An $80,000 Per Year Job of the Future: EV Charging Station Technician
At least one industry of the future will produce middle-class jobs that don’t require a college degree
Techno-optimists tell us not to fear the age of robots and automation — that new jobs will replace those that are wiped out. Such talk has tended to ring hollow. What sort of jobs do the techno-optimists have in mind? Some folks have drawn up lists of possible “jobs of the future,” but are they to be believed?
Last week, I came across a genuinely new occupation: electric vehicle charging station technician. It’s a $39 per hour job, or $80,000 per year full-time, and requires just a week of training to know the basics, with no college necessary, according to Kameale Terry, co-founder and CEO of ChargerHelp, an EV charging station servicing company in Los Angeles. Terry’s company trains and employs such specialists.
If EVs go mainstream this decade, as a number of experts predict, tens of thousands of charging station technicians could be required, hard evidence that at least one industry of the future is going to produce well-paying, middle-class jobs that do not require an engineering degree. This future of EV and battery industry employment has been foreshadowed for a decade: In 2012, the year Tesla came out with the blockbuster, industry-proving Model S, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produced an outlook of future EV jobs: chemists, material scientists, and various types of engineers led the list, of course, but the BLS also foresaw electrical equipment assemblers, power-line installers, automotive service technicians, and mechanics. Not to be caught flat-footed, Los Angeles County went all out around the same time with a 90-page report describing the structure of the future industry and workforce.
Neither report anticipated the charging station technician, which may be a reason the charging industry is in a bit of a maintenance crisis. When something goes wrong at one of the country’s approximately 25,000 charging stations, an electrician is often summoned. But Terry told me that’s been a problematic solution for a number of reasons: Electricians are so backed up that it can take a week to get one to a location; they charge $125 to $175 per hour with…