- Emerging Technologies | January 3, 2017
Electricians Light Up at the Opportunity to Work on More High-Tech and Interconnected Jobs
In today’s world, technology is constantly evolving and the electrical trade is on the cutting- edge of these advancements. Electricians are dealing with higher demands, more complex systems, and difficult integrations in projects ranging from high-tech installations to smart homes. These advanced systems bring their own set of challenges for electricians, but they can also bring opportunities to grow the industry.
Electricians are enjoying the challenge of working on more high-tech installations and complex systems. According to Klein Tools’ 2016 ‘State of the Industry’ survey, 42 percent of electricians surveyed prefer to work on high-tech installations, which is up from 31 percent in 2015. This increased interest is from young electricians and apprentices who have grown up with technology at their fingertips. These young electricians and apprentices are looking for careers to incorporate the technology they use every day and are finding that the electrical industry is a great way to do this. They also want to gain experience in this area as they see its potential for future growth. This interest in technology from young electricians and apprentices is why training programs are staying up-to-date and providing apprentices the skills they need to work on high-tech installations. Klein Tools has committed $2 million over the next five years ensuring apprentices receive the most up-to-date technologies and tools. The investment ensures students will train with high-quality, professional-grade tools and materials, and will receive the highest possible educational experience. With training programs keeping up with the demand of high-tech installations, students will be ready for whatever challenge they see on the job site.
High-tech installations aren’t just a young electrician’s interest; many experienced electricians also enjoy working with advanced systems. In 2015, only 24 percent of electricians with 10 to 19 years of experience in the industry preferred working on high-tech installations; however, in 2016, there has been a significant increase. 51 percent of electricians with 10 to 19 years of experience prefer working on high-tech installations, according to Klein Tools’ 2016 ‘State of the Industry’ survey. And 24 percent of electricians with more than 20 years of experience also prefer working in this challenging area. More experienced electricians enjoy figuring out these advanced systems and want to keep up-to-date on their craft. With young electricians, apprentices and experienced electricians all enjoying the challenges of these high-tech installations, it brings a wide array of ages to the same job site. This helps grow the entire industry as the electricians with varying levels of expertise learn from and with one other. This collaboration helps to lessen the skills gap as experienced electricians mentor young electricians and apprentices. Through mentorships and collaboration, the electrical industry flourishes with the new ideas that arise.
The popularity of high-tech installations isn’t just appealing to electricians; many homeowners are wanting to incorporate advanced systems into their homes. Klein Tools’ 2016 ‘State of the Industry’ survey found that nearly one-half of electricians are seeing more “connected” homes. This means that contractors are calling for more electricians who are skilled with these newer, more digital-tech focused systems. This demand is something the electrical industry must keep up with as smart homes continue to increase in popularity.
Not only do electricians and apprentices enjoy the challenges and tech-dependency of smart homes, but they also enjoy working with the state-of-the-art tools and systems. Being able to work with the newest technolog