How To Make Money As An Electrician

By: Dave Varga | Mar 31, 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for workers in the United States in the first quarter of 2019 was $905 per week ($22.62 per hour) which totals $47,060 per year. An electrician with just five years of experience can easily make much more than that by following these simple steps.

Get The Right Training

Enroll into an apprenticeship program that meets state and federal standards. An International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers affiliated apprenticeship is one very good option. The typical apprenticeship program is four to five years in length. You will most likely attend just two classes a week and possibly one Saturday a month. This training is absolutely essential in order for you to move up in the electrical ranks. It is the best foundation to build upon and just the tip of the iceberg as far as electrical knowledge. Your apprenticeship is paid for by your employer and at the same time as a first-year apprentice can make anywhere from $15 to $21 an hour while you are learning the trade. Salary ranges are given because the pay rates vary from state to state. Also, if you decide to become a union electrician, you would have very strong health care and pension plan that is paid for by your employer.

Get Your Journeyman License

Once you have graduated from your electrical apprenticeship, you should set your sights on obtaining your Journeyman Electrical License. The first source for this exam should be your county or state, but for some states, it can also be found online through national testing agencies. Getting this license is proof that you have paid attention in class, on the job, and that you are serious about the trade. Employers are always interested in hiring a card-carrying Journeyman Electrician. In some municipalities you cannot work without a license. The license is proof that you have been properly trained and depending on where you reside, you could be making in excess of $31 to $34 an hour with just about five years into the trade.

Gain Experience

The more experience you have, the wider the range of employment options. Varying experience like commercial, industrial, service work, and even residential will make you a better electrician and can quickly open up new opportunities. A wide variety of experience can help you pass future electrical licensing exams. As you progress it’s a good idea to set goals to help you keep moving up in the industry. You can be the next“lead man” or Foreman, then you may want to become a general foreman or superintendent. Field leaders in the electrical trade can make well over $36-$40 an hour. Some people will set their sights on obtaining their own electrical contracting license and open their own electrical contracting business. You can accomplish any of this with hard work, dedication, and continuing your electrical education. Keep moving forward!

The Sky is the Limit

So here you are ten, fifteen, maybe twenty years later. You have a wealth of electrical knowledge and maybe even a few electrical licenses. You have so many career path options at this point. You could head into the office and take a Project Manger role for around $75,000 a year plus bonuses, maybe land an Area Supervisor position for large company at $85,000 a year, run an electrical service department for $90,000 a year, and on and on. There are so many opportunities in our trade and these opportunities can pay well for the person that chooses to keep learning and be a professional in the electrical industry.

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