New home construction in Kansas rebounded steadily in 2015 and should increase by more than 8% in 2016 according to a detailed forecast by Wichita State University’s Center for Real Estate. In fact, building construction made the Kansas Department of Labor’s top 10 list of industries expected to have the greatest amount of growth during the 10-year period ending in 2020.
While this is excellent news for the construction industry and will result in increased hiring levels, contractors in Kansas have trouble finding skilled workers according to a 2015 national survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. The contractors surveyed in Kansas expected the difficulty of finding skilled workers such as electricians to continue in 2016 or even worsen despite increasing pay and benefits for their employees.
In addition to the increase in new home construction in Kansas, contractors reported great demand for other types of construction that offer opportunities for electricians:
- Higher education and hospitals
- Private office buildings
- Public office buildings
- Retail and warehousing
The Kansas Department of Transportation approved a number of bids for construction in June 2016. The $12.2 million bridge in Barton far exceeded the cost of the other bids. Additional multi-million dollar projects included:
- K-177 statewide
- US 83 in Thomas
- US 56 in Barton
- Prairie Street and Forest Avenue in Crawford
In addition, construction of the shipping center in Great Bend officially started in mid 2016.
Salaries for Residential Electricians in the Major Cities and Rural Areas of Kansas
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the range of salaries earned by electricians throughout Kansas. Highly skilled master electricians can expect to earn salaries at the highest end of these ranges (2015):
Salaries for Specialty Electricians in the Major Cities of Kansas
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salaries for a number of different types of specialized electricians that work in the largest cities of Kansas (2015). Those with the most education and experience tend to earn salaries at the upper end of the ranges shown here:
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers:
- Lawrence: $71,590 – $80,640
- Manhattan: $72,910 – $93,520
- Topeka: $63,730 – $96,070
- Wichita: $70,940 – $86,590
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers:
- Topeka: $46,780 – $65,220
- Wichita: $40,220 – $67,380
Electrical and Electronics Repairers Specializing in Commercial and Industrial Equipment:
- Wichita: $43,400 – $65,140
The statewide average for electricians in these specialized roles is shown in the table below:
Salaries for Electrician Apprentices in Wichita and Rural Northeastern Kansas
The Kansas Department of Labor expects the number of jobs for electrician helpers to increase by more than 16% during the ten-year period ending in 2020.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary data for the occupational classification for “Electrician’s Helpers” in Wichita and the rural portion of Northeastern Kansas. This information is shown here to represent the wages earned during an electrical apprenticeship; 2015: