According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrician jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow by nine percent from 2020 to 2030. Approximately 84,700 openings for electricians are projected each year on average over the decade.
With the new BlueOvalSK Battery Park coming to Hardin County, the need for electrical services will be paramount in the region in the coming years. Not only will licensed electricians be needed in developing the twin manufacturing plants, but the need for residential electrician services also will increase as new families move to the area. As demands for more commerce options rise with the arrival of these workers and their families, so will the need for electricians to help literally power the growing local economy. A little further down the road, Nucor Corp’s emerging steel plant in Brandenburg will be offering similar opportunities for electricians.
My name is Josh Quinn, and I serve as executive vice president of the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Louisville chapter, a role I have taken on for the past six years. Since 1956, LouNECA, along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 369, has worked to provide quality apprenticeship and training for aspiring electricians through the Louisville Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.
Today, Louisville Electrical JATC — branded as the Kentuckiana Electrical Apprenticeship and Training — encompasses four buildings on two campuses and trains over 400 apprentices annually. If you’re motivated and willing to put in the work, you can be one of those 400 apprentices.
With an apprenticeship, you will be well on your way toward a career with a more-than-competitive wage package, a stellar pension and retirement, lifelong job security, the ability to travel, and the best benefits packages you will find outside of those in the healthcare industry and Fortune 500 companies.
Growing up on a farm in rural Indiana, my initial passion for tinkering with farm equipment was the spark that led me to where I am today. It’s sometimes perplexing to think that this initial interest has spawned such a lucrative and rewarding career.
For me and for any licensed electrician, this journey all started with an apprenticeship. Through an apprenticeship, you receive hands-on training and mentorship, and you are given the opportunity to earn as you work and learn. The remarkable thing about apprenticeships for me is that they are open to just about anyone willing to put in the effort, from recent high school graduates to those looking for a new line of work later in their career.
Some qualities that lend themselves to a successful career as an electrician include proficiency in mathematics, a willingness to work in outdoor conditions, enthusiasm for working with your hands, a willingness to travel, and self-motivation.
The Kentuckiana Electrical Apprenticeship and Training program requires five years of schooling, plus on-the-job training. To qualify for the apprenticeship program, you must be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma or GED, be physically capable of performing electrician duties, earn at least a C grade in algebra throughout high school and pass an aptitude test.
For aspiring electricians, job opportunities are currently abundant. Many highly-experienced electricians in the Baby Boomer generation are reaching retirement age, and with that has come a great need to fill in the gaps. In this industry, there is an enthusiasm and openness toward new professionals who are willing to commit themselves to the trade.
To take that first step toward an electrical apprenticeship, visit loujatc.org. There, you will find information about the application process, certifications, class options and contact information to learn more.
In addition, Kentucky Career Center - Lincoln Trail can offer you a range of services in your journey, such as career coaching. For more information, contact KCC-LT today.
Josh Quinn is the executive vice president of the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Louisville chapter.