MEET THE PRO: Kateland Terry, Electrician

By Arkansas NEXT on Friday, September 25, 2020

Kateland Terry

Hometown: Richmond, Kentucky
Age: 24
Where I trained: Southeast Arkansas College
What I earned: Currently finishing an associate degree in Electrical Mechanical System Technology
Job title: Offal Attendant
Employer: Tyson Foods in Pine Bluff

Kateland Terry developed a passion for all things electrical after learning how to make air conditioning units. She started out wiring blower motors, became a brazier (someone who uses a hot torch to bond copper together) and finally became a run test operator.

Today, Kateland works as an Offal Attendant for Tyson Foods, a job that requires her to supervise the offal area by making sure augers and screens are functioning properly, and that the control panel light remains green. “The main thing I like about my job is the safety everyone contributes,” she says. “Any accident can happen at any time, and all team members are aware of their surroundings.”

She also says she enjoys the independence she’s given on the job. “Everything gets moved on my time, and [I have] hardly any supervision.”

Kateland is also completing her associate degree in electrical-mechanical system technology to help further her career. “I get a chance to have growth development within Tyson Foods,” she says. “There is room to move up and gain opportunity; that’s what I strive to do with my education and experience.”

What does an industrial electrician do?

Industrial electricians oversee the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems in factories, warehouses, production areas and other businesses. They test equipment, check switches, motors, regulators and other parts of an industrial electrical system.


Install new electrical systems.

Troubleshoot problems with electrical equipment.

Repair and maintain existing equipment.

Maintain repair and maintenance logs and records.

Education Needed

Postsecondary certificate, apprenticeship or associate degree.

Related Occupations

Journeyman Electrician, Qualified Craft Worker, Electrician (QCW, Electrician), Chief Electrician, Maintenance Electrician, Inside Wireman, Journeyman Wireman, Control Electrician

Job Outlook

expected job growth in Arkansas from 2016 to 2026*

projected annual job openings in Arkansas

 High-end earners in Arkansas (top 10%) make
$63,150 Annually
 Median wages in Arkansas
$43,550 Annually
$20.94 Hourly

Upward Mobility

First year apprentices start out at 50% of electrician wages. By their fourth year, they earn 90% of wages, but they must pass the licensing exam to earn 100% of electrician wages.

This option is for you if:

You notice when problems happen.
You have good near vision and can see details well up-close.
You have good inductive and deductive reasoning skills.
You’re a good listener.
You like following step-by-step directions.
You notice the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.


Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas State University - Newport
Arkansas State University Three Rivers
Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus
National Park College
University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology - Crossett
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation


Central Moloney Inc.
McKee Foods Corporation
Nabholz Construction
Simmons Foods Inc. & Affiliates
Thompson Electric
Tyson Foods

"In the electricity field, there is always a method from start to finish, so following directions is a major skill that you should use plus doing it the right way will help you stay safe." –Kateland

*Jobs in this occupation are expected to grow much faster than average, according to

See more of your options in CONSTRUCTION.