So You Want To Be An Electrician? Popular Mechanics Thinks It’s Time

Last updated on February 27th, 2024.

In the March edition of Popular Mechanics there’s a special report for those looking to join the skilled trades. It’s titled, “How To Become A Skilled Tradesperson.

Discovering Popular Mechanics spotlighting the trades signals a much-needed resurgence. Why the sense of relief, you might wonder?


Lack of Licensed Tradesmen

When there’s a lack of licensed tradesmen in the labor force two major things happen:

1. Unlicensed and unqualified people are hired to complete jobs they have no business working on

2. Licensed and qualified tradesmen are sought after and paid higher wages due to the laws of supply and demand.

This is a definite win for those of us who are licensed. So who loses?

Everyone else.

electrical construction
Credit: Power Solutions LLC

Imagine vital projects like construction jobs, new homes being built, and water treatment plants stalled due to a shortage of licensed electricians. Our economy relies on electricians not just for building infrastructure but also for powering the growing data center market nationwide.

Your location plays a big role in the hurdles you might face entering the electrical trade.

In regions dominated by electrical union, expect longer waits to start your trade journey because of apprenticeship caps. Conversely, areas with a robust non-union presence often offer a smoother path for newcomers.

Enduring the wait times to join an apprenticeship can be a better alternative than loading up on student debt. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “between 2006–07 and 2016–17, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions rose 31 percent, and prices at private nonprofit institutions rose 24 percent.”

That’s an increase from $18,000 to $26,000 in a decade.

Think Long-Term Finances

Reviewing my five-year apprenticeship expenses, the total just exceeded $3,000, covering books, tools, and gear. The bulk was for textbooks at each school year‘s outset, with the remainder invested in quality tools and durable workwear.

So instead of spending $72,000 to $104,000 over four years and saddling yourself with debt immediately following graduation, look at how spending only $3,000 over five years can position you in the future.

About Thomas Hawkins

I run Electrician Apprentice Headquarters, a one-stop-shop for learning how to become a licensed electrician in the USA. I'm a licensed Master Electrician with over 20 years experience working in the Mining & Construction industries. Why do I do it? Well, because even plumbers need heroes.

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