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Average hourly rate for electrician?

Posted by dainaadele (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 6, 06 at 19:22

We are having to do some rewiring of old knob/tube to modern stuff. The electrician working on our remodel said he would charge time and material for the extra work. My GC thinks his rates of $39/hr is high for our small Midwestern town. Does anyone know what is an average/appropriate hourly rate for this kind of area? I need to decide soon. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

It does depend on location, but last time we had an electrician in his hourly rate was $58.........and that was 3 yrs ago. I wouldn't be surprised if it's now higher.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

I was just about to post the same question, so I was sure glad to see this post!

Our "cost-plus" monthly bill just came in, and I nearly flipped when I saw the electrician had charged $50 per hour. I spoke to the GC about it this morning, and he defended it, so I wanted to check around. We are in Missouri. I had no idea what it "should be". Makes me wonder what the plumber's hourly fee will be...more or less?

dainaadele, maybe you should be thankful for $39...I don't know. But then again, if your GC thought it was too high I'd go with that.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

It is doubtful that you will find lower than $39.00. If I was a good typist, I would type out all the expenses involved. While paying the $39.00 from your after-tax income seems steep, the electrician is not getting rich.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Electrician's hourly rate around us (New Jersey Shore) is around $70/hr so be thankful.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

I'd be thankful for $70/hour. A top-rated electrical contractor here (Minneapolis/St. Paul) goes for around $90/hour for smaller jobs (presumably negotiable if there's a commitment to more hours).


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Gosh... I knew my electrician gives us a great rate, but I had no idea how great it is!

He charges $30 per hour.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Thanks, guys! It at least gave me a feel for hourly rate's out there. It's not that I didn't like the rate as much as kowing what is normal. In out small town as a RN I only get 25/hr. If I gave myself 5/hr for benefits and then added me paying the additional 7% for FICA, it still comes out less than 39/hr. So I was just wondering. As I said even my contractor thought that was alot for our small town. He is fairly new to the business and has always worked with job quotes vs hourly rates.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Quote "In out small town as a RN I only get 25/hr. If I gave myself 5/hr for benefits and then added me paying the additional 7% for FICA, it still comes out less than 39/hr." Now add to that liability insurance, health insurance, a pension plan, Mandatory annual college training, $10 or $20K for tools plus upkeep costs, A vehicle to transport the tools and supplies,,(At least a 1 ton capacity and preferably a crew cab)plus fuel, maintenance, and hundreds of non paid hours evenings and weekends working up bids or material takeoffs and when all is said and done at $60/hr you are lucky to clear $25 for personal payroll. On top of that, shortly before I retired i decided i wanted to slow down a bit so I raised my price $10 above average market for my area. Did that slow business? Absolutely not, it just got me a much better class of clientele.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Ooops! Let me clarify. That is the hourly rate he is charging me for each of his two guys that come in and do the work. It is only hourly rate. Everything else is broken down and also billed. I also happen to know he does not provide benefits to the two guys he is paying AND he is only paying one of them 14.00/hr (he was very proud of the fact that he got this "good paying job" that will set him for life). I have worked on my own, I also know when I moved here I took a 50% pay cut, and am actually better off financially at the end of the month than I was living in D.C. Also my husband has his own business and we have a lot of the same self employment issues. As a matter of fact, he does taxes and I know exactly what kinds of costs acrue very easily. Like I said I was trying to see if folks out there living in a small midwestern town could give me appropriate hourly rates. I still view things through D.C. prices, but when my GC seemed concerned, I figured I would do some checking on my own. Sorry, I did not mean to stir up a hornet's nest.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

dainaadele, I don't blame you one bit for trying to get answers, or opinions. I'm doing the same thing, and in a pretty small midwestern town, too. And we are new to town, so don't know the backgrounds...everything I have to go on is word-of-mouth references, and looking at past jobs.

Like I said earlier, our electrician charged us $50/hour, but I failed to mention that his (adult)son was working with him, in training, but still unlicensed as yet. I have no problem with that. And the father wouldn't even leave him on the work-site if he had to go pick something up. So probably part of that pay went to him, I'm thinking.

I talked with GC yesterday, and he said they were the best, AND the least expensive around...all I can do is trust that. Also, as I explained that it was nothing personal but I had my husband to answer to re: money spent, he said he FULLY understood, and repected me for it, and would expect the same from his wife. So I'm feeling much better about things today...


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

$39/hr is a very good rate but make sure to get a quote for the whole job. My inlaw got about the same hourly rate but got taken to the cleaners when the electrician kept stringing out the job. It seemed like he was trying to make the job last as long as possible.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Comparing rates is so hard to do, even within the same town. Local availability of work and competition greatly impact rates. You can even run into a situation where an electrician had a big job coming up and it gets pushed back by a couple of weeks. Now he has an opening in his schedule and figures that guarantee of $50/hr. for two weeks is lot better than sitting at home waiting for $75.

From a homeowners perspective Im not too keen on a time and materials estimate although I certainly understand that there are situations where there is no other way to bid the job. In those cases there should be some discussion about a "not to exceed" number. That way you have some understanding of a worst-case scenario and the contractor understands that youre not a money machine. Even then you should understand what a specific hourly rate gets you. For example, two people working together can often get more work done than one person working alone for twice as long. Are you getting a journeyman and three apprentices or three journeymen and one apprentice?

Good luck!


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

IF AN ELECTRICIAN GIVES YOU A BILL FOR LESS THAN $45-50 AN HOUR SEE IF HE HAS INSURANCE. MANY PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVES ELECTRICIANS, BUT LACK THE PAPER WORK INVOLVED. SOME ELECTRICIANS DO MOONLIGHTING WORK ON THE SIDE. HOWEVER IF YOUR HOUSE BURNS DOWN BECAUSE OF HIS WORK AND HE DOESN'T HAVE INSURANCE YOU CAN SUE HIM. IF HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY MONEY THEN YOU WON'T HAVE A HOUSE, BUT YOU SAVED A FEW DOLLARS, IF THAT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. GET REFERANCES TO SEE IF HE REALLY HAS A GOOD REPUTATION. MANY TIMES PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT ALOT OF WORK GOES INTO BEFORE THE ELECTRICIAN DOES THE JOB. HE HAS TO GET THE MATERIALS, CALL AN INSPECTOR, PAY FOR HIS VAN, INSURANCE(BUSINESS INSURANCE IS AROUND 2x's THAT OF A REG. CAR INSURANCE), IF HE HAS TO PUT IN AN ELECTRICAL SERVICE HE HAS TO NOTIFY THE POWER UTILITIES SOMETIMES HAS TO MAKE A SPECIAL TRIP BECAUSE THE HEIGHT OF THE OLD SERVICE ISN'T CORRECT TO THE NEW NEC... PLUS THE PAPER WORK AND RECIEPTS THAT HAS TO BE RECORDED AND IN SOME STATES HAS TO PAY A CERTIFIED ACC. TO DO HIS BUSINESS TAXES. SOME ELECTRICIANS HAVE ABOUT $1K-6K FOR MATERIALS IN THEIR VANS FOR EMERGENCY WORK PLUS MISC JOBS.
THESE ARE JUST A FEW THINGS TO TAKE INTO MIND WHEN AN ELECTRICAIN GIVES YOU A BILL. IN THE END HE IS NOT MAKING ANYWHERE NEAR THAT $50 AN HOUR. SIDE NOTE WE SPEND $1,000.00 A MONTH IN GASOLINE IN EVERY VAN PER MONTH.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

50 dollars an hour? AND YOU QUESTIONED IT? WOW! YOU TAKE YOUR CAR TO THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT AND HE DETAILS YOUR CAR IN AN HOUR AND HE CHARGES YOU 100 DOLLARS! IN TWO WEEKS ITS DIRTY AGAIN! I WOULDN'T LEAVE MY OFFICE FOR 50 DOLLARS AN HOUR. IT STARTS AT 100 PER HOUR. IF I CHARGED 50 AN HOUR I WOULD ONLY MAKE 14 DOLLARS AN HOUR. ARE YOU CRAZY?..


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Using all caps is considered shouting in internet chat rooms and it is very offensive.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

it's so funny too hear these quotes..cause my wife thinks it just comes for free since i've done all the electrical remodels on all of our homes...


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Our "cost-plus" monthly bill just came in, and I nearly flipped

You should have been informed of the rate before the work started.

As the duet of screaming electricians shrieked, WE DONT' COME CHEAP!!!!

I was paying sparkies $30 per hour in the late '80s. That's why I took courses and can wire to Code myself, which I have done in small jobs. And I never, never pay electricians by their inflated hourly rates. (I save that money for the lawyers.)


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

I told a woman what my hourly rate was for Plumbing and she said,,,damn,,My doctor don't even charge that much

I said,,I bet he would if he had to make house calls.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

70 dollars per hour is my break even point to send a fully licensed electrician to a job. That includes vehicle cost not including any other overhead. Now I need a profit to stay in business. The only way to go cheaper is to bypass the governing agencies that are overseeing the integrity and safety of the work.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Heavens Above! The original post was in 2006! It won't die!

It was under a SPECIFIC circumstance in a SPECIFIC portion of the United States.

