Salary guide: electricians

Last updated: May 26, 2024
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Michael Frash
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Salary guide: electricians
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are around 739,200 electrician jobs in the U.S. The industry is growing quickly, with job growth set to rise by 8% in the next ten years.

Electricians can make a good living, and those working in government industries can earn the most. There’s also the potential to run your own business.

If you’re thinking about starting a career as an electrician, you may be wondering if it’s right for you.

To help you decide, we’ve created this salary guide. We’ll explain what an electrician is and the skills you need for the job.

We’ll then tell you how much you can make in different positions and compare electricians’ salaries in different states.

What is an electrician?

Electricians install wiring and electrical systems. They need to read blueprints and install lights, power outlets, and wiring in the correct locations.

These professionals check for faults and make repairs as necessary. They use different power tools, ladders, and other equipment for the job.

Electricians work on domestic, commercial, and industrial projects, installing systems for new builds and renovations or making modifications to existing properties.

They may work full-time or part-time, and some electricians run their own businesses. They usually receive an hourly wage and overtime pay.

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What do you need to be an electrician?

If you want to work as an electrician, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most electricians start with an entry-level position and participate in an apprenticeship program.

To give yourself the best chance of securing an apprenticeship, you can take a short course at a local technical college.

Once you've completed your apprenticeship, you may need to take a test to gain an electrician's license.

Electricians need to be physically fit. The job may involve tight spaces and heights, so you'll need to be comfortable in these situations.

You'll need good troubleshooting skills and the ability to solve problems. Electricians need good communication and customer service skills.

How much does an electrician make?

How much do electricians make? Let's take a look at the pay scale for electricians, sorted by job type.

1. Apprentice electrician

Apprentice electricians complete between four and five years of training.

Apprentices work on-site and are supervised by a qualified electrician. They need to complete both practical and theoretical components.

They get paid while they learn. Once they've finished, the apprentice becomes a journeyman electrician.

The median salary for apprentice electricians is $33,000 per year. The apprenticeship rate increases over time and can be anywhere between $20,000–$40,000 per year.

Where to get a job as an apprentice electrician

You can browse apprentice electrician positions on our job board.

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2. Master electrician

Master electricians have completed an apprenticeship program. They’re fully qualified and have a license to work unsupervised.

They perform a wide range of tasks and may be self-employed or work for an employer.

The average salary for a master electrician is $56,900 per year, or $27.36 per hour.

Where to get a job as a master electrician

You can browse electrician positions on our job board.

3. Electrical contractor

Electrical contractors have several years of experience. They're qualified, licensed electricians who are part of the construction design team.

Electrical contractors work with architects and engineers to design and install the best electrical system for a project.

Electrical contractors working in management positions have an average annual salary of $119,110. The mean average hourly pay is $57.26.

Where to get a job as an electrical contractor

You can browse electrical contractor positions on our job board.

4. Substation electrician

Substation electricians work in substations. They maintain and repair electrical components such as circuit breakers and transformers.

Substation electricians may need to make adjustments to high voltage and low voltage systems. They often work for electricity companies and may need to repair power lines in case of an emergency.

Substation electricians need to have a qualification and work experience. The national average annual salary is $79,760 per year, or $38.35 per hour.

Where to get a job as a substation electrician

You can browse substation electrician positions on our job board.

What are the highest paying industries for electricians?

The average electrician’s salary can vary depending on the industry.

On average, residential electricians make $60,730 per year, or $29.20 per hour. Commercial electricians make an average of $63,280 per year, or $30.42 per hour.

Industrial electricians working in natural gas distribution can make up to $106,280 per year, or $51.09 per hour.

How do electrician salaries vary between states?

Let's take a look at how the electrician salary can vary between states:

  • California - $75,900 per year

  • Alaska - $79,540 per year

  • Florida - $45,880 per year

  • Illinois - $81,650 per year

  • Texas - $51,350 per year

  • Idaho - $51,520 per year

  • Oregon - $76,040 per year

  • Wyoming - $61,480 per year

  • Vermont - $60,500 per year

  • South Carolina - $43,730 per year

  • North Carolina - $43,110 per year

  • District of Columbia - $79,030 per year

  • Arkansas - $63,164 per year

  • Colorado - $56,300 per year

  • Minnesota - $47,165 per year

  • Hawaii - $79,280 per year

  • New York - $81,340 per year

Working as an electrician

If you want to work as an electrician, it’s a skilled trade, so you'll need to complete an apprenticeship. If you're wondering how much you can make doing electrical work, we have given you the details in this salary guide.

We told you how much apprentices, master electricians, electrical contractors, and substation electricians earn. And we told you where you could look for work.

Plus, we gave you a comparison of annual salaries in different states.

Ready to kick-off your career? You can browse vacancies in your area on our job board.

Need resume, interview, and application tips? Check out our resource center.

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