Seeing the light

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Jobs are available for trained electricians

With fast-paced growth and expansion taking place throughout the community and the Texas Gulf Coast, the need for electricians is high. Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures, as well as ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. Electricians work at construction sites, in homes, businesses, factories, schools and government buildings. Wherever electricity can be found, electricians will be needed.

“According to the Department of Labor, the employment of electricians is projected to grow as much as 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations,” said Allen Matejek, Brazosport College Instructor of Industrial and Commercial Electricity. “As homes and businesses require more wiring, electricians will be needed to install the necessary components. Electricians with the widest variety of skills should have the best job opportunities.”

Brazosport College offers the choice of short-term certificates or a two-year degree. Students choose the option that works the best for them. Either way, it’s an excellent way to start a new career.

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“Most employers want employees to get a certificate to raise their skill level,” Matejek said. “With an associate degree, you usually have a higher pay scale, more credibility and opportunities for advancement.”

Brazosport College’s classes offer specialized training and individual attention. Even better, students gain hands-on experience in the classroom and co-op courses working with local businesses. Added benefits are great job prospects and pay.

“Being able to receive hands-on training is a huge advantage when training for a real-world career,” Matejek said. “Employers in our region are eager to hire our graduates because of the solid, well-rounded education we provide.”

Career Facts

8_Electrical_2015_0013Industrial and Commercial Electricity
Electricians install wiring systems, rewire or upgrade existing electrical systems. Maintenance electricians repair and install new electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers, fuses, switches and electrical components.

Who is a good fit?

Electricians have an assortment of skills, including building and construction, knowledge of machines and tools, blueprints and power construction equipment.

Education
Many electricians have training in college and vocational schools, and some have degrees. Brazosport College offers the choice of short-term certificates or a two-year degree.

Median pay
$22.12 hourly; $46,000 annual.

Job outlook
Job opportunities for electricians are expected to grow by 4.7 percent over the next four years. Sixteen percent of electricians are over the age of 55 and will probably retire soon.

Source: Career Coach (Brazosport.edu/CareerCoach)

Student Success Story – Leslie Slaughter

Electrical student passionate about new career

When it comes to employment, Leslie Slaughter has done a little of everything. Whether it was working in convenience and grocery stores or having warehouse and packaging jobs, she’s always worked hard to pay bills and put food on the table.

Now, at the age of 41, Leslie is still working hard. The difference, however, is that today she has a career she loves — as an electrician.

Leslie Slaughter

Leslie Slaughter

“It’s intriguing to me,” she said of the electrical field. “There’s so much you can learn. It’s also a skill you can do at your job or at home. There are so many uses for it.”

An Angleton resident, Leslie began working in an electrical position a little more than a year ago and, after discovering she had a passion for it, decided to enroll at Brazosport College in order to improve her skills and enhance her opportunities even more.

She’s currently working toward an Associate Degree in Industrial and Commercial Electricity. Since she works full time during the day, she takes most of her classes at night.

“It was a little crazy when I started because it has been 21 years since I’ve been to school,” Leslie said of her initial fear of entering college. “On top of that, I didn’t like high school. But I enjoy school now. I’m interested in this field and Brazosport College has been helpful from the start. The instructors are great and it’s an awesome program.

“An associate degree will do a lot for me,” she added. “It will open even more doors.”

For Leslie, the decision to go back to college was an easy one. It not only is helping her improve her skills in a profession she enjoys, it’s also allowing her to work toward career advancement in the future.

“This is a really interesting field to be in,” Leslie said. “It’s also my chance to get into school and do something I really enjoy.”

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