MEET THE PRO: Zach Gilbow, Electrician

By Arkansas Next on Friday, October 13, 2023


Zach Gilbow knew he didn’t want to go to school for another four years after graduating high school. He was inspired by many of his family members to pursue a career in the steel industry. He attended Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) where he earned an associate degree in steel technology and a certificate in industrial electrical systems.

“I was able to go to school and work and make money this way,” Zach said. “At the end of it, I graduated without being a single cent in student debt.”

At ANC, Zach had the opportunity to do an internship with Nucor Steel. After completing the programs, Zach was offered a full-time position at Nucor Steel. The company even paid for any schooling that scholarships didn’t cover!

“They are a great company that pays their employees well and takes care of their teammates and the teammates’ family through really good benefits,” Zach said. “The culture is great in regards to teamwork and safety.”

Zach answers to electrical maintenance calls for problems with machines or operations. He codes, reads electrical schematics and troubleshoots circuits. One of his biggest responsibilities is working safely and watching out for his team members. 

“I like the team that I work with. There’s not really a day that I come into work where I dread being there,” Zach said. “We all work toward the same goals, we all work safely and we all make really good money.”

Zach was able to go straight into the workforce making six figures a year, buy a house and a new truck—all without the burden of student debt. He encourages students to consider a skills career because of these potential benefits.

“Going to a technical school or a two-year school is definitely worth it. Learning a skilled trade is extremely beneficial,” Zach said. “Work hard, learn as much as you can and don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something.”


Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical equipment.

Education Needed: 

High school diploma or equivalent and apprenticeship

Job Outlook

 7,070 - Estimated number of electricians expected to be employed in Arkansas by 2030

 9% projected job growth)

High-end earners (top 10%) make
$62,900 Annual
$30.24 Hourly

Median wages in Arkansas
$46,600 Annual
$22.40 Hourly


  • The Academy at Goodwill
  • Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
  • Arkansas Northeastern College
  • Arkansas State University Three Rivers
  • Arkansas State University-Beebe
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • Arkansas State University-Newport
  • Business and Industry Training
  • National Park College
  • Northwest Technical Institute (NWTI)
  • Nucor Steel
  • Phillips Community College, University of Arkansas
  • Tyson Foods Inc.
  • University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
  • University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology-Crossett
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
  • University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana


  • Green Bay Packaging
  • McKee Foods
  • Nucor Steel
  • Riceland Foods
  • Tyson Foods Inc.
  • Union Pacific Railroad