5 Reasons to Join the Electrical Industry
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the country employed over 725,000 electricians in 2020. And that demand is expected to grow by 9% between 2020-2030 — an average of 84,700 jobs per year.
This job growth keeps pace with the average U.S. job growth and doesn’t even account for the many other positions needed to support the industry, such as electrical suppliers.
In addition to the growing demand for electrical professionals, learn why now is a great time to join the electrical industry.
A Position for Everyone
The electrical industry supports many individuals and their interests. Some enjoy hands-on projects, such as running electrical lines, installing solar systems, maintaining and testing equipment to ensure safety, and much more.
Others love the problem-solving involved in repairing and upgrading electrical systems. Recently, City Electric Supply (CES) and Eaton teamed up to help Denver Public Schools (DPS) with an ongoing project, upgrading old electrical panels with custom retrofitted panels.
At City Electric Supply, everyone values the social aspect of servicing the electrical industry, whether helping to ensure supplies are delivered to contractors, providing project estimates, or providing electricians solutions with the latest tools and gear.
“We lean on vendors to bring us certain products or resources,” said Mike Lakos, Electrical Department Manager for DPS. “We rely on CES to show us the latest and greatest stuff.”
Many Ways to Join the Industry
Vocational or trade schools offer electrical certification programs for those interested in getting their start in the field or on site. Others may choose an electrical-related two-year associate degree from a college, with further specialization available. And some may train under the apprenticeship of a licensed electrician.
“Entering the industry through a vocational or trade school is one of the easiest ways to ensure success,” said Joseph Wolfe, Electrical Instructor at Edison Academy. “Using a vocational or trade school helps to ensure that the persons receive proper training on not just the materials and techniques, but the specialty tools that are involved with the trade. Proper training of methods, techniques, and skills in a controlled environment with highly trained educators ensure the success of future electricians.”
Outside Sales Representative Tim Brown started in the field. He later transitioned to sales with CES and has a total of 18 years of service in the industry.
“I joined City Electric Supply after seven years of hands-on experience in the field. It’s helped me to have walked in the customers’ shoes and know their needs,” said Brown.
But there are other ways to join the industry. Brown’s team member Branch Manager Jamie Long, got his start joining his local electrical wholesale branch shortly after it opened.
“About 24 years ago, I came to CES needing a job, and they gave me a great opportunity to work my way up and make it into a career,” said Long. “I’m proud of what I have achieved, and CES has been good to me. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Getting in on the ground floor at City Electric Supply requires no experience, just the right attitude. CES can help anyone get up to speed, providing on-the-job training, workshops, and more.
Branch Manager Samantha Lacroix walked inside her local CES branch 11 years ago with no electrical background and just spoke honestly to the manager.
“I told him, ‘Sir, I’m a fast learner, but I don’t know anything about the store,’” Lacroix said.
She started as a driver, and with her willingness to grow, she began assisting customers at the counter and attending as many training opportunities as possible. About five years later, she became the branch manager of the location that hired her.
There’s Always Something New to Learn
Learning about the industry as it evolves is one of the most important ways to keep a career exciting. As technology quickly changes, electrical technicians and suppliers always have new products and solutions to learn.
Many CES branches host or attend training with industry-leading manufacturers, such as TAMCO, Generac, and Spyder Products.
Nancy Ramdon-Connolly, CES Director of Sales and Operations for North America Corporate and National Solutions (CNS), started at counter sales at her local branch while she completed night school. Over the years, she worked in customer service management, then project management, and sales development, before her current position. At CNS, she and her team provide a one-stop shop for companies that need help with construction, remodeling, or maintenance.
“Taking on additional challenges and responsibility just made sense to me,” said Ramdon-Connolly. “I didn’t start knowing that my job could be a career, but that’s exactly what it was.”
Discover a Valuable Network of Professionals
In every area of the electrical industry, customer service is key to success. Excellent customer service helps build a personal network of customers, coworkers, and vendor partnerships.
CES Vice President of Operations John Nantz explained the success of one branch, saying, “This branch operates like an old barbershop — the customers come in and share their stories. We’re not just trying to make a sale; we want to get to know everyone and build relationships.”
“I hope our customers take away our true sense of gratitude from this event,” said CES Rock Hill Regional Manager R.T. Smith during the branch’s 25th anniversary. “It’s hard to express how much we appreciate the support and trust they have given us to help our business grow over the last 25 years.”
Build a Career with Endless Room to Grow
Many trades are well-known for their job security. As mentioned previously, there is a continuing demand for electrical professionals.
Plus, transferring to different positions over time, such as from the field to product sales, is possible. Electrical can take someone in many different directions as their experience and interests change.
Three electricians in Georgia who previously worked in electrical maintenance decided to take on a new opportunity by opening a CES branch. They combined their shared backgrounds and experience to start a new chapter in retail.
“I actually came to know City Electric Supply because I was their customer during those seven years as maintenance manager,” said Branch Manager Ronald Roach.
Even if one comes from a different industry, skills may be transferrable. Branch Manager Vicky MacKay brought 15 years of experience in plumbing, designing bathrooms and kitchens. She found an exciting new challenge in electrical.
“If you go into the trades, you will find endless ways to succeed. There is always an opportunity,” said MacKay. “There’s so much going on in electrical — just be willing to keep learning.”
With so many possibilities available in the electrical industry, there’s no reason not to explore available opportunities. Want to jump in faster? Contact your local CES branch today about open positions!