How much does an electrician make? The electrician salary depends on wide range of factors such as geographical location, competency, chosen field (for instance, there is a notable difference between salary level for residential and industrial electricians), amount of experience and employer generosity. If You are motivated enough to learn new skills and abilities, have good work ethic, You will definitely be able to move up the carrier ladder and thus experience Your salary increasing exponentially. None of individuals working in electrical field should be worried about job security – there will always be a necessity for electricians due to need of older electrical system repair and modernization, as well as new construction projects. With the green initiatives and increase of new alternate energy markets, the time is excellent for new electricians to enter the electrical field to take on these new duties.


Top Electrician Salary and Wages by State

avg electrician salary by area

avg hourly electrician salary by area

Source: United States Department of Labor – www.bls.gov

Join an Electrician Union or Not?

The table above reveals to You the electrician salaries bases off the U.S. Department of Labor. It is clearly visible that States with major cities (with the exception of Alaska) dominate the pay scale. It is not a secret, that these States are heavily unionized. It has its advantages and disadvantages.

Few advantages of being a part of an union are that it will work on Your behalf to negotiate the best remuneration possible. This is useful, because when negotiating, one person has less leverage than a group. Another benefit of being in a Union is the increased benefits, for instance, more paid leave time for vacations and possibly a better health care benefits.

Among disadvantages for being in a union one must mention that some electrical contractors are none union shops and thus will not hire union members. Reasoning for such action is that not all small electrical businesses (for instance, with less than 10 employees) would have enough risk tolerance towards possible employee strikes organized by the union (all union members have to take part in such protests if the majority votes for it). This means a job completion is put under risk, which consequently affects businesses ability to pay electrical employees all the high salaries and other benefits. From the employee point of view, strikes mean no paychecks for a limited period of time.

For additional information regarding electrician unions, go to Electrician Unions section.

Comparison Chart To Other Trades

electrician salary compared to other trades

average hourly electrician salary compared to other trades

Benefits For Electricians:
Additionally to the electrician salary a common practice in the electrical area is that every professional receives a great benefit package. These benefits are meant to help to protect Yourself and provide preventive treatments; everyone acknowledges that the electrical industry as a whole has a much higher rate of accidents then most related industries due to harsh environments where tasks are performed (e.g., working in heights, extreme cold and heat, with different power tools which all can be dangerous in the right circumstances etc.). Usually benefit package includes:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • 401k retirement
  • Paid vacation
  • Hand and power tools and its maintenance
  • Safety equipment and its maintenance
  • Additional training/qualification/certification

Job Outlook For the Electrical Industry

The job outlook for electricians looks promising, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates the growth rate of electricians to be ~23% (compared to 14% for other fields) for the upcoming 10 years. This is primarily explainable by new employment in rising renewable energy sector – mainly wind and solar. Various types of electricians are involved in construction and maintenance of electrical systems in wind turbines, as well as the building and installation of solar panels.

The transmission of data and data cabling is another area in which electricians are becoming involved; most electrical contractors have a department just for data cabling. This includes installing TV (Coax), computer (Cat5, Cat6, Fiber) and Voice (Cat5, Cat6). Particular field is very much like the electrical field as they both require installing cabling and terminating. The advantage of data cabling is that most areas do not require a license as the voltage is 12-24v. There are standards that must be followed and one of the best is BICSI; they offer a wide range of certification programs that are recognized as the industry leader.

Due to the power outages from natural calamities such as storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, home standby generators have become a growing industry for licensed electricians. Particular type of generators are installed in residential and occasionally in industrial premises with aim to provide emergency power in the event of a power failure. They automatically start themselves and transfer power through a transfer switch from the generator to the entire building. Because of the necessary connection to the electrical panel, licensed electrician is required for installation and maintenance.

Proven Tips To Increase Your Electrician Salary

#1 Obtain additional certifications

There many different certifications for electricians to increase the qualification, for instance:

  • Thermal imaging – Level 1, 2 and 3
  • GENERAC – Generator Maintenance Technician
  • PLC Technician Training
  • Variable Frequency Drive Training
  • BICSI – Copper Certification
  • BICSI – Technician Certification
  • BISCI – Fiber Optic Certification

#2 Obtain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree

Now when it comes to school I know that this was an area of struggle for me because I love to work with my hands and I had a hard time focusing on school. But these days if it is your desire to move up the corporate ladder or enter into a management role it’s a must have. Understand that it does not matter what your degree is in just that you completed it. Employers do not care. They only care that you were able to dedicate yourself and stay committed.

