Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Even in Difficult Times, Becoming an Electrician or Low Voltage Technician is Still a Safe Bet

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

2020 has been an unprecedented year for the electrical and construction industries in California due to the COVID-19 emergency, Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-33-20, and confusion stemming from differing information regarding how the industries could—or could not—operate.

However, there are two things that this crisis has shown. The electrical and construction industries are resilient, and electricians, low voltage technicians, and solar technicians are essential and in high demand—and as such, command salaries significantly above or on par with the national average across all occupations, and enjoy excellent benefits.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2019 that the annual mean wage across all occupations in the United States was $53,490 per year. Meanwhile, electricians nationwide can expect to make an average of $60,730 per year, with electricians in California making $65,377 per year on average. As for low voltage technicians--using fire alarm and security installers as an example--the national average is $50,210 per year, with those in California making $52,374 per year.
But that's not the only good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the projected career growth for electricians nationwide from 2018 to 2028 will be 10 percent (faster than average), while the employment of fire alarms and security installers (as an example of low voltage technician growth) is estimated to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024—also faster than average.
What's more, the construction industry in California actually added jobs in May, despite the COVID-19 emergency and statewide shutdowns. According to the Associated Press, California's construction industry added 75,000 jobs in May, largely due to “restaurants and other businesses in need of repairs before reopening". Read the rest of the article here. So, while the industry and the economy as a whole are not yet 'out of the woods', so to speak, the statistics offer a glimpse of hope and stability for the future.

Apply for one of WECA's apprenticeship programs or register to start your education with the electrician trainee certificate program (no waiting!)--both are viable educational paths to gaining certification in California.