Experienced electricians can earn a great living. In many cases, electricians’ earnings even rival their peers who hold college degrees! So, how much do electricians make? It all depends on how long you’ve been at it – and the type of electrical contracting you do.
Let’s take a closer look at what you’re likely to earn working as an electrician. We’ll consider initial earnings in your first construction job as well as your potential earnings down the line.
That’s a great question! Electrical contracting is a trade, and tradespeople tend to learn through a combination of formal training and on-the-job experience. The more of both that they have, the more they’ll earn.
In your first trades job, you might not know very much yet. You’ll be given low-level tasks that don’t require much skill, but you’ll be allowed to assist skilled workers who have been on the job for a while. Over time, you’ll gain exposure to more challenges and learn how to solve more problems.
Your first job won’t pay the highest wage, but it will offer infinitely more advancement potential than low-wage jobs in retail, warehousing, or restaurants.
The best part is that you’ll be earning a higher wage sooner rather than later – think months, not years.
You can expect to earn $14 to $20 per hour in your first construction job. Within 3 to 6 months, it’s common to be given more responsibility and earn a higher hourly wage.
According to the National Center for Construction Education, commercial electricians earn an average of $65,398 per year and industrial electricians earn an average of $59,304 per year. That works out to roughly $31 to $34 per hour, assuming 48 weeks of work each year.
These numbers are common in much of the country, although they could be higher in large cities or lower in rural areas with a low cost of living. Keep in mind that these earnings figures don’t include benefits like health insurance or retirement plans, which most electricians also receive from their employers.
After working as an entry-level electrician for a few years, you can typically become a journeyman electrician, gain licensure, and increase your earnings even more. Every state has different requirements for attaining these designations and licenses, so be sure to research how your state does things.
One of the best things about working in the trades is that you can move into management or supervisory roles after you gain experience. From there, you can earn even more money.
So if you’re only asking the question, “How much do electricians make?” you’re only looking at part of the picture.
Experienced electricians can transition into business roles with their employer. They might even open their own contracting business. In both cases, their job title isn’t going to be “electrician” anymore. However, they’ll probably be earning a lot more than the average experienced electrician.
There aren’t any limits! If you can find customers for your services, you can earn as much as you’re able to charge those customers.
You’ve got to get your foot in the door somehow! Most good employers want to hire people who have at least some training or experience.
At Construction Ready, our 20-day program prepares people from all ages and backgrounds to pursue careers in the skilled trades. The program is funded by government grants and private donations, so it costs you nothing to attend.
97% of our graduates secure their first construction job during the training! And yes, many of them go on to become electricians. In fact, electrical contracting is one of the most common career paths for Construction Ready graduates.
To learn more about training or sign up, contact us today! We’d love to see you at an info session where you can learn all about the program and ask any questions you have about starting a construction career.