According to new information from the annual State of the Industry survey conducted by Klein Tools, Lincolnshire, Ill., electricians continue to be in high demand, and most in the industry are not concerned that the rise of new technologies will significantly impact job security.
Of the more than 600 electricians that responded to the survey, 42 percent reported that they are working more often compared to one year ago. In the 2016 survey, this number was just 32 percent; in 2015, only 23 percent reported an increase in work. According to Klein Tools, this work increase was seen in both residential and commercial industries, including retrofitting in homes.
For today’s electricians, the focus both on and off the job site is technology. According to the survey, electricians are working on high-tech installations both in homes and commercial spaces. Fifty-six percent of respondents saw an increase in high-tech-installation work, and 55 percent are seeing a rise in smart-home technology.
“High-tech installations in the housing and commercial construction will only continue to increase, and if we cannot fill these positions with skilled workers, businesses and homeowners will see more delayed projects and higher home prices,” said Mark Klein, co-president of Klein Tools, in a press release.
When it comes to high-tech installations, the focus is still on commercial buildings—three in five electricians have done this type of work, and seven in 10 have seen in an increase in smart offices in their area.
The other question when it comes to the latest technology is how it will impact electricians’ job security in the coming years. The vast majority of respondents were not concerned about any negative impacts—less than one-fifth said they had such concerns. In fact, seven in 10 electricians believe they have the necessary tools to install electrical equipment in smart or connected homes.
“As technology continues to evolve in new construction homes and office buildings, electricians are dealing with higher demands, more complex systems and advanced high-tech installations. Even on the most complex and challenging job sites, electricians are still going to be needed to get the job done,” Klein said.
More information on Klein Tools’ State of the Industry Survey can be found at http://www.kleintools.com/2017survey3.
About The Author
Matthew Kraus was formerly the director of communications at NECA and senior editor of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR for five years. He can be reached at [email protected].