If you're a homeowner, a simple reality you have to face is that you'll eventually need to hire an electrician. Whether it's to fix appliances or handle wiring issues, you're going to encounter issues where you need the help of a professional. But it's important to know how much you're going to pay (and why you're going to pay it before you reach out to an electrician.
Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we got you covered. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about electrician rates.
What Can I Expect to Pay?
If you're hiring a licensed electrician (you should always make sure they have their license) to complete the job, you can expect paying anywhere between $50 and $100 per hour.
That price is only for the work itself. There are other factors that influence how much an electrician will actually charge you for their work. These often include:
Any travel the electrician needs.
The materials that are necessary to complete the project.
The complexity of the project.
Let's take a look at these three factors.
The further an electrician has to travel to complete the job, the more they're going to charge you for it.
This doesn't only include the travel the electrician has to make from their location to your home. It also factors in the travel they make on trips to get supplies.
If you live in a particularly rural area, your bill can grow quickly from travel alone.
Your electrician will include the cost of their materials in your estimate, but only because they have to. It wouldn't make financial sense to complete a $1000 job but spend $3000 on the supplies for it.
Unfortunately, this gives some jobs (such as wiring a home) a base cost of thousands of dollars.
It's also necessary to make sure your electrician doesn't skimp on materials. Shoddy materials won't last as long and could even be dangerous to use in your home.
Simple jobs will require less time and thus less money to complete. There's a large monetary difference between installing an electrical outlet in a bedroom and upgrading your home's electrical panel.
Your electrician will help you understand the cost in their estimate so you're not left wondering why you're paying so much.
So, What About the Actual Work?
As previously mentioned, most electricians' hourly rate falls between $50 and $100. But it goes a little deeper than that when it comes to charging for labor.
For starters, many electricians have an appearance fee. This is an amount you pay only for the electrician to come out to your property and visit. While this number will vary depending on your professional, it will often be a bit less than their hourly rate.
For inspections or other types of diagnostic visits, you'll also often pay more for the first hour to help cover expenses like travel and gas.
To make sure they are properly compensated for their time, many electricians will charge clients if they are not present for their appointment. Due to the inconvenience that this imposes on the electrician, it's not unlikely for this fee to be a full hour's worth of payment. Remember, making an appointment with you stops them from setting one with another customer. The electrician deserves to get compensated for their time and lost compensation.
In order to make sure they are properly compensated for their time many electricians will charge clients if they are not present for their appointment. Due to the inconvenience that this imposes on the electrician, it's not unlikely for this fee to be a full hour's worth of payment.
If something comes up and you're not going to be around when the electrician gets there, let them know as far in advance as you can. It'll save both of you money.
Sometimes, it isn't possible to wait until the next morning or weekday before you call an electrician for a job.
Many electricians will work nights, weekends, and holidays under certain circumstances. But this also means that you're going to be paying more for them to complete the job.
On average, electricians who take these jobs will charge anywhere from 1.5 to 2 times their average rate. This can make situations like emergency generator issues costly.
It's worth it if you need immediate, reliable service. If you can wait, it's better for your wallet to tough it out until you can make an appointment during normal working hours.
Level of Experience
Last, how experienced your electrician is will play a role in how much you'll pay per hour. There are three different levels of experience when it comes to electricians:
Apprentice: 8,000 hours of supervised job experience. Also hundreds of classroom hours.
Journeyman: Requires completion of an apprenticeship and a passing grade on the Electrical Journeyman exam.
Master: Requires approximately 4,000 hours of work as a journeyman and a passing grade on the Master Electrician exam.
The hourly rate that you'll pay increases with each tier. You can choose less experienced electricians for easier jobs.
Some jobs, like generator installation, will require a master electrician to make sure everything gets taken care.
If you have a particularly complex electrical issue, understand that you'll be spending some extra cash to fix it.
Understanding Electrician Rates Can Seem Difficult
Figuring out how much you'll have to pay an electrician shouldn't require a calculator. With the above information about electrician rates, you'll be able to get the most cost-effective service possible.
Want to learn more about home electrical systems? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!