Electrician work helps keep the lights on

The owners of Balanced Electric in Junction City are working to shine a light on the electric industry.

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 12:13 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 4:06 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – The owners of Balanced Electric in Junction City are working to shine a light on the electric industry.

Michelle Ericson and Kim McBride mostly do residential wiring and install backup generators for homeowners. Both have more than 25 years of experience in the industry. 

Ericson and McBride said more people should consider an apprenticeship, which paves the way to becoming a journeyman electrician.

McBride said the industry appealed to her because each day can be a little different.

"I couldn't do office work where I sit at a desk all day,” McBride said. “So this is a really good fit for me. Just the variety and the activity level and still using your mind too.”

For Ericson, one of the best parts of the job is helping people turn their vision into reality.

“I love designing things for people. I love listening to people and figuring out what their vision is and helping them get to that vision,” Ericson said.

Being an electrician not only keeps the lights on, but it also keeps the bills paid. After you finish school, Ericson said the average wage for a journeyman right now is about $38 per hour. The average starting wage of an apprentice is about 50 percent of a journey worker's rate of pay. Apprentices usually earn a 5% raise every six months if training and school performance is satisfactory. 

"I think this is a great career for a lot of people," McBride said.

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.

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