Skilled to Work: Becoming an electrician

Being an electrician isn't just for men anymore. KEZI spoke with two women who are trying to expose more young women to the industry.

Posted: Apr. 16, 2018 5:35 PM
Updated: Apr. 19, 2018 1:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - Two women from Lane County are adding some spark to what’s typically seen as a man’s industry.

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They want young women to know the benefits of working as an electrician.

Employers throughout Western Oregon are losing qualified employees to retirement and struggling to find skilled replacements.

KEZI 9 News is partnering with industry leaders in the "Skilled to Work" campaign.

Michelle Ericson and Kim McBride own Balanced Electric in Junction City.

They have more than 23 years experience in the electrical industry.

The said since the recession, there's been a shortage of workers in their field.

They said they believe not everyone is geared toward college, and being an electrician is a great trade if you like using your brain and working with your hands.

"If you have a skill, it can't be taken away," said Kim. "The economy can go up and down but once you have that skill, that trade, and that card, it just can't be taken away from you."

To be an electrician, you go to school, while you work.

They said you typically start off making about $3.00 an hour more than minimum wage and you get a raise every six months until you become a journeyman electrician.

In Oregon, all training is done through the state.

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