Labor Shortage Among Electricians Seen as Big Problem (Infographic)

Nearly half of electricians (47%) are worried about finding skills staff over the next five to 10 years as rapid rates of retirement affect the industry, according to Klein Tools study.

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The more high-tech a generation becomes, the more demand there will be for those who can master non-technical skills. So if Millennials want to practically guarantee career success, they might want to look no further than gaining skills for “hands-on” trade skills, including becoming electricians.

According to the third annual 'State of the Industry' survey from Klein Tools, electricians can already see the writing on the wall as many of these tradesmen retire.

The study of more than 400 union and non-union electricians found that 47 percent are worried about the rapid rate of retirement among their ranks, leaving the field with no labor. One out of every five electricians indicates their biggest concern is that over the next five to 10 years, too many experienced electricians are leaving the industry and/or retiring.

The survey also found that this is a general concern for nearly one-half of electricians, 47 percent, compared to 38 percent in 2015. While nearly one-fourth of electricians indicate their biggest industry concern over the next five to 10 years is less available jobs.

“We're finding that many electricians have concerns about the future of the industry in the next five to 10 years,” says Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “Many electricians see the number of experienced electricians leaving the industry and are concerned that not enough young electricians and apprentices are joining the field to replace them. A large number of electricians are also concerned with the amount of jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years. With more high-tech installations, including smart homes and the dependency on high-tech electronics, the industry is experiencing dynamic change. Klein Tools is committed to ensuring electricians are ready to adapt to this changing environment.”

Extreme Labor Shortage

Consistent with the general industry concerns, the Klein Tools' State of the Industry survey found electricians believe there is a current shortage of experienced electricians in the field. However, many electricians indicated that more on-the-job training would create more experienced electricians and resolve this shortage.

Seven in 10 electricians see a shortage of experienced electricians in the industry, and 78 percent believe more on-the-job training would create a more experienced workforce.

This idea is consistent with union and non-union electricians where both groups had a 10 percent increase from 2015 in believing on-the-job training is the best solution to this industry concern.

Klein Tools' infographic:

“The shortage of experienced electricians is a concern for the majority of electricians surveyed, and many have the same ideas for how to resolve this issue,” says Klein. “Many believe on-the-job training is the best solution to gaining more experienced electricians in the workforce. This is compared to continuing education, more classroom-based training and more or better online training. Klein Tools is working with its partners to ensure that young electricians and apprentices are receiving more on-the-job training to guarantee the shortage of experienced electricians is resolved.”

This year, Klein Tools announced a continuation of its long-term partnerships with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and The Electrical Training Alliance, by increasing its investment to $2 million over the next five years to training and educational programs.

The programs aim to train the best electrical workers in the industry by offering the necessary tools and hands-on training, including scholarships and tool endowments for apprentices.

Through this investment, Klein Tools is ensuring that young electricians and apprentices receive the highest possible educational experience for a successful career in the industry.

Klein Tools is also a platinum partner with the Independent Electrical Contractors to help develop and foster skilled electrical workers.

The Klein Tools 'State of the Industry' survey was conducted by Russell Research. Forty percent of respondents were union members and 60 percent were not.

About the Author

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

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