Column: Skilled worker shortage could derail ‘Electrify Everything’
- Mar 24, 2023 5:38 pm GMT
In the race to "Electrify Everything" there are glitches which may derail the plan over the next 20 years. One is a shortage of skilled electrical workers needed to rewire homes, make grid modifications, and install new electrical capacity.
"The problem is most houses aren't wired to handle the load from electric heating, cooking, and clothes dryers, along with solar panels and vehicle chargers,"
Rewiring America, a nonprofit that conducts research and advocacy on electrification, estimates that some 60 to 70 percent of single-family homes will need to upgrade to bigger or more modern electrical panels to accommodate a fully electrified house.
The agency estimates that annual demand for electricians will grow by 7 percent over the same span and that between retirements and new demand, there will be nearly 80,000 job openings, Pontecorvo reported. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated retirement timelines for Baby Boomers in both 2020 and 2021.
BorderStates.com found one potential reason for a trained worker shortage is that younger generations aren't as interested in skilled labor. Only 17 percent of high school and college students say they want to work in construction.
Wall Street Journal Writer
According to federal data and
Part of the solution is apprentice electricians are not saddled with stifling college loans.
Interestingly looking at a listing for an industrial electrician at SEH America in
Wages are only part of total compensation. When adding in overtime pay and employer paid benefits, electrical workers could easily earn an additional 40 percent in compensation annually.
Finally, a key to finding enough electricians is recruiting more student diversity. Nearly 90 percent of electricians are white, compared with 78 percent of the country's workforce, and less than 2 percent are women, according to the
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