Meet an Empowered Maker: Xavier Owens
For anyone considering a trades career, electrician Xavier Owens has a few words of advice: “Go for it.” Having pursued both a college degree and trades training, he’s empowered by his choice to help make the world.
How did you become an electrician?
I originally began college to work in computer science and after a few years, I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I then took a job helping a family friend with maintenance work. On my first day, I assisted a restaurant in fixing their street sign. I felt accomplished when it was finished, and I realized how satisfying it was to help solve problems. I’ve been doing electrical work ever since.
Why are the trades so important?
Right now, there is a shortage of skilled trades people in the workforce. For example, every year about 10,000 electricians retire, but only about 7,000 join the workforce. As this continues to go on, the gap just gets bigger and there’s more work left. Trades keep businesses open, schools operating, offices powered and your house working. Without trades, who would build, repair, or maintain things that we need for everyday living? They’re essential to society.
What advice do you have for students thinking about going into go into the trades?
I wish I had started in the trades and found my passion earlier. If anyone is interested in a career in the trades, go for it, you’ll never know if it’s right for you unless you try. For any middle or high schoolers, if you want to go to a trade school, express to your parents why it’s of interest to you and why it will make you happy.
What excites you about the future of the trades?
I look forward to seeing how new technology and old school techniques will blend together. With all of the wisdom from the older generation combined with all of the modern advancements in tools and new materials, the future is looking bright for many different trades and those looking to be a part of them.
What does it mean to you that people out there want to thank you and recognize you for being a maker?
I'm just a simple man trying to make an honest living working in a trade I love. I am extremely honored to be recognized as a Maker!
What does Maker Month mean to you?
Maker Month means a lot to me. It honors those great men and women in the trades that might not get the recognition they very much deserve. Being in the trades allows me to take pride in seeing all the other Makers succeed, thrive, and inspire the next generation of Makers.
Find and follow Xavier on Instagram at @sparky_tools