Electricians in Georgia are licensed technicians who install, repair and upgrade electrical systems in homes, businesses, schools and other buildings. They work with electrical wiring, but also with lighting, communications and control systems for these buildings. An electrician's job often involves:
- Reading blueprints and technical diagrams
- Inspecting transformers, circuit breakers and other electrical components
- Using diagnostic tools to identify electrical disruptions
- Repairing wiring and electrical equipment by hand
- Understanding and adhering to local and national electrical codes
- Overseeing the work of apprentices and other electrical workers.
Electricians typically have high school diplomas, and many begin their career by learning circuitry, safety practices and basic electrical information in a technical school. After that, they must complete a four- or five-year apprenticeship program that includes technical training as well as on-the-job training. An apprenticeship allows them to become journey workers. Most states also require electricians to pass a test to become licensed.
Fast Facts for Electricians in Georgia
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta area of Georgia has the sixth-highest employment level for electricians in the country. There are more than 10,400 electricians working in that metropolitan area, and they earn a mean annual wage of $47,670, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are a little over 16,000 electricians in Georgia -- or about four electricians per every thousand workers. The highest concentration of electricians in Georgia is the northwest corner of Georgia outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the BLS reports that there are 5.1 electricians for every thousand workers. Meanwhile, the highest mean salary for electricians is reported to be in Hineville, where the 70 electricians earn a mean salary of $58,270.
Electrician Salary in Georgia
Electricians in Georgia earn a mean annual wage of $45,420, with a median hourly wage of just under $21. The mean annual wage nationally for electricians is $54,520, which is about 20 percent higher than the mean annual wage in Georgia.
Georgia is expected to see a 21.5 percent increase in jobs for electricians in through 2022, with about 3,810 jobs being added -- about 720 jobs per year. Nationally, jobs for electricians are expected to grow 20 percent through 2022, about twice as fast as for all occupations.
Nationally, the following industries paid the highest salaries for electricians in 2014:
- Amusement and Recreation Industries: $85,190
- Natural Gas Distribution: $85,100
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: $81,720
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing: $78,290
- Lessors of Real Estate: $76,550
Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity
The following is a breakdown of the metropolitan areas of Georgia, listing the concentration of electricians per 1,000 jobs in that area, the total number of electricians in that area and the mean salary for electricians in the metro region as of May 2014, according to the BLS.
- Albany: 4.6 electricians per 1,000 jobs, 270, $36,670
- Athens: 3.3, 260, $44,040
- Atlanta: 4.3, 10,440, $47,670
- Augusta: 3.6, 730 $37,590
- Brunswick: 2.9, 110, $37,180
- Chattanooga, 5.1, 1,180, $47,020
- Columbus: 4.3, 490, $41,240
- Dalton: 4.4, 280, $42,800
- Gainesville: 4.8, 370, $35,180
- Hineville: 4.2, 70, $58,270
- Macon, 3.1, 300, $41,450
- Rome: 2.8, 100, 47390
- Savannah: 4.3, 670, $46,230
- Valdosta, 4.4, 220, $41,350
- Warner Robbins: 1.8, 100, $46,960
To learn more about training and working as an electrician in Georgia, we spoke with Ed Munichiello, the chief of strategy and media development for CMA Marketing, a company that represents the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 613 in Atlanta.
What are some of the benefits of becoming an electrician in Georgia?
The primary benefit is that you learn a craft and have an opportunity to be rooted into a career and a trade that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. You can earn a very good living, and when you are a member of a union, the union puts money away for you for when you get older and it gives you a healthcare program for when you get older. It's giving you a career and a backstop for when you no longer want to work.
What are some of the issues facing electricians in the state or Georgia?
When we interview candidates for membership in the union and our training program, we don't just look at their academic record or how they answer algebra questions. We're looking for problem solvers. We'll get 500 applications for 60 positions, so we're looking for people who know how to be responsible and how to solve problems. We can teach them how to bend pipe and all the theories they need; what we can't teach them is how to think on their feet and make adjustments to solve problems. if they have that natural ability, we can teach them the rest.
How do you expect the industry to change in the next 20 years?
The challenge for us is finding young people to replace the older workers who are retiring. Right now we're losing 15 percent of our electricians a year to retirement and we're not getting enough young people to backfill those positions. If the industry doesn't make a strong move to attract the interest of more millenials, we'll have to import workers to do these jobs. We need to find a way to fuel more interest in these jobs.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Nov. 13, 2015. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
- Projections Central, Long-term Occupational Projections, Nov. 14, 2015,https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Nov. 13, 2015. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472111.htm
- Interview with Ed Munichiello, chief of strategy and media development for CMA Marketing