A Comprehensive Guide on an Electrician’s Work and Income

Electricians work for various firms and perform different activities that generally need strict attention to detail and good judgment. 

Certain states and businesses may need a master electrician’s license, which requires several more years of journeyman experience.

Electrician Apprenticeships normally last four years in the United States. This time includes both classroom instruction and fieldwork. 

Here, this blog post will take you through the ins and outs of an electrician’s salary and their work processes.

Define the Profession of an Electrician

A tradesperson who installs, fixes, or maintains electrical systems in machines, buildings, or other goods is known as an electrician. They work in classrooms, industries, and construction sites.

Electricians handle all types of electrical equipment, restoring and sustaining them according to the system’s or company’s criteria. 

These responsibilities are critical in ensuring that the electrical systems function effectively and to their full potential. Illumination, surveillance, and delivery are some of the systems that electricians may work on. 

Many electricians work as independent contractors for a variety of customers. Others may work for a single company and on a single sort of job site. For example, a cell phone firm’s line technician will only operate on their firm’s phone networks.

Most large corporations hire electricians to manage their electronic wiring. They may be in charge of one or all electrical systems that keep the business running. 

They may collaborate with other licensed electricians or non-licensed personnel to perform larger works.

Electricians must be willing and able to work in all weather conditions and at all times, as many of the systems are responsible for requiring maintenance at inconvenient times and in various locations. 

The work might be physically demanding, but it also necessitates a high understanding and attention to detail.

Job Responsibilities of an Electrician

The job responsibilities of an electrician at various stages of their career are as follows:

  • Apprentice

    Depending on what state you aspire to operate in, you’ll need a high school diploma or an equivalent and an occupational license at this point. You’ll work as an apprentice under the guidance of an experienced electrician.

    Entry-level jobs are usually compensated positions that combine hands-on training with classroom teaching and last up to 4 years. They get a base salary that compensates their cost of living.

  • Journeyman

    Electricians can advance to the next step of their profession after learning the trade for a minimum of 2 years. Journeymen are allowed to work autonomously on various tasks due to their electrical knowledge and expertise.

    You’ll need to pass a qualifying examination and obtain a state license to move to this stage.

  • Electrician master

    After many years as a journeyman electrician, the most accomplished technicians can move to master electricians.

    You must pass a state-certified basic electrician assessment and obtain a license to work as a master electrician. You can now oversee people who are working on the previous two phases.

Job Responsibilities of Different Types of Electricians

Here’s a breakdown of electrician job responsibilities by specialty with their average salary:

  • Assembler of electrical components

    National Average Hourly Wage: $16.38

    Electrical assemblers’ primary responsibilities include connecting electronics connections to machines and applications. Electrical systems for computers, smartphones, motors, and batteries are cut, soldered, and welded. 

    Analyzing schematics and class diagrams, inspecting electrical appliances, and fixing things and modifications to systems are among the other obligations.

  • Marine electrical engineer

    National Average Hourly Wage: $21.00

    A marine electrician’s principal responsibilities include installing and maintaining wiring aboard ships and boats. 

    Soldering cables to radios, sonar systems, and radar systems; testing systems for proper voltage, and maintaining all electrical equipment are part of their job. They also make certain that all wiring and equipment are waterproof.

  • Industrial electrician

    National Average Hourly Wage: $25.36

    The primary responsibility of an industrial electrician is to work on systems in a production environment. They ensure that all factory wiring and electrical components are up to date and working properly. 

    Industrial electrical systems are typically larger and more intricate than those in homes or businesses, so industrial engineers may require additional training.

  • Electrician for maintenance

    National Average Hourly Wage: $17.85

    Maintenance electricians are exclusively responsible for keeping electrical systems safe and up to code. 

    They evaluate voltages and look for damaged wiring before developing a maintenance or repair plan with the customer. Maintenance electricians can operate in various situations, including residential, commercial, and industrial.

  • Electrical engineer

    National Average Hourly Wage: $31.20

    Electrical engineers design electrical systems and components using blueprints, grid layouts, and schematics. They create these systems with software that allows them to quickly update and document their designs. 

