What Is the Typical Salary of an Electrician?

Do you want to work in an occupation that many people rely upon? Are you good with your hands and interested in machinery? Read on to find out how much electricians typically earn along with some helpful career information. Schools offering Electrician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

If you work as an electrician, you ensure the electrical needs of customers are met through the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical power systems, machines and equipment. For example, you may be required to install electrical wiring in homes and businesses, repair electrical systems in older buildings or perform maintenance work.

You'll need to be able to read technical diagrams such as blueprints so you'll understand where to install the control panel, wiring, outlets and other power control equipment. Your job may involve working indoors and outdoors. You'll need to become familiar with the use and maintenance of tools such as pliers, wire strippers, saws, drills, voltmeters and harmonics testers. Some of the dangers you may face include electrical shocks and falls.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education High school diploma or GED
On-the-Job Training Apprenticeship
Licensing Required by most states
Key Skills Customer-service, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills; color vision
Similar Occupations Line installers/repairers, electrical and electronic installers/repairers, construction laborers/helpers

Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2014 electricians earned an average of $26.21 an hour or $54,520 a year (www.bls.gov). If you were in the top 10% of these wage estimates, you would have earned $41.15 or more an hour or $85,590 or more a year. If you were in the bottom 10%, you would have earned $14.99 or less an hour or $31,170 or less a year.

Salary by Industry

According to May 2014 BLS figures, the top-paying industry was amusement and recreation industries, where electricians had an average annual salary of $85,190. Other top-paying industries included professional, scientific, and technical services ($81,720), natural gas distribution ($85,100), transportation equipment manufacturing ($78,290) and real estate lessors ($76,550). The building equipment contractors industry paid an average wage of $53,710, and this industry had the highest employment level.

Salary by Location

The BLS reported that the states with the highest average pay for electricians in May 2014 were Alaska ($78,800), Illinois ($69,940), New York ($69,820), Oregon ($68,690) and New Jersey ($67,570). If you worked in states that included South Dakota, Nebraska, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Arkansas, you'd earn a much lower average salary of $26,450-$45,130.

Salary by Experience

Salaries for electricians are based on experience. According to PayScale.com, in September 2015 electricians with 0-5 years of experience earned $29,227-$67,585. Those with 5-10 years of experience made $33,886-$73,859, while those with 10-20 years of experience had salaries of $36,869-$78,390 a year. Those with 20 or more years of experience made $38,954-$87,339.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that electricians are expected to see a faster-than-average employment growth of 14% from 2014 to 2024. Job prospects are expected to be quite good within this decade, especially for those with varied skills in areas like solar energy, industrial wiring and electronic systems repair. Technological advancements also raise demand for experienced electricians.

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