Infographic courtesy of Klein Tools
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Survey: Electricians Seeing More Smart Homes and Prefer High-Tech Installations

June 17, 2016
Klein Tools's second State of the Industry survey shows an increasing embrace of new technology.
Infographic courtesy of Klein Tools

Professional tool manufacturer Klein Tools, Lincolnshire, Ill., released more results from its latest ‘State of the Industry’ survey. It found higher percentages of electricians who prefer to work on high-tech installations, and that home technology remains the most widely viewed residential trend by electricians.

Over the course of two years, the survey asked more than 400 union and non-union electricians about their project preferences on job sites. The survey found preferences towards working on industrial projects, office buildings and commercial properties have stayed relatively the same since its first survey last year. There was a noticeable increase, however, in the number of union electricians and electricians with 10 to 19 years’ experience who said they prefer to work on high-tech installations.

The survey found that 42% of union electricians said they prefer working on high-tech installations, up from 31% in 2015. Among electricians with 10 to 19 years of industry experience, 51% said they prefer working on high-tech installations, a significant increase from 24% in 2015. By comparison, 29% of electricians with less than 10 years of experience said they prefer working on high-tech installations, and only 24% 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 jobsite and advance the entire industry as technology continues changing the way we operate.”

Klein’s State of the Industry survey also found electricians are seeing more smart or “connected” homes in residential areas. Technology in homes is the most popular trend viewed among electricians—over open living spaces, home additions and multi-family homes. However, multi-family homes have significantly increased since 2015. 

“This tech-focused residential data aligns with what we’re seeing in the industry,” said Klein. “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 secure a nationally significant representation. Forty percent of respondents were union members and 60% were not.