Estimating Electrical Work in 10 Simple Steps

The market size of electricians in the United States is around $202 billion. 

The demand is rising, and the electrical service industry is estimated to increase at a 6% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. 

It’s getting difficult for businesses to run a profitable business because of the competitive pricing in the industry. 

But you must create an electrical work estimate that is not underpriced or overpriced to ensure that you retain your profits and your clients.

For that, you must understand the art of estimating electrical work.

Our team has filtered the top 10 simple steps you can use for electrical estimating that can price your electric jobs with finesse. 

10 Steps to Estimate Electrical Work 

1. Project Selection

Being a professional electrical contractor, you must avoid saying yes to all your project requests just to make a few bucks. 

You should understand that if you want to scale your electrical business, first, you must understand your strengths. 

Project Selection to estimate electrical work

Have a clear understanding of whether you have expertise in industrial electrical construction projects, residential or commercial electrical jobs, or a blend of all the options.

Different domains require unique skill sets and expertise to deliver the desired results tailored to the customer’s demands.

So, identify the right electrical jobs and filter the bidding process that can help you increase the quality of the results and ensure that you get trapped in the complexities of a specific project.

Avoid bidding for jobs that don’t fall under your expertise, which can cause reputational damage, financial losses, or higher chances of mistakes.

Be confident with the project you filter to ensure you can complete the requested electrical project while managing your labor, material, and other operational costs.

Once you kick-start your business operations and gain experience in the industry, you can expand your work horizon to help you stand out from other electrical contractors and handle more clients with different requirements.

2. Study the Requirements

Once you have filtered the niche you want to handle, you should analyze the requirements of the projects and the special demands of the clients. 

A crystal clear understanding of the requirements can ease the electrical estimating process and deliver an accurate and precise electrical estimate.

Look for oversights or abnormalities and understand whether the project stands in terms of the current electrical spectrum or not.

Getting the specs right helps gauge what type of work is expected from the clients and what your technicians have to achieve to satisfy the client’s requirements.

You can avoid the situations of underquoting or overestimating; that can help you increase the chances of conversions and ensure that you estimate electrical jobs better than others.

Ask your prospects different queries or questions and get approval of the estimates by writing them down. The clearer picture you have around the specs, the better quote you can get for electrical projects.

3. Analyze the Drawings

Being an independent electrical contractor or a business owner, you can review graphics, drawings, or blueprints to have an in-depth idea about the specific electrical requirements. Analyze the visual and create a scope of work for your on-ground electrical technicians to deliver the desired customer results.

Ask for architectural images to better understand the technical details, including the working heights and elevations. 

Don’t forget to note the premise’s current HVAC and plumbing system wirings that can help you avoid future complications during the electrical repair or installation execution.

You can walk through the job site to assess the project scope if the client doesn’t provide the drawings.

Whether a commercial job or residential project, these components affect the material, labor costs, and equipment requirements. 

Skipping the electrical drawings or graphics can impact the estimates and deliver inaccurate results that can cause future discrepancies.

4. Check the Material Costs

Material costs significantly impact the accuracy of your electrical project estimate. You must clearly define the material quantity required to complete the requested job successfully. 

Check the material costs to estimate the electrical work

List the materials or material takeoff based on your understanding and initial conversations with the clients that can help you avoid further confusion. 

Include every material required for the project, such as light fixtures, circuit breakers, receptacles, electrical outlets, switches, and panels.

The detailed material description and quantity are necessary to reduce the complexity of the electrical project execution. 

5. Predict the Labor Costs

After completing the material cost breakdown, you should focus on the total labor costs involved in executing the project. You can choose a specific pricing model like fixed or hourly rates based on the project demands.

Also, analyze the total labor hours required to complete the electrical project and how much you need to pay them for successful completion.

Break down the pros and cons of hourly wages and upfront compensations based on the demands and scope of the project. It can help you choose the best suitable pricing model for your business operations and help you quote a better and more reasonable estimate for your potential prospects.

Keep a window to add overtime hours, accidental damages, overhead costs, indirect expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses that can add to your labor costs.

Add the overhead expense and other operational costs that can determine your project’s total expenses and help you get a better estimation.

6. Include Your Taxes

Different businesses neglect the taxation segment during the cost estimation. Ensure that you add your business taxes in your cost estimation or charge it separately while giving away the invoice.

Include your taxes to estimate electrical work

But if you choose to charge the taxes in your quotation, you must calculate the business tax for one job. It can help you increase your cost estimation accuracy and avoid the chances of skipping the tax inclusions in your estimates or invoices.