    Electrical designers frequently have an engineering background and some electrical system experience.

Average Pay for Electricians

The electrical profession has long been associated with high earning potential, directly related to the critical work that electricians conduct.

Electricians’ earnings already exceed those of the average college graduate by about $5,000 (NPR, 2015).

The average salary (yearly) for an electrician in May 2015 was $51,880, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Furthermore, the top 10% of the profession earns more than $88,130. 

How much does an electrician make across different states in the United States? The below data gives a gist about various trends in electrician average salary.

Basic Salary of an Electrician by State:

State Salary
Alaska $44,728
Alaska $53,849
Arizona $47,471
Arkansas $44,115
California $53,561
Connecticut $49,600
Colorado $47,807
Connecticut $52,122
Delaware $50,348
Florida $46,033
Georgia $46,272
Hawaii $50,492
Idaho $45,257
Illinois $49,404
Indiana $46,848
Iowa $45,793
Kansas $44,896
Kentucky $44,642
Louisiana $45,534
Maine $46,224
Maryland $49,821
Massachusetts $52,170
Michigan $48,430
Minnesota $48,910
Mississippi $41,591
Missouri $45,553
Montana $43,467
Nebraska $43,971
Nevada $49,389
New Hampshire $48,670
New Jersey $53,225
New Mexico $43,614
New York $51,451
North Carolina $45,745
North Dakota $44,594
Ohio $46,752
Oklahoma $45,074
Oregon $47,759
Pennsylvania $47,855
Rhode Island $50,540
South Carolina $44,496
South Dakota $40,902
Tennessee $43,563
Texas $46,992
Utah $45,430
Vermont $46,177
Virginia $47,198
Washington $51,211
West Virginia $42,245
Wisconsin $47,322
Wyoming $42,758

Salaries of electricians: The highest earners by location and industry

As per the data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, electrician apprentices in the United States earned $30,000 a year.

For these electrician trainees, the best-paying businesses were:

  • $36, 520 for constriction of the utility system
  • $36,320 for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
  • $42,620 for manufacturing of fabricated metal products 
  • $46,080 for general medical and surgical hospitals
  • $51,750 for local government

During this time, the states that offered the top pay to electrician apprentices were:

Wyoming – $37 710
Colorado – $37 820
Hawaii – $38 540
Alaska – 39 880
Washington – $40 290

In addition, the top-paying metropolitan areas for electrician apprentices were:

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett WA – $45 460
Honolulu HI – $45 310
Morgantown WV – $41 450
Eau Claire WI – $40 360
Worcester MA-CT – $39 840
Santa Rosa CA – $39 840
Anchorage AK – $39 790
San Diego-Carlsbad CA – $39 530

Non-metropolitan areas with the highest salary for electrician apprentices included:

South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan region – $41 370
Balance of Alaska nonmetropolitan region – $38 730
North Northeastern Ohio nonmetropolitan region – $38 680
West Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area – $38 370
Hawaii/Maui/Kauai nonmetropolitan region – $37 250

Industrial and residential electricians’ earnings

Several electrician jobs are available under the BLS’ Electrical Contractors and Wiring Installation Contractors’ umbrella. However, earnings vary based on the electrician’s specialty.

According to BLS figures from May 2015, the highest-paid licensed electrician worked in the category of electrical power line repairs and installers and earned a yearly average electrician salary of $63,090.

The least ten percent earned an average of $32,590 per year, while the highest ten percent earned more than $99,390 per year.

Here’s a breakdown of electricians’ base salaries along with their average and top counterparts:

Electrician job Base salary Average salary Top salary
Electrical and electronic equipment installers, mechanics and repairers $26,660 $46,690 $72,710
Electrical and electronic repairer and installer, transportation equipment $37,940 $53,090 $63,080
Electrical and electronic repairs, industrial and commercial equipment $$26,550 $52,000 $78,130
Electrical and electronic repairs, substation, powerhouse and relay $28,540 $45,780 $70,880
Electronic equipment repairers and installers, motor vehicles $19,770 $21,620 $23,960
Security and fire alarm installers $26,730 $45,240 $70,560

How do electrician salaries compare with other professions

Electricians make about as much as their counterparts in comparable fields in the United States. They earn less than corporate divers but more than brick masons on average.

