How's the job market these days and in the forseeable future?
I'm 24, married, and just now getting my life on track. I spent the first 3 or 4 years out of high school dicking around, in and out of college part time, and basically not making anything of myself. I have finally woken up to the realities of adulthood, and the responsiblities of marriage, and know I need to get off my a** and go do something with myself. Which brings me to my question. I'm thinking about a career as an electrician. It seems interesting and challenging, and like something I would enjoy, but I also want to be sure there will actually be a job for me out there when I'm done. I'm interested in whatever trends those in the field are noticing right now. Any particular area of expertise or market I should consider? Also, I live in Oregon, and will do my schooling/training here, so any PNW specific info is especially welcome.
Check the want ads, Craig's list, speak to local contractors, contact the IBEW Local and ask about apprenticeships, read everything you can about electric and (at least) basic electronics, learn about Fire Alarms and communications systems.
A couple of years ago, the electric trade was listed as sure to be in top demand for the forseeable future. Obviously, all constuction has taken a hit. However, this too shall pass.
I've been in the trade since '78 as a Union apprentice, Licenced Journeyman since '81, in the private sector for 12 years and a .gov sparky since 1990.
I never "had" to travel and have only been unwillingly out of work for around a total of 9 months in 31 years.
OTOH, I am not the most technical electrician ... I like playing in the dirt too much. Can I run equipment? Yes. Can I rig something for moving/lifting ? No problemo. But, PLCs are a mystery and I suck at electronics. I can do a lot but not everything.
If you work for a large company, you should probably be willing to do whatever they ask you to, and try to become the best at one or two specialties.
In a small shop, you need to make the owner money by being able to do practically anything. Welcome to duh ... experience helps.
If you are able to travel or re-locate, you may find it easier to get work.
Someone may disagree but, I would shy away from any "school" that isn't affiliated with actual employment at the same time.
Good luck &