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Klein Tools Survey: Electricians Seeing More Smart Homes

Klein Tools has published its second-annual "State of the Industry" survey of over 400 union and non-union electricians.

Klein Tools’ second-annual “State of the Industry” survey of over 400 union and non-union electricians found higher percentages of electricians prefer to work on high-tech installations, and that home technology remains the most widely viewed residential trend by electricians.

The survey noted preferences toward working on industrial projects, office buildings, and commercial properties have stayed relatively the same since last year. There was a noticeable increase, however, in the number of union electricians, and electricians with 10 to 19 years’ experience, which the survey suggests indicates that they prefer to work on high-tech installations.

This year, 42 percent of union electricians said they prefer working on high-tech installations, up from 31 percent in 2015. 

The survey also found 51 percent of electricians with 10 to 19 years of industry experience said they prefer working on high-tech installations, a significant increase from 24 percent in 2015.

In comparison, 29 percent of electricians with less than 10 years’ experience said they prefer working on high-tech installations, and only 24 percent of electricians with more than 20 years’ experience said they prefer working on high-tech installations.

“We’re seeing increased interest from younger electricians and apprentices in high-tech systems. They see opportunities to work on the latest technology as a way to gain experience in an area of future growth and like the challenge associated with learning a complicated skill,” said Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “It’s great to also learn many experienced electricians are taking a fondness to more advanced systems and want to keep up-to-date on their craft. This allows electricians with varying levels of expertise to learn from each other on the job-site and advance the entire industry as technology continues changing the way we operate.”

The survey also found that electricians are seeing more smart or connected homes in residential areas. Technology in homes was the most popular trend reported among electricians—over open living spaces, home additions, and multi-family homes. However, multi-family homes have significantly increased since 2015.

Nearly one-half of electricians, 48 percent, reported seeing more smart or connected homes in the residential area—just slightly down from 56 percent in 2015. 

One-third of electricians, or 31 percent, reported seeing more multi-family homes in the residential area, up significantly from 25 percent in 2015. 

“This tech-focused residential data aligns with what we’re seeing in the industry,” Klein said. “Contractors are calling for more technicians who are skilled in newer, more digital-tech focused systems, and technicians are doing their best to keep up with this developing trend. Klein Tools is working with its partners to ensure younger electricians are trained in the old and news models so they are prepared for all types of scenarios on the job site.”

The Klein Tools ‘State of the Industry’ survey was conducted by Russell Research, an independent survey research firm, which conducted 201 online interviews from January 20-26, 2015, and 200 online interviews from January 27-February 5, 2016, to gather a representative sample size. Forty percent of respondents were union members. The results of the survey were also published in an infographic.