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How much do electricians make in your state? An electrician salary database, shared with ServiceTitan by Payfactors.com, has the answer.
Here is what the data show about the average electrician salary based on state and experience:
ENTRY (0-2 years)
INTERMEDIATE (2-4 years)
SENIOR (4-6 years)
SUPERVISOR (7+ years)
And Payfactors.com data shows that the average salary for an electrician, at every experience level, is higher than those for either plumbers or HVAC technicians.
The industry is expected to grow 10 percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so the jobs will be there. And, if only for financial reasons, any aversion to becoming an electrician—or joining the trades in general—doesn’t make sense.
Payfactors.com database shows electricians’ salary range
The database from Payfactors.com, which works with human resources and compensation specialists in an effort to modernize compensation and salary benchmarking through technology, examines salaries nationwide.
Developed based on more than 2,000 commercially available, reputable compensation surveys, each of which complies with generally accepted principles and practices of WorldatWork and U.S. Department of Justice compensation survey standards, the database covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The data include figures for the 10th, 50th and 90th percentiles for various experience levels, providing a range for electrician salaries that informs hiring managers and job seekers alike. The 90th percentile figure is the electrician salary at which 90 percent of similar employees make less, and 10 percent make more.
To maintain congruency, each survey's average electrician salary data are aged to June 1, 2020, using aging factors specific to the combination of the job's function, level, and geographic location. The figures include base salary only, so benefits, commissions, bonuses, spiffs and similar enhancements are not included.
The data are broken down for electrician salaries by state, region and for selected cities, ranges for entry-level electrician salary, journeyman electrician salary and master electrician salary are included.
Among the findings from the electrician salary data:
The 50th percentile salary for an entry-level electrician (0-2 years experience) nationwide is $47,900. For intermediate experience (2-4 years), it’s $60,000, and for experienced electricians (4-6 years), it’s $64,900.
For electrical supervisors with seven-plus years of experience, the 50th percentile salary is $94,500, the data show.
The electrician salaries in the data fall in a wide range even in the same state, based on location and other factors. In Florida, for example, the entry-level electrician salary at the 10th percentile is $35,700. At the 90th percentile, the salary is $52,700, a $17,000 difference.
The 50th percentile is higher than the national median for entry-level electricians in 11 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Minnesota has the highest median salary for entry-level, but intermediate, senior and supervisory median salaries were highest in Alaska.
Entry-level electricians have the highest median pay in two of the nation’s biggest cities, with San Francisco ($56,600, $27.21 per hour) and New York City ($55,100, $26.49) topping the list. Next up is a tie between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Danbury, Conn., ($53,100, $25.53).
Cost of living is an important factor to consider. San Francisco has the highest salary for entry-level electricians, $56,600 at the 50th percentile, but is last—with a bullet—when cost of living is factored in. Compared with San Francisco, the $46,900 entry-level electrician salary at the 50th percentile in Burlington, Vt., delivers twice the standard of living. Every city in the data offers at least a 25 percent cost-of-living bonus vs. San Francisco at the entry level.
Arkansas ($40,900) and West Virginia ($41,200) have the lowest median salary for entry-level electricians; Minnesota ($54,400) and Alaska ($52,100) have the highest.
There are lots of regional variations in salary, too.
The median base pay for electricians, regardless of experience level, is lower than the national average in every state in the South, and every state except Minnesota in the Midwest.
In the Northeast, Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and Maryland have median electricians salaries below the national average. All the other states are above.
The more rural Western states in the continental U.S., plus Hawaii, are below the national median; the salary for electrician jobs in California, Washington and Alaska is above.
Electrician salaries affected by need for qualified candidates
Like with all jobs, electrical industry salaries are tied to supply and demand.
Electrical business owners, like others in the skilled trades, struggle to find qualified employees in a highly competitive climate. They also worry about investing time and money in training, only to see those electricians go off on their own or to work for another company.
Tommy Mello, a trade company owner and investor and host of a weekly podcast, The Home Service Expert, combats that by building a strong company foundation through extensive training and high expectations for every employee, and performance pay as an incentive for helping employees grow. He also offers a $1,500 bonus to employees for referring a new hire.
“Some people say ‘always be closing,’” Mello said. “I say, ‘always be recruiting.’”
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Sometimes, inexperienced technicians can overestimate their worth without having the knowledge or sales experience to back it up. Make sure you know what you claim you know, hiring managers say, and find a company that will build on that knowledge.
Troubleshooting a problem and performing repairs or being part of an install crew requires technical skill but not sales ability. Recognizing, and capitalizing on, opportunity increases revenue for companies and earning potential for technicians.
It’s important for the electrician’s income, too.
Unlike most sales trainers, Chris Crew, President of The Blue Collar Success Group, believes he can teach a service tech with strong technical knowledge to sell, even if they show little interest in that part of the business.
