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.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Corvallis
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Roseburg
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 31°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events