Econ Quiz: Post-Graduation Career Paths

(Image Source: American Public Power Association / Unsplash)

June 2024

The expansion of the state’s broadband fiber optic network, the continued growth in the number of wind farms, and the ongoing need to maintain our electrical grid means that there are good career paths for graduates who are interested in occupations related to our electrical and information infrastructure.

The expansion of broadband fiber across the state means that internet service providers are actively seeking to train and hire technicians to install, troubleshoot, repair, and maintain fiber optic cable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists $59,180 as the average telecommunications line installer wage in Wisconsin, with the top 10% of wage earners in this occupation earning at least $79,750 annually.

Electrical line installers and repairers, who are typically employed by utilities, earn an average of $98,640 in Wisconsin, with the top 10% of wage earners in this category earning at least $114,900 annually. Linemen typically begin their career training as apprentices, working their way up to journeyman status. According to the BLS, the lowest 10% of wage earners in this occupation earn about $34.41 per hour, or roughly $71,580 annually.

Wind farms are popping up across the state. The average wind turbine service technician earns $70,230 annually in Wisconsin, with the top 10% of earners bringing in at least $83,560 annually.

That bring us to today’s question. Roughly 3,150 Wisconsin residents are employed in these occupations. Rank each from lowest to highest in terms of people employed in each occupation.

A. Fiber optic installers and repairers

B. Utility linemen

C. Wind turbine service technicians


Answer: C, A, B. There are roughly 30 wind turbine service technicians working in Wisconsin, 970 telecommunication line installers, and 2,150 utility linemen.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2023).

Occupation Employment Statistics: May 2023 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States.

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