There is no need for anyone to justify/argue about the $39 dollar rate anymore.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

The main concern is not hourly rate, but that they are experienced, reputable, and licensed/insured. There are certain trades performing tasks on builds where safety is critical and damage can result to the house or harm to the homeowners if they dont know what they are doing. Fixing blemishes/cosmetics from a hack is a different animal than when a loved one is injured or killed due to an inexperienced trades person hacking up a project.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Also like every profession there are good ones and bad ones. Even though the license should ensure some level of competency it doesn't. I've seen plenty of crap work done by electricians, not only code deficent but seriously unsafe.

On top of that, you may hire the licensed guy but the guy doing the work doesn't have a ticket and the licensed guy doesn't always supervise like he should, if at all.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Good points! Experienced and reputable, make sure. A reputable trades person with employees wont hire anyone that will blemish their good reputation. Research by getting refralls from trustworthy people and follow up on those referalls by checking the trades person/contractor out in full!


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

An Electrical Contracting Company would charge you about: $65 1st hr. $45 after that for a regular construction electrician. They pay their people about $15 an hour, plus the 2 hours wasted between jobs.

For Large Construction or Remodeling Jobs, they charge as little as $25 an hour.

Think of this, they have to pay for expensive College training, Medical, taxes, tools, vehicles, and fuel.

Think of their cost, and the benefits of hiring a PRO.

Master Electricians would cost you about 3 times more. Usually needed for "Troubleshooting or Repair Calls."


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

$78/hr in Baltimore billed in half hour increments. I have one coming tomorrow to add an outlet. Great reviews on Angie's list.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

I have been an electrician for nearly 10 yrs now, and am not a licensed contractor, therefore do not have the high overhead as some of these other guys. Some people tend to assume no license = not a good electrician. I have done many jobs that the first half of the project was to undo what some contractor was hired to do at some point in the past. Yesterday even. The license is more a $ thing than it is a skill thing. You can pass the test using the book, but you can only be a good electrician with experience. I may not have insurance to protect the homes I work on, but I do not leave the job until it is done perfectly. I know the residents lives are in my hands and that is something I take very seriously. Therefore I do not cut corners, and often exceed the safety requirements set by the NEC. I Just had to get that off my chest.

Now something that residents do not seem to understand, and I'm sure the rest of you electricians will agree, is that We truly have no idea what kind of mess we are signing up for UNTIL we get inside your walls, attic, or crawl space. Often times there are disasters hiding and waiting for us. Sometimes we discover issues that can take up to a whole day to resolve before we can even really get going on the original plan. That is something we have to plan for, because in my experience, I am lucky to be able to do the project without having to undo what some hack did previously.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

Anyone who doesn't follow the laws that govern their state is not honest. if you are not honest, you are not a good electrician. Also, if a contractor pays 1/3 of his wages to taxes (that you dishonest types vote in) than $39 looks a lot like $23/hour or $46,000/ year. I wouldn't trust anyone to do the most dangerous, technical, and regulated trade in America that is $49,000/year caliber. They are either desperate, unprofessional, taking too long (because they are under-trained), wiring things improperly, or just committing tax fraud. If you're comfortable with any of those, hire the cheap guy, but if you're not- spend the money to get things done correctly and honestly by an electrician that spent tons of money on college, just like you, has a family to provide insurance for, just like you, and has the decency to pay taxes, just like you. It's not a money thing- it's a safety thing, a professional thing, and an integrity thing. Maybe start thinking about why guys like the last post aren't master electricians and contractors- not smart enough? don't care enough about their clients? or again, just tax evaders? That man is NEVER coming into my house, and if you think $39/ hour is expensive, do the work yourself, see how it goes, then post pictures. I'll be here to sight all of your code failures, if you live through it, and then maybe you'll realize how valuable skilled trades are.


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RE: Average hourly rate for electrician?

eHow says:
"When the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted its 2009 wages survey, it determined the country's hourly rate for electricians as $24.45. The top-paying industry for electricians was motion pictures and videos, at a much higher than average hourly rate of $36.32.

No real pattern emerged from the BLS's study on the top-paying states for electrician rates. Alaska took the top honors with an hourly mean rate of $32.44. Closely behind were Illinois, at $32.33 per hour, and New York, at $32.00 per hour. Also higher than the country's median was Hawaii, at $31.59 per hour, and New Jersey, at $31.02 per hour."

These numbers represent what an electrician actually gets paid. What is charged to a homeowner by the company the electrician works for could be 1 1/2 to 2 times greater depending on the company's benefits, overhead and profit.

The only way to know for sure what is normal for your area is to ask some other electricians but it is odd that your GC doesn't know or can't find out; you shouldn't be trying to do his job for him. It seems like that's where you are not getting your money's worth.


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