Are you considering an alternative career for an electrician? You may have attended a local trade school to become an electrician, passed your licensing exams, and obtained a job working in your field. Perhaps you enjoyed your job for decades, or maybe you knew after a year or two that working as an electrician wasn’t the right career choice for you.
What now? This roadblock doesn’t have to mean forfeiting years of hard work and training. There are several ways you can use your skills and work ethic to gain alternative employment. Learn to identify the signs of burnout, understand which similar careers you can consider with your training, and make a plan for the path forward.
The Signs of Career Burnout
According to the Mayo Clinic, career burnout (which isn’t a true medical or psychiatric diagnosis, but a lifestyle issue) can contribute to depression, or it may be worsened by mental health issues. You might notice that you exhibit the following signs of burnout on the job:
- You dread going to work every day.
- You’re impatient with people you work with or customers you complete jobs for.
- You’re experiencing physical symptoms of stress such as stomach problems, headaches, or extreme fatigue.
Perhaps you’re working too much or your job offers a poor work-life balance — or maybe being an electrician isn’t the right job for you at all. If you don’t want to be an electrician anymore, you don’t have to feel stuck forever. It’s time to start thinking about an alternative career for an electrician.
What’s a Good Career Change for an Electrician?
What can you do with an electrical background? First, think about the skills you’ve acquired through trade school, an apprenticeship, or years on the job. You likely have the following technical skills as well as “soft” skills that can help you in any job:
- Problem-solving: Being an electrician has given you superior logistical skills including the ability to troubleshoot, solve problems, and address issues head-on without needing excessive input from others.
- Communication: You are likely adept at working alone as well as communicating important details, facts, and times to others. You understand how to convey a problem and a solution to clients, coworkers, and superiors.
- Organization: Working as an electrician has given you the ability to understand what to do first, next, and so on. You know how to prioritize your tasks, think creatively, and prioritize and your time to get things done quickly.
- Managerial: You may have had the opportunity to manage a team of electricians, delegate jobs, and provide feedback. You will likely have luck finding an alternative career for an electrician in project management if you excel here.
- Technical: You’re able to understand many types of technology and apply your knowledge to real-world situations.
What Other Jobs Can Electricians Do? 4 Realistic Options
You may wish to find the easiest electrician jobs to give yourself more time with your family, or maybe you want to search for a desk job that gives you more time sitting down and less time on your feet or in dangerous work conditions. Consider the following list of options and identify a type of job that you feel is more suitable for your needs and lifestyle.
1. Work in an Electrical-Adjacent Industry or the Military
You might enjoy your electrical work, but you hate your nine-to-five job. You may wish to go back to school to become trained in a different trade, or you might work in a different electrical-related field such as the automotive industry or aviation.
If you’ve been considering joining the military, now’s an excellent time to talk to a recruiter about using your skills as an entry-level recruit and transitioning to a role as a higher-level officer over time. If you’ve already completed a four-year degree or attended Officer Candidate School and are able to enter the military as an officer, you may be able to transition out of electrical work entirely and enter the military in a role where you manage electrician recruits.
2. Get a Desk Job and Manage a Team
Desk jobs for electricians likely won’t involve any electrical work. Instead, you’ll use your organizational and managerial skillsets here to oversee a team of lower-career-level electricians while working as a field supervisor or a coordinator for an exhibition that involves electrical components.
3. Find Work as an Instructor
Electricians who have worked in their field for a long time may enjoy the idea of being an electrician even if they don’t want to do the physical work anymore. Teaching at a community college, trade school, or military academy may be perfect for those who wish to work in a similar career without having to manage a team, call clients, or perform manual labor.
Though you’re not working in construction or lifting heavy objects, being an electrician can take a toll on your body. Those who deal with unexpected chronic physical health issues midway through their careers may enjoy this type of alternative career for electricians.
4. Become a General Contractor
Due to the skills you’ve learned as an electrician, you are likely adept at identifying errors and communicating logistical problems to a team. Perhaps you’ve had experience managing others as well. Consider a career in contracting or project management: You will use your electrical skillset to oversee the development of construction projects, home renovations and remodels, or one-time jobs for clients who need an experienced eye and a trustworthy team.
You may need to obtain state licenses and complete additional training before you work as a general contractor. If this sounds like an attractive option, check your state’s licensing regulations to begin moving toward owning a small business as a general contractor.
Find Alternative Careers for Electricians
If you don’t want to be an electrician anymore, there’s no shame in switching careers. Fortunately, as a trained electrician, you have several skills that will help you find a different job. Learn more about your options from our carefully curated information about the skilled trades, job opportunities, and career paths that may be more suitable for someone in your position.
Recommended: Directory of Electrical Contractor License Requirements by State