7. Add the Profits

Once you have calculated the expenses, you should focus on the profit percentage that can help you run a sustainable electrical service business. Add a profit markup for the specific task to ensure you don’t end up making business losses.

Don’t exceed the standard profit margins in your area of operations; that can increase the chances of losing the clientele. The general profit percentage for an electrical job is around 20-30% subtracting the overall business expenses.

Give the profit margins a careful thought and ensure that it’s a part of your electrical estimating system that can help you scale your business and deliver competitive estimates that helps you achieve great profits.

8. Estimate Creation

Once you have calculated the labor and materials costs, analyzed the taxes for one electrical job, and specified your profits, you can kick-start the estimation process.

You can hire electrical estimators or choose professional software to create professional estimates for your business. Focus on reducing the estimating costs and ensure that you can create and manage estimates with finesse.

You can also use your previous estimates to create a quality estimate from scratch. Choosing estimating software can help you minimize the time, effort, and money and help you achieve your desired results for creating estimates faster.

You can use the estimate template provided by the software for professional electrical estimates highlighting detailed electrical services, material and labor costs, quantities, company details, and other vital information.

The software can help you make error-free estimates and ensure that you itemize the proposed materials. You can use the electrical work pricing guide provided by different quality software.

9. Send a Proposal

Based on the requirements, electrical estimates can make a small part of your larger proposal for the bidding process. Once you are ready with the final estimate, create a professional proposal.

Add details about minor components that must be included in the construction project or other bigger project proposals. Highlight the terms and conditions that can help you match the project specifications.

Don’t add jargon; keep the language simple and similar to the drawing documents and project specs. It can help you better project management and help in a detailed breakdown of your services. 

Based on the proposal, you can avoid future conflicts with the clients and build solid trust for attracting more jobs. 

10. Cross-check the Details

You must double-check the final proposal to ensure no discrepancies in the estimates, labor units, direct costs, and other necessary details.

A thorough check can help you identify mistakes before sending the final proposal to your prospective client and avoid a poor impact. Recalculate the numbers to be sure about accuracy and precision. 

Check the client’s details, including their address and name. Remove human errors or faults before you hand over the final proposal. Keep a copy as a record in your database that can help you access the proposal whenever you want.

We hope the step-by-step guide can help you create estimates for your electrical business and convert the desired prospect into your long-term clients within no time.

But once you acquire the clients, you must ensure that you have a professional electrical service business ecosystem that can help you deliver a quality customer experience to your customers.

It can help increase client retention and scale your business numbers to stand out from others. But you must integrate professional electrical business management software that can streamline your business operations and improve productivity.

Get centralized control over your electrical service operations and deliver your clients real-time tracking updates to build strong trust and relationships.

Our team has filtered a quality field service management software ideal for your electrical service business requirements and needs to help you build a solid connection with your customers.

Estimate and Dispatch Your Electrical Jobs

Schedule and dispatch electricians, create invoices, get paid, generate service reports with our all-in-one electrical business management software.


You can calculate the electrical project cost by analyzing your expenses like labor, material, overhead, taxes, and other vital costs and then adding a specific profit percentage to the final estimate. You can also align the project cost with the industry standard prices but ensure that you don’t undercharge or overcharge your electrical service price.
You can integrate a professional estimation or invoicing software or outsource your work to accounting professionals who can help you create professional estimates. Creating quality estimates is important for your electrical business as it helps you create a solid impact on the prospects’ minds and helps you close the deal.
You can increase business profits in the electrical industry by strengthening your in-house business ecosystem and marketing your business to the right target audience. You can focus on delivering quality service to the clients that can help you minimize the customer churn and ensure that you have a solid recurring profit flow. Deliver quality customer experience and streamline your cash flow to run a sustainable electrical service business.
A field service management software removes the inefficiencies from an electrical business and automates the job scheduling, dispatching, reporting, invoicing, and payment processing.
You can create a strong communication link between your on-ground and management team that can help you increase efficiency and deliver quality business results. You can boost client retention and scale your business numbers by enhancing productivity using quality field service software.
FieldCamp is the quality service management software you should integrate into your business ecosystem that can help you streamline your business workflow. The blend of excellent features and cost-effective pricing separates the software from other service management software in the industry.

FieldCamp Can Help You Manage Your Electrical Service Work 

FieldCamp is a professional service scheduler software that can help you create quick invoices once you complete the electrical service work. Your technicians can add quick details about the project and deliver digital invoices that your clients can process quickly.

The software can help you in payment processing and ensure that you reduce inefficiencies and human errors while managing your electrical service operations.

You can smoothen your business workflow by assigning different tasks to your employees and standing out from other general contractors.

Get free access to a 7-day trial to simplify your electrical service business’s financial and business management.

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.