SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- When it comes to electrician work, there's more than a month of backlog in Eugene and Springfield alone, local industry professionals say.
They say this is all due to an imbalance in supply and demand for electricians.
To help satisfy the need for workers, Reynolds Electric in Springfield hosts internship and apprenticeship programs for those who are interested in entering the field.
You can start as early as high school.
The program lets students get a taste of what it would be like to enter the field before they commit to any workforce.
Talon Search is now an apprentice at Reynolds, and he said that he went through Elevate Lane County -- a service which sets high school students up with internships in fields they are interested in.
"During high school you can't really do much," said Search. "There's not a lot of vocational classes. There's a couple, but nothing really directly related to becoming an electrician."
As an apprentice, he said he makes about $16 an hour, but he also said with every stage you move up in the field, the more you make. Average wages can range from $30 to $40 an hour as you gain training and education in the field.
Lane Community College offers an electrician apprenticeship program that allows people to take the necessary classes they need to become an electrician while getting on-the-job experience and earning wages.
They also offer other apprenticeship programs for skilled jobs.
Search said vocational training isn't talked about as much as he thinks it could be in high school and that it is a great option for high school-aged students to consider.
"(High schools) push college a lot of the time, so it's not really heard of and it's kind of hard to get in to a good company that is going to take care of you and really push you along," said Search. "But if you want to do something worthwhile with your time it's definitely a good trade to get into."
KEZI 9 News partners with employers in our area to address the lack of workers for skilled jobs. To learn more about our “Skilled to Work” initiative, click here.