The employment outlook for electricians is on the rise — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that an uptick in construction spending and continued calls for alternative energy will have caused electrician employment to increase 9 percent between 2016 and 2026.
As the number of electricians continues to climb across sectors, from transportation to manufacturing, so too will health care needs for workers in this industry. Benefits administrators can prepare for this trend by exploring health care strategies for electricians now.
Here are some questions to ask to ensure you're laying the groundwork for a healthy and engaged electrician membership.
What Risks Do Electricians Face?
In addition to the issues that union members commonly come up against, worksite hazards electricians may encounter include electrical shock, burns and falls. These injuries can range in severity, from tingling sensations to internal organ damage, heart attack and — in the worst cases — death.
Outside of the physical risks of the job, electricians face low demand for their work during certain times of the year. While demand for electricians is expected to grow overall in the next decade, on a smaller scale, members in the field have to adjust to fluctuations in requests for their skills. Some seasons are prone to bursts of activity as building construction and maintenance picks up. When construction slows down, however, many electricians encounter long periods of unemployment. The stress of this uncertainty can take a toll on members' physical and mental health.
What Health Care Benefits Do Electricians Value?
Financial instability may also mean that electricians prioritize value above other aspects of health insurance plans, especially when injuries like burns can require extensive long-term care. To help members manage costs, consider offering health savings accounts. Paired with lower-premium, high-deductible health plans, these tax-advantaged accounts help members save money for qualified medical expenses, helping them build financial resources for when they're needed.
At the same time, when selecting plan options, work to identify providers with a strong record of outcomes. This helps ensure that your members pay for the care they really need — nothing more, nothing less. And while picking and choosing only the necessary options may seem like one way to save, integrating benefits, from medical to prescription to vision and dental, can cut costs by streamlining care and engaging members in their overall wellness.
While those in the industry can rest easy knowing the employment outlook for electricians is looking up, members who work in sometimes unpredictable conditions will rest even easier knowing that their union leaders have their well-being in mind. Seeing that their union offers plans that take their situation into account will allow them to work with a sense of security and confidence — both in their health and in the union.
Tracey Lewis, journalist and author, focuses primarily on B2B health care, financial services and other internal corporate communications. Author of a best-selling, pop-culture book published by Random House Books, and a trained oral historian, Tracey also enjoys delving into music, arts and film content. Skilled in SEO optimization and digital storytelling, she knows how to collaborate with communications, policy, research, legal and designer teams to create and execute cohesive content strategies.