Career Insights: How Much Do Electrical Contractors Make Per Hour?

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How Much Do Electrical Contractors Make Per Hour: In the vast world of home maintenance and repair, electrical contractors stand out as vital professionals. But a question that often sparks curiosity is, how much do electrical contractors make per hour? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for electricians was $27.36 per hour in 2020.
As we delve into this topic, we’ll shed light on the factors that influence these earnings and compare them across different regions.
Stay tuned to get electrified with some career insights!

Who is an Electrical Contractor?

When you think of an electrical contractor, don’t just picture someone fiddling with wires. They’re the maestros of the electrical world, orchestrating symphonies of circuits and switches.
An electrical contractor is a business person or firm that offers electrical services. Unlike your regular electrician, who might be the one to fix a faulty switch, electrical contractors manage teams, handle large projects, and ensure everything’s up to code.
They’re the ones overseeing the entire project, ensuring that every wire, switch, and outlet is perfectly in place and functioning.

The Journey to Becoming an Electrical Contractor

So, how does one rise to this electrifying position?
First off, there’s the educational requirement. Most contractors start with a basic degree or diploma in electrical engineering or a related field.

How Much Do Electrical Contractors Make Per Hour
Then comes the licensing and certifications. Just like you wouldn’t trust a doctor without a medical license, you wouldn’t want an unlicensed individual handling your home’s electrical system. Each state has its licensing requirements, often involving exams and practical assessments.
Lastly, experience and apprenticeships play a crucial role. Before one can lead, they must learn. Working under seasoned professionals provides invaluable insights and hands-on experience.

Factors Influencing Their Hourly Rate

Alright, let’s address the charged question: How Much Do Electrical Contractors Make Per Hour?
Several factors come into play:

Factors Influencing Earnings Description
Geographic Location and Local Demand Areas with higher costs of living or thriving construction scenes often yield higher hourly rates for electrical contractors.
Level of Expertise and Years of Experience More experienced contractors with specialized skills tend to command higher hourly wages.
Specializations or Niche Expertise Electrical contractors with expertise in specialized areas can earn premium rates due to their unique skills.
  • Just as a coffee might cost more in New York than in Nebraska, so does the hourly rate of an electrical contractor. Areas with a higher cost of living or a booming construction scene often see higher rates.
  • A newbie fresh from college won’t command the same rate as a seasoned pro with 20 years under his belt.
  • Just as a heart surgeon earns more than a general practitioner, electrical contractors with niche specializations can command higher rates.

For a more detailed breakdown, especially focusing on rates in New York, check out this comprehensive salary guide.

Diverse Electrical Contractors Group

How Much Do Electrical Contractors Make Per Hour: National Averages

Let’s get to the electrifying details. When it comes to how much electrical contractors make per hour, the national averages can be quite illuminating.

Comparison with Other Tradespeople Growth in Wages Over the Years
Electrical contractors often earn a competitive wage, sitting between carpentry and specialized trades like plumbing. Over the past decade, electrical contractors have experienced steady wage growth, reflecting demand and inflation.
  • While plumbers might be diving deep into pipes and HVAC technicians are cooling their heels, electrical contractors often find themselves in a lucrative middle ground. On average, they earn a competitive wage, often outshining professions like carpentry but sometimes trailing behind specialized trades like plumbing.
  • If we were to plot the wage growth on a graph, it’d look like a mountain slope on an upward hike. Over the past decade, electrical contractors have seen a steady increase in their hourly rates, reflecting both inflation and the growing demand for their specialized skills.

Regional Variations in Pay

Location, location, location! It’s not just a mantra for real estate agents but also plays a pivotal role in an electrical contractor’s paycheck.

  • Why some states or cities pay more: High-demand areas with booming construction or stringent electrical codes might offer higher wages. Think Silicon Valley with its tech hubs or New York with its ever-growing skyline.
  • Cost of living vs. hourly rates: It’s not always about earning more; it’s also about how much you spend. Contractors in cities with a higher cost of living might earn more, but they also spend more on daily expenses. For a deeper dive into how New York fares, check out this detailed salary guide.