For other useful tips, visit the Directory/Blog section.

Additional information regarding average electrician salary and salary levels for different types of electricians:

#1 How much does an apprentice electrician make? (Apprentice Electrician Salary)

Since apprentice electricians are still in training and must be overseen by a fully certified electrician, so their salary will only 50 to 80 percent of that of a journeyman. It is generally believed that the rates are divided as follows:

  • 1st year apprentice: 50% of journeyman rate (average rate $14 per hour*)
  • 2nd year apprentice: 60% of journeyman rate (average rate $15.5 per hour*)
  • 3rd year apprentice: 70% of journeyman rate (average rate $18.5 per hour*)
  • 4th and 5th year apprentice: 70% of journeyman rate (average rate $20 per hour*)

*for non-union residential/commercial apprentices
NOTE. As from my experience, having worked for non-union companies, I have never had the opportunity to get a percentage – they have always paid me what they believe I am worth. You may think this is great because if You work hard, You will receive a decent money, however, bear in mind that every employer is willing to make money. Each dollar they pay You more, means lower profits for them.

#2 How much do journeyman electricians make? (Journeyman Electrician Salary)

Apprentice electrician is usually promoted to a journeyman after completing a certain amount of on-the-job electrician training and passing relevant exam. Journeyman is allowed to work without direct supervision, however, he has to report to a master electrician. He can not runs his own business like master electrician. The reported national average salary of a starting journeyman reaches $48 000 a year.

#3 How much does a master electrician make? (Master Electrician Salary)

Master electricians oversee the work done by journeymen and electrician apprentices; they are responsible for all work permits to be in place. They can work for contractors or run their own business. The average master electrician salary is approximately $55 000 a year.

#4 How much does a residential electrician make?

Residential Electrician Salary: A residential electrician does various kinds of electrical work at residential homes. Their average annual income is approximately $37 000.

#5 How much does an electrical technician make?

Electrical Technician Salary: Electrical technicians work with specialized electrical equipment like generators and circuit breakers. Their starting salary is almost $40 000 a year, but after gaining experience, they can expect quite a dramatic pay increase. For experienced craftsman, annual paycheck is normally $67 000 per year.

#6 How much does an oil rig electrician make?

Oil Rig Electrician Salary: Becoming an oil rig electrician means to be liable for maintenance, service, installation and testing of the electrical systems present in motors, engines and other equipment that can be found on oil platforms. Average salary of this electrician type is up to $65 000 annually.

#7 How much does an auto electrician make?

Auto Electrician Salary: Auto electricians are trained to correct system malfunctions in vehicles using various types of computer-based repair tools. Average salary in particular niche is around $57 000.

#8 How much does a marine electrician make?

Marine Electrician Salary: Marine electricians work on a wide range projects related to vessels (boats, ships, yachts) and other marine equipment. Their annual average income reaches $58 000.

#9 How much does a commercial electrician make?

Commercial Electrician Salary: Commercial electricians are responsible for installation, maintenance and repair of electrical units for large businesses. Scale of salary usually depends on what company he works for, for instance, average salary for a building equipment contractor is around $50 000, but average income for those working for municipalities is around $54 000.

#10 What is the average salary of an industrial electrician?

Industrial Electrician Salary: Industrial electricians are responsible for installation and maintenance of electrical equipment in production plants, factories and other industrial object. Latest survey results show that the average annual salary of an industrial electrician reaches $42 000.

#11 How much does an electrical business make in a year?

The annual profits an electrical business usually makes exceeds $100 000. This, of course, depends on various factors, such as location, number of employees, number of clients, reputation, brand awareness etc. Thus, the faster You decide to start Your own business and build Your reputation, the faster You are likely to make the serious buck!

As one can see, there are multiple factors that affects electricians salary. It important not to forget that as an apprentice, You are basically being paid to learn. After successfully finishing Your apprenticeship, You will essentially have a “license to print money” as some professionals like to say.

See also: Job board, Electrician Unions , Electrician Safety