Contractors Are Having Trouble Hiring Electricians—How I-TAP Can Help
December 21, 2020
Every year, the Association of General Contractors of America (AGC) releases the results of a workforce survey that highlights the types of skilled tradespersons employers are having trouble finding and hiring. While the information from this survey is mostly of interest to industry experts, it can also help those considering a career in the trades make more informed choices as to what trades to pursue.
56% of contractors reported it difficult to find and hire electricians.
Jobs in the electrical field are projected to grow 8% over the next decade, yet contractors find it difficult to hire electricians and skilled workers in general. What gives?
Hiring skilled labor is difficult across the board. It’s not just electricians that employers are having trouble hiring. In fact, out of 20 skilled trades, electricians are the third easiest to hire—concrete workers, pipelayers, carpenters, and plumbers (just to name a few!) are considered more difficult to hire according to top contractors in the United States.
There may be a few reasons for this. For one, there is a shortage of skilled trade workers, meaning the pool of applicants that employers can choose from is limited. As it stands, approximately 2.4 million skilled trade positions may remain unfilled over the next decade. Job openings—unfilled positions—have grown at record rates since 2017, with there now being more job openings than at any other point in the last 20 years.
Also at issue is the quality of available tradespeople, at least according to those who hire for such jobs. 45% of respondents rated tradesperson skill as Poor. Only 15% rated tradesperson skill as either Good or Excellent.
So, there are two apparent problems contractors face when hiring skilled labor:
- Lack of applicants
- Lack of quality applicants from an already small pool
Keep in mind that this is a more general overview of the trade industry as a whole—it does not apply to electricians specifically, but it gives us a good idea of the types of struggles both applicants and employers face.
Employers are turning to vocational training schools like I-TAP to recruit skilled workers.
Contractors are increasingly having to rely on staffing firms or even build out their own online career centers in an effort to find qualified applicants. There are staffing firms that cater solely to electricians, including Egret Consulting Firm, Premier Electrical Staffing, Electrical Career Specialists, and U.S. Electrical Staffing.
However, these efforts make up just a fraction of their recruiting—the vast majority of contractors work with training schools like I-TAP to find and hire skilled workers. And it makes sense: if employers think “there just aren’t many applicants to choose from,” what better way to find trained electricians than working directly with the school that prepares them for the workforce?
Contractors have difficulty filling open positions. One of their most common complaints is that applicants just don’t have the skills they're looking for.
But here at I-TAP, we’re committed to teaching you everything you need to know to become an electrician that can work effectively on the job. That’s why we have and continue to build great relationships with employers: they trust that our trainee program instills the skills and ability required for you to make an immediate positive impact once hired.
Becoming an electrician trainee at I-TAP means you will learn from experienced teachers and get hands-on experience in our lab. Our goal is to prepare you to enter the workforce with all the skills you need to be successful!
And if you’re a contractor in the Sacramento area who’s struggling to find commercial electricians, we can help! Give us a call today, and we’ll help you recruit new talent that can help you complete projects on time and on budget, and ultimately grow your business.
Ready to learn a skilled trade and work on some of the most exciting commercial construction projects in California and beyond?
I-TAP is an electrical apprenticeship program that helps you find your passion, grow your skills, and place you in the perfect electrician job.