Looks like the National Electrical Contractors Association was onto something 20 years ago when they predicted an electrician shortage. With a high rate of experienced electricians heading for retirement, and not enough electricians entering the field, we have a supply and demand problem.
Many industries have been experiencing labor shortages. One reason is that there was an uptick in early retirement of those in the Baby Boomer generation, who make up a large portion of the workforce, during the pandemic. While early retirements have leveled off, the fact is by 2030 all Baby Boomers will have reached age 65 or above, so a retirement surge is expected.
This would be all well and good, except the younger generations, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, haven’t been pursuing careers in skilled labor to the same degree as previous generations.
Add to this the fact that electricity consumption is growing due to greater usage of electric vehicles, devices and buildings that all rely on electric power. This means the need for electricians is soaring. In fact, from 2020 to 2030 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted electrician jobs to grow 9.1 percent, which is higher than the 7.7 percent growth rate of other occupations.
There are steps being taken to address this issue. Recruiting high school students to apprenticeships and utilizing labor staffing agencies are some of the tactics 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 the young people in your life know how lucrative and rewarding it is to be an IBEW electrician.