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One-Third of Workforce Could be Replaced – But What About Electricians?

Sep 06, 2018

The title is not meant to scare people, but it does emphasize that a lot of jobs we see employing humans today will be completely taken over by robots and artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. Some work in the electrical contractors’ world will be automated, more will be augmented, but the need for electricians, programmers and staff to maintain electronic systems will continue to grow. We should all be questioning how well we are preparing our workforce to adjust and re-train for future work.

The McKinsey Global Institute recently studied 800 occupations in 46 countries and concluded that in the next 12 years a fifth of the global workforce (approx. 800 million people) will lose their jobs to automation. The Brookings Institute reports that by 2050, a third of U.S. men between the ages of 25 and 54 will see their jobs taken over by robots and AI. And, according to researchers at Oxford University, a massive 47 percent of U.S. workers will have a “high probability” of seeing their jobs automated over the next 20 years. The implication for the electrical contracting industry is that we must continue to innovate and embrace technology as we look to remain relevant in the years to come. 

Here are the top 11 jobs set to be replaced by automation:

11jobs replaced by automation

BONUS: See which jobs the US Census reports might not exist in 50 years »

Preparing for these changes means we must rethink jobs and education. School and training curriculum must be continually upgraded to equip the 21st century workforce to become more nimble and able to transition to new careers. According to the founder and CEO of Broadstone, Tom Pickersgill, certain careers related to technology programming and maintenance (which is often work performed by electrical contractors and will continue to expand), the creative arts, therapists, social workers, educators, healthcare workers and caretakers, will grow and remain safe from the threat of being overtaken by robots and AI. 

Additional reading from Fast Company and Geek magazines on jobs and automation over the next 20 years:


NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future.  Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.