Electrician Career Profile - Tulsa
Electrician jobs in Tulsa, OK, and the nation as a whole offer great career prospects to qualified candidates. It takes some work to get started in this career, but with better than average job growth projected and respectable pay that work may more than pay off over the long term in both salary and opportunities.
Job Outlook and Salary for Electricians
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects and reviews job data from all across the country. Using this information the BLS makes predictions on the state of different careers, both now and in coming years. According to the BLS, electricians can expect:
- Better than average job growth over the coming decade.
- Projected employment growth of 20% from 2012 through 2022.
- In 2013, electricians in the U.S. made a median annual salary of $50,500 and a median hourly rate of $24.28.
- In Tulsa, OK, electricians made an annual median salary of $47,300 and a median hourly rate of $22.72.
Although the pay rate for Tulsa electricians is slightly lower than the national average, it is worth remembering that the cost of living and average salary for the city is lower than many other cities in the country. According to City Data, the 2012 per capita income of Tulsa was $26,410. Electricians in the city made considerably more than this, demonstrating the respectably earning power of electricians in Tulsa.
Outline of Career Path
The need for quality electrical systems has never been greater. This demand keeps the industry growing and provides great job prospects for those with the right training. However, it is not a career that one can just step into. The work must be done right and be done safely, requiring significant education and on-the-job training.
The career path of an electrician typically involves these steps:
- Education – All electricians must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Beyond this, many people are choosing to go through electrician training programs at trade schools, vocational schools or colleges. While not specifically required, these programs offer a solid foundation.
- Electrician's assistant – This is the first job that many people take on the path to becoming an electrician. Assistants provide whatever help is necessary to the electrician and begin to learn the basics of the job in the process.
- Electrician apprenticeship – This is where the job goes into full swing. An electrician apprenticeship can take from 4 to 5 years to complete. During this time the apprentice will work under the direct supervision of a journeyman electrician and will learn a range of skills.
- Journeyman electrician – Once the apprenticeship is over, one can take an exam to become a journeyman electrician. Upon passing, he or she can work mostly unsupervised. He or she can also begin training an apprentice.
- Master electrician – It can take between 7 to 10 years of regular work as an electrician to become a master electrician. Once the exam is completed successfully, the master electrician can then apply for his or her own building permits. He or she can also supervise both journeymen and apprentices.
Education and Training for Electricians
There are still people who go directly from high school into the electrician field. However, there are also many who are now choosing to get an education first. This has several advantages, including making one better equipped to work as an assistant or apprentice, as well as improving one's competitiveness in the job market. Considering all there is to learn as an electrician, it only makes sense to get the best foundation one can.
Once one becomes an apprentice, he or she must meet several requirements over the apprenticeship period. According to the BLS, these include:
- Obtaining 144 hours of technical training
- Obtaining 2,000 hours of on-the-job training
- Complete training in both a classroom setting and in the field
- Train in multiple skills, including: first-aid, safety, electrical theory, electrical code requirements, blueprint reading and more.
Resources for Electricians
- BLS page for electricians
- BLS page for Tulsa, OK, occupational information – including electricians
- Electrical Association – largest electrical association for electrical contractors