The National Electrical Contractors Association predicted 20 years ago that we were headed for an electrician shortage, and they were right. With a high percentage of experienced electricians heading for retirement, and not enough new electricians entering the field, we have a major supply and demand issue.
Unfortunately, labor shortages across most industries are today’s reality. Some of this is because of the increase in early retirement among Baby Boomers, a significant part of the labor force, during the pandemic. Early retirements have now leveled off, but by 2030 all Baby Boomers will have reached age 65 or above, so expect many more to leave the electrical field.
Folks retiring is part of the normal labor cycle, but this time we are faced with not enough new people entering the field. Millennials and Gen Z haven’t been pursuing careers in skilled labor to the same degree as previous generations.
On top of this, electricity consumption is growing due to the increase in use of electric vehicles, devices and buildings that rely on all-electric power, which means the need for electricians is growing. In fact, from 2020 to 2030 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts electrician jobs to grow 9.1 percent, which is higher than the 7.7 percent growth rate of other occupations.
There are actions being taken to address the shortage. Recruiting high school students to apprenticeships and utilizing labor staffing agencies are some of the strategies being used to grow the electrical workforce. One of the best ways to get folks into our industry is by word-of-mouth, so make sure to spread the word that electrician life is rewarding, lucrative and in demand!