Career Median salary
Commercial diver salary $55K
Marine electrician salary $70K
Surveyor Salary $66K
Building inspector salary $63K
Crane operator salary $60K
Electrician Salary $57K
Plumber salary $56K
Pipefitter salary $56K
Ironworker salary $55K
Brickmason salary $55K

Skills Affecting an Electrician’s Salary

The required skills that affect an electrician’s salary are:

Dexterity with hands: Excellent manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination are required of an electrician.

Color perception: Normal color vision is required since they must be able to recognize wires by color.

Physical stamina and a solid sense of balance: Electricians may be on their feet all day and work at great elevations, as well as lifting objects weighing up to 50 pounds on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s essential that electricians have good physical health.

Problem-solving and analytical abilities: Analytical skills are a must as they must first determine which gadget is best for evaluating a wide range of problems and then determine the best solutions. Having great problem-solving and analytical abilities is a major plus in your job profile.

Ability to work as part of a group: Many electricians, specifically self-employed electricians prefer working solo. This, most of the time becomes a hindrance when they have to work in big groups for industrial work. Therefore, knowing the importance of teamwork is mandatory.

Factors Affecting Electrician’s Salary

The factors affecting an electrician’s salary are as follows:

Experience: Like any job, the more expertise and credibility you have, the higher your technician compensation will be. The electrician license is also mandatory.

Location of work: Wages differ by state and country, based on the cost of living in each. An electrician in Alaska, for example, earns around $10,000 more per year than one in Maine.

Shift work: Employees working in shifts earn the most money. To cut travel costs on large construction projects in rural places, workers may generally work longer shifts. Depending on the project’s importance, shifts can range from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm to 12:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Industry: Some businesses are riskier than others, and some demand a higher level of technical or other competence.

Self-employed: There are numerous advantages to working for yourself, as well as numerous drawbacks. The most significant advantage is that how hard you work has a direct impact on your profits. Your salary will increase as you obtain more contracts.

Specialization: Electricians who specialize in innovative technology in electricity production, distribution, and transmission earn the maximum money. Specialized electrician’s salary is more than the average salary of other electricians.

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The electrician salaries at various levels can be given as

  • Entry-level electrician salary – $23 per hour or $47,900 per year
  • Intermediate electrician salary – $28 per hour or $60,000 per year
  • Senior industrial electrician salary – $37 per hour or $78,600 per year
Because of the continuous technological advancements and the popularity of the electrical industry, it is easy to get a job and be efficient in it. You will have several career alternatives in this trade and will be able to work for yourself. Also, electrician salaries are more compared to a few other jobs. You can easily earn your cost of living by being an electrician in the United States.

Electricians are responsible for:

  • Rewiring equipment or fittings
  • Inspecting electronic systems
  • Installing wiring and lighting
  • Diagnosing electrical problems
An electrician’s work is one with many hiccups since any moment of carelessness can result in being electrocuted. Therefore, it’s important that proper safety measures are taken while working.
Insulated tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) like insulation gloves, pads, and platforms are the most commonly utilized electrical safety equipment.
When doing various sorts of inspection, restoration, setup, or upkeep, such as arc flash and customized grounding straps and short-circuiting, among others, electrical protective gear should be employed.

FieldCamp – Optimizing an Electrician’s Working Process

If you’re a budding electrician, keep in mind that you’ll be tasked with various electrical tasks and will need to travel from job to job while staying on schedule.

To handle such a demanding job, you should automate and optimize your daily work operations with field service scheduling software.

FieldCamp has the functionality you need for your field service company or job. It’s packed with powerful features and built for streamlining business operations.

It’s a service scheduling software that keeps track of your electricians, job schedules, and payments. From managing your business to automating all the operations, FieldCamp is the answer to your needs. To know how the software smoothens your business operations, begin your today and benefit from our outstanding services!

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.