While the construction industry provides the most career opportunities for electricians, career opportunities are also available in the areas of alternative power generation, manufacturing and residential service. Work in construction, employing approximately 75 percent of electricians in the workforce in 2015, involves installing electrical systems in new buildings. It can also involve collaboration with architects and others in the design of the electrical system and the supervision of apprentices and other workers assisting with the installation.
With the growth in alternative energy sources, the need for electricians to connect homes and businesses with these new power sources is growing. A career as an industrial electrician in manufacturing plants and other large businesses involves working with complex electrical systems, installing and testing equipment during construction, and the maintenance and repair of large motors, older equipment and electrical control systems. Work as a residential electrician, outside of new construction, primarily involves maintenance, remodeling, and repair and replacement of malfunctioning equipment.
Job security is best for electricians working as industrial electricians in factories, while the best job opportunities are available to electricians with the broadest skill set, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau also projects significant job growth for electricians. Between 2012 and 2022, career opportunities for electricians in the construction industry are projected to increase by 22 percent and for other electrical specialties by 20 percent, compared to projected growth of 11 percent for all occupations.