No secret here: The electrical industry helps power productivity, fuel creativity, and improve our daily lives. But in a rapidly-changing world and business environment, the future of electrical work and electricians won’t remain static either. As futurist keynote speakers and consultants, we’re often asked to think about which way that tomorrow is trending for different organizations and industries. So for fun, we wanted to project out a bit and think about the future of electricians and electrical work for a few minutes as well as the shape of the industry going forward.

Consider, for example, how renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are influencing the shape of the business. Governments and organizations around the world are investing heavily in these clean, sustainable energy solutions to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change. Electricians will play a crucial role in the installation, maintenance, and integration of these renewable energy systems, requiring them to develop new skills and expertise in this field. Likewise, the development of smart grids, which utilize advanced metering and communication technologies, is revolutionizing the way electricity is generated, distributed, and consumed. As working pros and tradesmen, electricians will be responsible for installing and maintaining the complex systems that make up these grids, ensuring that energy is distributed efficiently and securely. This will require electricians to become proficient in information technology and data analytics, as they will need to monitor and optimize the performance of these interconnected networks.

Mind you, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is also growing exponentially, with more and more consumers recognizing the environmental and economic benefits of driving electric. As a result, there is a growing demand for skilled electricians who can install, maintain, and repair the charging infrastructure required to support this new generation of vehicles. Experts here will also need to adapt to the specific safety requirements and standards associated with working on high-voltage EV systems.

And that’s all before you contemplate how the widespread adoption of smart home and building automation technologies has created new opportunities for electricians to specialize in the installation and maintenance of these systems. From automated lighting and climate control to security systems and energy management, industry leaders are going to have to familiarize themselves with a range of cutting-edge technologies and integrate them into residential and commercial environments going forward.

Otherwise, the future of electrical work will be heavily influenced by a rising push towards safety and energy efficiency. This means that electricians are also going to have to stay up to date on the latest regulations, codes, and best practices to ensure that electrical systems are designed, installed, and maintained to the highest safety and efficiency standards. This will demand more ongoing training and professional development.

That said, while automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are set to disrupt many industries, the electrical profession is less likely to be replaced by machines due to the hands-on, specialized nature of the work. However, electricians will need to adapt to the ways that automation and AI can enhance their work, such as using advanced diagnostic tools to troubleshoot issues more effectively and leveraging AI-driven design software to create more efficient electrical systems.