Today, the electrical profession is experiencing a wealth of exciting tech innovations, new regulations, operational updates, and more. Staying informed about emerging trends empowers electrical workers and contractors to stay ahead, advancing their careers and success in the industry.

Keep your finger on the pulse of the modernization of the electrical sector in 2024 by learning more about these developing innovations. 

The Top 4 Trends Reshaping the Electrical Industry

What lies ahead in the electrical and power generation field? Advancements in sustainable energy, high-tech safety solutions, and sophisticated energy delivery systems are pushing the electrical industry forward. 

These four trends are expected to flourish in 2024 and establish themselves in the coming years.

1) Energy Awareness & Sustainability graphic titled the need for experts in green energy tech is increasing 

Renewable energy sources are on the minds of residential and business owners. According to recent data, one-fourth of energy will come from renewables by 2024. Plus, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in 2022, encourages clean energy developers to uphold robust labor standards, ensuring workers reap the rewards of the green economy they help construct. 

In the coming decade, electricians can expect promising job opportunities in fields such as Wind Turbine Technicians, projected to grow by 68%, and Solar Photovoltaic Installers, anticipated to see a 52% increase. Understanding the workings of solar and wind technologies will be crucial for contractors and workers in the electrical and construction fields.

2) Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) 

Along the same vein as renewable energy awareness, DERs are on the rise. These small-scale electrical generation technologies are geared towards offering consumers more choices about their energy output and consumption. DERs help alleviate some dependence on large power plants and high-voltage transmission lines. Electrical workers trained in DER technologies gain the skills to design, install, and maintain the systems, ultimately becoming essential contributors to modernized practices.

3) Smart Homes & Cities

Remaining current with smart technology is vital for the professional development, safety, and competitiveness of electrical workers and contractors. In fact, in 2023, smart home devices are anticipated to be adopted by 46.5% of all households.graphic titled over 46% of households use smart home devices

Apart from smart homes, numerous large and midsize American cities are adopting smart city initiatives, encompassing clean energy objectives and backup grid power systems. Future trends are likely to involve increased integration and connectivity between smart homes and their respective smart cities. A strong command of smart technology can unlock fresh job prospects, career avenues, and business opportunities within the ever-evolving electrical and construction sectors.

4) Innovative Safety Tech 

Professionals in the electrical and construction industries prioritize safety. Today, advancements are making it easier than ever to stay safe

  • Tech-driven personal protective equipment (PPE) is engineered to alert workers when they are nearing dangerous electric fields. 
  • Wearable devices can monitor and report crucial job-site information, including potential hazards.
  • Permanent electrical safety devices can read energy output from the outside of electric cabinets and validate safe, zero electrical energy.

Comprehension of these safety innovations can help prevent on-the-job injuries and go a long way to keeping workers safe.

Stay Ahead of the Curve With Union Membership

By staying up-to-date on consumer trends and emerging technologies, you can provide cutting-edge solutions for your clients and be a competitive contender in the market.

NECA members gain access to invaluable industry resources, including best practices, technical insights, and industry standards, to stay well-informed and retain their competitive advantage.

IBEW plays a crucial role in supporting electricians’ career advancement by offering education, training, job placement assistance, and advocacy, ensuring that they have the tools and opportunities needed to thrive in the electrical industry.

Union Membership Matters: Foster Your Professional Growth 

Adapting to industry changes fosters professional growth, credibility, and profits in an ever-advancing field. NECA-IBEW Local 48 knows that staying current is essential for success and is here to help you move forward as a contractor or tradesperson by staying abreast of the latest cutting-edge industry innovations. 

The NECA/IBEW partnership is committed to building trust, nurturing a highly skilled workforce, and making impactful contributions to our communities. Get details about the positive impact membership can make in your professional life.

Electrical worker wearing a helmet and safety vest sits near a building while checking his smartphone.

The construction industry can be a high-pressure environment, which comes with unique challenges when it comes to addressing and navigating mental health. If you are looking to help cultivate healthy work environments and break down the barriers concerning mental health in the construction sector, check out the resources and information below.

Understanding Mental Health Challenges in the Construction Trade  

Nearly one-fifth of construction tradespeople experience some form of mental health issue. According to the CDC, the construction industry holds one of the highest suicideThe construction industry loses more workers to suicide than workplace accidents. rankings when compared to other professions in the U.S. In addition, numerous veterans are drawn to careers in construction due to their mission-driven approach. Sadly, they also confront a heightened risk of suicide, with an estimated 22 cases daily, surpassing the risk in the general population.

These facts highlight the increasing need to prioritize mental well-being for our brothers and sisters working in this field. 

Multiple factors contribute to the mental health crisis within the construction industry. These can include:

  • Long hours that lead to fatigue, which can exacerbate depression and anxiety.
  • Physically demanding work in sometimes precarious situations. The combination of hard labor in risky settings can increase feelings of stress and trigger anxiety.
  • Unpredictable job security and on-site injuries. These issues contribute to concerns about finances, compounding feelings of hopelessness and worry.

While our industry is fast-paced and demanding, we always come together as a team to tackle every task and produce exceptional results. Just as we prioritize each other’s physical safety, we can also extend the same dedication and compassion to the mental well-being of our industry workers.

4 Strategies for Building a Supportive Environment

Mental well-being should be prioritized in all industries; the construction sector is no exception. As leaders, contractors, and tradespeople, we should learn best practices to createThe construction industry loses more workers to suicide than workplace accidents. a supportive environment. Not only will it keep our robust workforce healthy and happy, but it will also ease tensions felt by management, such as retaining a skilled labor pool.

1) Open Up Channels of Communication

It’s no secret that there is a stigma surrounding mental health, which means some people might not feel comfortable taking the initiative to come to employers or coworkers about their struggles. Creating a safe space where workers can address concerns can open the door to productive conversations.

2) Prioritize On-Site Down Time 

Reduce burnout and fatigue by scheduling adequate periods of rest. Rest periods allow workers to re-energize their bodies and minds, helping boost work productivity and improve safety. 

3) Be Aware of Changes in Behavior 

There are some behaviors that workers present while struggling with mental health. Keep an eye out for changing behaviors such as:

  • Episodes of on-site conflicts with co-workers 
  • Diminished productivity 
  • Noticeable issues with problem-solving skills
  • Increased instances of lateness and absenteeism
  • Distractions leading to near accidents and injuries

4) Utilize Free Resources for Construction Industry Workers

The Construction Suicide Prevention Project (CSPP) represents a diverse range of construction industry stakeholders, including companies, unions, safety experts, and healthcare partners. Their goal is to foster a workplace culture where discussions about mental health are as common as safety updates, benefiting both large and small construction businesses.

They provide an array of resources to assist with initiating, promoting, and sustaining a program for preventing suicide and substance abuse. Furthermore, they offer an abundance of resources and information to educate, inform, and support tradespeople in addressing their mental health and substance abuse concerns.

About the NECA/IBEW Local 48 Partnership 

The Oregon Columbia Chapter of NECA and IBEW Local 48 partnership propels the electrical industry with a focus on integrity, quality, safety, and expertise.

Visit our membership page to learn about how to become a member, benefits, and more.


View or download our guide to mental health resources for construction and electrical industry workers.