“You give me the most technical technician, and I will teach them how to outsell the best salesperson,” he says. “The more comfortable I have a technician with the technical, the more comfortable and prone they are to talk about additional products and services.”
And, Crew’s not talking about the electrical job “lay-downs,” such as turning a “panel-smoking” or “lights-flickering” call into a big-ticket item.
“I’m talking about how I take, ‘needs outlet added,’ and create a very large ticket with it—without teaching my technicians to be high-pressure salespeople,” the master electrician explains.
“I’m not a fan of high-pressure sales. I am a fan of consulting,” Crew adds. “To consult, I have to be very knowledgeable. That’s why I believe technical information can lead to a better sales force.”
And, likely, higher wages for those electricians.
Electrician salaries: Frequently asked questions
How much does an electrician make?
An entry-level electrician in the 50th percentile nationally makes an average of $47,900, or $23.03 per hour.
The median electrician hourly wage for an intermediate electrician (2-4 years) in the United States is $28.85, or $60,000 per year.
In the 10th percentile (where 90 percent of electricians make more, and 10 percent less), a senior electrician nationally makes $25.14, or $52,300. In the 90th percentile, the numbers are $37.79 and $78,600.
How much does a master electrician make?
More experience and better credentials draw higher salaries. Nationally, a senior-level average master electrician salary, at the median, is $64,900, the data show.
The range of master electrician salaries can be wide. In California, a senior electrician in the 10th percentile earns $57,100, while one in the 90th percentile makes $83,700—a difference of more than $13 an hour. In Arkansas, that range is $43,500 to $74,600.
A licensed electrician salary in New York City, at the 50th percentile at the senior level, $74,600. In Atlanta, an electrician in the same situation makes $65,200.
Do electricians get paid well?
Electricians have high earning potential for those who don’t want to go to college. Requiring only a high school diploma or the equivalent, the median salary for a licensed, entry-level electrician is $47,900, and for senior-level electricians the median figure rises to $64,900.
Whether an electrician makes good money depends on more than just the raw dollar figure.
If loans are necessary to attend college, that debt must be taken into consideration. Electricians often attend trade school and avoid most if not all that debt.
Cost of living is another factor. Larger, urban areas generally have higher salaries, but the dollars don’t go as far in those locations.
What cities have the highest electrician salaries?
In the payfactors.com data, the top five cities in the survey for entry-level electrician salaries are San Francisco, New York City, Fairbanks, Alaska, Danbury, Conn., and Trenton, N.J.
Bigger cities tend to have higher salaries for electricians. San Francisco has the highest entry-level electrician salary at $56,600, or $27.21 per hour. But it also has the highest cost of living of any city in the data.
When adjusted for cost of living, the highest electrician salary among the cities in the data is in Cleveland, Ohio, where the 50th percentile entry-level salary of $46,500 would be equivalent to more than $183,768 in San Francisco.
The average salary for a senior electrician in New York City is $74,600.
How do electrician salaries compare with those in other trades?
Electrician vs. plumber salary: Nationally, the 50th percentile salary for an entry-level electrician ($47,900) is higher than the 50th percentile salary for an entry-level plumber ($46,400).
Electrician vs HVAC technician salary: Nationally, starting salary for a licensed electrician at the entry level ($47,900) is slightly more than for entry-level HVAC technicians ($47,100), at the median.
The margin is small—generally less than a dollar an hour—but the 50th percentile for entry-level electrician salaries is higher than those for plumbers and HVAC technicians in every state except Florida.
Salaries for all three trades increase most rapidly—generally by about 25 percent, although there are outliers—by the time the technician reaches the intermediate level (2-4 years). Licensed electrician salaries increase more slowly afterward, the data show.
Electrician salaries: Other factors to consider
Cost of living is also a factor not addressed in the database. For example, the median base pay for an entry-level electrician in Charleston, W.Va., is $44,400. According to the cost of living calculator at bestplaces.net, to have the same standard of living in Danbury, Conn., you’d need to make $64,427—and the median pay for an entry-level electrician there is $53,100.
Licensing requirements vary slightly by state. Some states require lengthy apprentice periods. In Wisconsin, for instance, the requirement is five years. An apprentice electrician salary could be less than what licensed, entry-level electricians make. North Carolina requires two years of experience, including at least a year of primary experience, to take the limited licensing exam. The average electrician apprentice salary was not included in the data.
Industrial electrician salary vs. residential electrician salary: The payfactors.com database for electrician average salary did not divide electricians into industrial vs. residential.
Electrician unions and more: Other factors could be in play as well, such experience level, skillset, whether the electrician is covered by a union, and more. A union electrician salary could vary from the median in the database at any experience level.
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