The United States is in need of 1 million additional electricians to fulfill its environmental objectives, and the shortage of male electricians has highlighted the importance of increasing female representation in the field.
Traditionally, electrical work has been predominantly performed by men, with only 2 percent of electricians in the country being women, as reported by The Guardian and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This sector is also grappling with significant labor shortages as the nation aims to transition from fossil fuels to electricity, particularly in initiatives such as the installation of solar panels, heat pumps, and electric vehicle charging stations, which are crucial for achieving environmental goals.
Rewiring America, a nonprofit organization focused on electrification, estimates the requirement of 1 million additional electricians to support these new endeavors.
There are abundant opportunities in this field, as highlighted by author and journalist Bill McKibben, who stated in an interview with The New York Times that becoming an electrician can be a rewarding career choice for young individuals who wish to contribute to the betterment of the world while earning a good living.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary of an electrician in 2021 exceeded $60,000, with some master electricians earning six-figure salaries. This makes it one of the highest-paying blue-collar jobs available without requiring a college degree.
Sam Kalish, head of research at Rewiring America, points out that in the next decade alone, there will be an average of 80,000 job openings for electricians each year, as replacements for retirees and those transitioning to other occupations.
Connie Ashbrook, a retired construction worker and co-chair, emphasizes the favorable prospects in this industry, stating that it offers the highest pay among blue-collar jobs without the need for a college education.
Addressing the shortage of electricians, particularly the underrepresentation of women, is crucial for meeting the country’s environmental goals and ensuring a skilled workforce for the growing demand in the electrical sector.