobs to use as stepping stones for each phase.  Thus, if you’re choosing a career as an electrician, you will want to know that there will be employment available as an apprentice, a journeyman and as a master electrician.

Electrician Apprentices

An individual just entering the electrician career field needs to ensure he or she can secure employment and training as an apprentice from 2013 to 2017.  All electricians must undergo a minimum of a 4-year apprenticeship before they are permitted to work unsupervised.  However, some areas permit the individual to substitute up to two years of classroom training for hands-on supervised work experiences.

Electrician ApprenticesThe training is likely to remain available for the next four years, as is the apprenticeship employment opportunities.   There are numerous organizations, such as the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, which offer training courses and assist with finding apprentice positions.  There are also numerous colleges and private schools that offer the necessary classroom training.  The recent economic recovery has also stimulated a growth spurt in the demand for electricians.  This growth spurt provides apprentices an opportunity to get the necessary 2,000 hours of on-the job training.  However, the individual must consider which specialty field he or she wants to pursue before deciding which of the three methods of meeting the apprenticeship requirements to utilize.  The current choices mostly fall under the categories of inside wireman, outside linemen, residential wiremen, and vdv installer technicians.

Employment Prospects for Journeymen and Master Electricians

A person entering this field today will also need to ascertain that there will be sufficient journeymen work and training available from at least 2017 to 2025.  Most electricians are required to take continuing education courses to meet their licensing requirements.  Plus, it takes about five to eight years as a journeyman to become eligible for certification or licensing as a master electrician.  The individual will want to know what master electrician jobs are going to be available from 2025 until his or her retirement.

Unfortunately, most of the employment prospect projections currently do not go much beyond 2020.  Although it is very likely the continuing education courses will still be available, no one knows what will be happening in the various specialty electrician fields.  However, most master electricians start up their own business so they create their own employment opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment prospects for all electricians have rather mixed outlooks for 2010-2020.  In some areas, there may be an increased demand while in other areas there may be a decreased demand.  Much of the outlook depends on the growth of the housing market, as well as the economic conditions.  However, a 23 percent growth rate is expected overall and it is being considered as one of the fastest growing industry for this decade.  Due to the vast fluctuation of supply and demand for the various specialty fields, individuals are highly encouraged to get certified in more than just one field to avoid long periods of unemployment.  The individual could also consider getting certified or licensed to work in foreign countries to increase employment opportunities.

See Also:



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Electricians,

National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC)

This piece was written by Derek Greenblum, a freelancer who focuses on employment trends, economic science, the national debt, professional training and other similar matters. Lately Derek has developed a particular interest in the electrician trade: to learn more view the information at Advance Electric.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net