An electrician yearly salary will vary by a number of factors including geographical location, qualifications, and work history.
The great news about the Electrical industry is that if you are willing to learn new techniques and have a good work ethic you will have the ability to move up in your career and increase your salary exponentially.
Your salary will increase as you progress from an Apprentice Electrician to a Journeyman electrician, and eventually a Master Electrician. At this level, you will (literally) be a “Master” in your field – and you’ll be well-compensated for your expertise.
As for job security, the electrical field is not going anywhere anytime soon. There will always be a need for electricians due to new construction projects and older electrical systems degradation. With a solid mix between technical knowledge and manual dexterity (which is very hard to automate) – electricians are here to stay.
With the increase of new alternate energy markets and green initiatives, the time is ripe for new electricians to enter the field to take on these new responsibilities.
- Your local salary potential based on Data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- What kind of benefits package you can expect in the electrical industry.
- Explore what the job outlook is for new electricians entering the field.
- I will show you proven strategies to increase your electrician salary potential.
Let’s jump right into an electrician salary by state in the USA.
Electrician Salary by State
|Area Name||Annual Mean Wages||Hourly Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||$64,040||$30.79|
The table shows you the Electrician Salaries bases off the U.S. Department of Labor. The key areas that this table reveals to us that States with major cities with the exception of Alaska dominate the pay scale. These states are very heavily unionized which has its advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages in being a part of a Union are that they will work on your behalf to get the best salary.
This can be good because sometimes trying to negotiate as one employee can be difficult but as a group, it can be much easier to leverage your numbers and strengths. Another benefit of being in a Union is the increased benefits. The Union will negotiate better benefits for union members, for example, more paid leave time for vacations and better medical benefits.
Some disadvantages for being in a Union are that some electrical contractors are none union shops and therefore will not hire union members. An example of this would be a small electrical contractor with 10 employees. A union could very easily put him out of business if his electricians went on strike. In addition, it would be difficult for the contractor to compete for jobs with increased salary rates and benefits for their electricians. Another disadvantage to a union would be if the union decided to go on strike you could potentially be left without a paycheck for a limited amount of time. To find more information on Electrician Unions visit www.ibew.org.
Comparison Chart To Other Trades
Below are charts comparing electricians salary to other similar trades: such as HVAC technicians, plumbers, and other construction workers. As you can see – electricians are the highest paid of all these trades.
Common Benefit packages for Electricians
In addition to a great electrician salary, a great benefits package is a very common practice in the electrical field. The electrical industry as a whole has a higher rate of accidents than most related industries.
This is due to having to commonly perform your job in hard working environments, working on top of ladders, and work with a number of different power tools (such as hammer drills) which all can be dangerous under the right circumstances. Also, you’ll obviously be working near electricity – so you need to be careful.
The good news for electricians is that there are great benefits that help protect you and provide preventive treatments. On top of that, if you’re careful and are using the right list of electricians tools to help keep you safe (like insulated screwdrivers and electrical gloves) – your risk exposure will be well within reason (often lower than civilian risk exposure).
Most benefit packages include:
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Paid Vacation Days
- 401k Retirement
- Life insurance
In addition to the items above some may also include:
- College tuition reimbursement
- Hand Tools and Power Tools reimbursements
- Free pair of Electrically certified insulated boots
- Free uniform cleaning and repairs
Job Outlook for the Electrical Industry
The Job outlook for Electricians looks very promising. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the growth rate of Electricians to be 23% growth rate over the next 10 years. This is due primarily to new job creations in the alternate power, for example, wind energy. Electricians are involved in the building and maintaining of electrical systems for Wind Turbines. Another area electricians are heavily involved would be in the solar energy industry. They are involved in the construction phase of solar panels and component installations. They also install new cables for transmitting power to a home’s energy system or back on the power grid.
The transmission of data, data cabling, is another area that electricians are becoming involved. These days most Electrical Contractors have a dedicated department just for data cabling. This includes installing computer (Cat5, Cat6, and Fiber), TV (Coax), and Voice (Cat5 and Cat6). This area is very similar to the electrical field both require installing cabling and terminating. The benefit of Data cabling is that most areas do not require you to have a license because the voltage is 12-24v. There are Standards that must be followed and one of the best is BICSI. They offer many certification programs that are recognized as the industry leader.
Another area that has become popular here recently because of all of the power outages from storms and hurricanes is home standby generators. These types of generators are installed at a home and proved 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 home. Due to the connections to an electrical panel, they require a licensed electrician for installation. It is common that a generator company will sell a home standby generator to a homeowner and hire a contractor for the installation.
Increase Your Salary as an Electrician
Obtain Additional Certifications
There are so many different certifications for electricians these days here are a few examples:
- Thermal imaging – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3
- Generac – Generator Maintenance Technician
- Bisci – Copper Certification
- Bisci – Fiber Optic Certification
- Bisci – Technician Certification
- Variable Frequency Drive Training
- PLC Technician Training
Obtain an Associate’s Degree 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.
One of the BEST programs in the World is Tarleton State University which is located in Stephenville, Texas. They offer a program that will give you college credit for your work hours. This could potentially eliminate 1 full year or 36 hours of college credit. Just image your junior year is already over.
This credit is considered upper-level courses, junior level, therefore you must still get your basic course done. Another benefit is that 36 hours is free! That means you only pay for 84 total hours instead of 120! THAT IS AMAZING! One of the best programs in the country. In addition, the program is 100% online. Even the test you take is online – there is not a need to even visit the campus! If you want to get ahead on learning, check out the best electrical books for beginners.
Additional Salary Information
How Much does an Apprentice Electrician Make?
Since apprentice electricians are still in training and must be overseen by a fully certified electrician, their salary will only be 30 to 50 percent of that of a journeyman. Apprentices usually make about $10 an hour, or $20,000 per year.
How Much Does a Journeyman Electrician make?
After completing a certain amount of on-the-job training and passing an exam, an apprentice electrician can be promoted to a journeyman. Unlike an apprentice, a journeyman is permitted to complete tasks without direct supervision. However, a journeyman cannot run his own business but must be under the general supervision of a master electrician. The national average for a starting journeyman is $48,000 a year, or about $24 an hour.
How Much Does a Master Electrician Make?
Master electricians oversee the work done by journeymen and get work permits. They can work for contractors or run their own companies. The average master electrician salary is about $55,000 a year.
How Much Does a Residential Electrician Make?
A residential electrician does electrical work in people’s homes. Their average salary is around $32,000 a year.
How Much Does an Electrical Technician Make?
Electrical technicians work with specialized electrical equipment such as circuit breakers and generators. Their starting salary is around $40,000 a year, but as they gain experience, they can expect a dramatic increase in pay. Their average salary is $67,000 per year.
How Much Does an Industrial Electrician Make?
Commercial electricians maintain and install electrical units for large companies. A commercial electrician salary depends on what company he works for. If he works for a building equipment contractor, he will make around $50,000. If he works for the government, he will make $54,000, and $75,000 if he works for a motion picture company.
How Much Does an Industrial Electrician Make?
Industrial electricians maintain electrical equipment for factories and production companies. They make about $41,000 annually.
How Much does an Electrical Business Make in a Year?
The amount of money an electrical business will make in a year depends on its location, reputation, and number of employees. However, even small electrical businesses boast annual profits of over $100,000.
One benefit of being an electrician is that there are so many opportunities for advancement. You will start off making an apprentice electrician salary, but as you gain valuable experience, you will increase your earning potential.