Additional Benefits and Perks

Beyond the hourly rate, there’s a treasure trove of benefits that electrical contractors can tap into.

  • Health benefits, retirement plans, and bonuses: Many contractors, especially those affiliated with larger firms or unions, enjoy comprehensive health plans, juicy retirement benefits, and occasional bonuses that light up their bank accounts.
  • Opportunities for further training and education: The electrical world is ever-evolving. Many contractors get opportunities (and sometimes sponsorships) for further training, ensuring they’re always current and never short-circuited in their knowledge. For more on the costs and benefits of hiring an electrician, this Forbes article is a must-read.

The Demand and Supply Dynamics

In the electrifying world of electrical contractors, the buzzword is ‘demand’. With the rise of smart homes, green energy solutions, and complex electrical systems, the current demand for electrical contractors is surging like a well-amped circuit.

High Demand for Contractors

  • The current demand for electrical contractors: As more homes and businesses invest in advanced electrical systems, the need for skilled contractors to install, maintain, and repair these systems is skyrocketing. It’s not just about fixing a fuse anymore; it’s about integrating entire systems.
  • Predicted job growth in the coming years: Hold onto your tool belts because the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth rate of 8% for electricians and contractors from 2019 to 2029. That’s much faster than the average for all occupations. The future, it seems, is bright and well-lit!

Challenges and Rewards of the Profession

Every job has its highs and lows, and for electrical contractors, it’s no different. But oh, the highs can be electrifying!

  • The physical and mental demands of the job: It’s not all about twisting wires. Contractors often work in tight spaces, at heights, or in inclement weather. The mental gymnastics involve ensuring safety, adhering to codes, and solving complex electrical puzzles.
  • The satisfaction of problem-solving and project completion: There’s a unique thrill in restoring power to a blackout-hit area or seeing a newly constructed building light up for the first time. For many contractors, these moments of triumph are the real sparks of the job. For a deeper dive into the costs and intricacies of electrical tasks, this guide on Thumbtack is enlightening.

Tips for Aspiring Electrical Contractors

For those looking to make a mark in this field, here are some charged-up tips to get you started:

  • How to maximize earnings: Specialize! Whether it’s green energy solutions, smart home integrations, or industrial setups, find a niche. The more specialized your skills, the higher the demand (and the paycheck).
  • Building a reputation and client base: Word of mouth is powerful. Deliver quality work, adhere to safety standards, and ensure client satisfaction. Over time, a solid reputation will build a robust client base. And for those curious about the earning potential, ZipRecruiter offers a detailed breakdown of electrical contractor salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How much do electrical contractors typically earn per hour?

On average, electrical contractors in the U.S. earn between $20 to $45 per hour, with variations based on experience, location, and specialization.

What factors influence an electrical contractor’s hourly rate?

Several factors can influence rates:

  • Experience and expertise
  • Geographic location
  • Specializations or certifications

Is the hourly wage consistent across all states?

No, wages can vary significantly. For instance, electrical contractors in urban areas or states with a higher cost of living might earn more than those in rural regions.

How does their wage compare to other tradespeople?

Electrical contractors often earn more than some tradespeople but might earn less than others like plumbers or HVAC technicians, depending on the region and demand.

Are there additional benefits apart from the hourly wage?

Yes, many electrical contractors receive benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses, especially if affiliated with larger companies or unions.

How has the wage trend been over the past decade?

The wage for electrical contractors has seen a steady increase, with a growth rate of about 10% over the past decade, reflecting the demand for skilled electricians.


Navigating the world of electrical contractors brings to light the intriguing question of how much do electrical contractors make per hour. As we’ve discovered, while the pay is influenced by various factors, the profession remains a lucrative and rewarding one.
If you’re considering a career switch or just curious about the trade, remember that the value of an electrical contractor goes beyond the hourly wage. It’s about skill, dedication, and lighting up our world, one wire at a time.

Thank you for reading!