How Much Do Electricians Make in 2022

There are plenty of electrician jobs, from apprentice electricians who are just starting to master electricians who have decades of experience. 

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the U.S. make $63,310 on average; however, this ranges greatly depending on where they work, what experience they have, and their licensure. 

This article will discuss the different types of electricians, their salaries, the highest- and lowest-paying states, and the factors that affect electrician salaries.

Different Electricians and How Much They Make

Below you’ll find a list of the most common electrician positions and their average salary range, as per Comparably. For more information on the job duties and experience requirements for each position, head to the end of the article.

  • Apprentice electricians: $31,739 – $79,440
  • Journeyman electricians: $61,180
  • Master electricians: $48,900 – $121,600
  • Electrical contractors: $88,400 – $200,350

It’s important to note that electricians are known for earning decent overtime pay every year. On average, overtime could be between $8,000 and $10,000 extra annually, which would be added to the average pay listed above. 

Specialty Electricians

Most states also offer specialty licenses or niche areas for electricians to work in. Below are the 5 highest paid electrician specialties, as per the Bureau, and their average salaries. 

  • Natural gas distribution electricians: $104,920
  • Event electricians (performing arts, sports, etc.): $101,740
  • Professional and commercial equipment electricians: $95,260
  • Monetary authorities/Central Bank electricians: $94,710
  • Scheduled air transportation electricians: $92,550

These averages may already include overtime pay.

Electrician Salaries by State

As of 2021, these states had the highest average salaries for electricians. 

  1. Illinois: $83,140
  2. New York: $81,700
  3. Oregon: $81,200
  4. Alaska: $79,980
  5. New Jersey: $79,940

It’s important to keep in mind that these averages may mix high-paying cities with low-paying suburbs in the same state, as well as that 4 out of 5 of these states form part of the top 10 most expensive states to live in. Be sure to keep reading below before choosing to move solely based on average salary amounts. 

On the contrary, below we have the five states with the lowest average electrician salaries in the country.

  1. Arkansas: $43,650
  2. North Carolina: $44,140
  3. South Carolina: $44,720
  4. Florida: $45,240
  5. South Dakota: $45,490

Electrician Employment by State

If a state pays electricians well but has a declining job market, it may not be the state you want to start your career in. Some states have much more work for electricians than others. 

The states that employ the most electricians are:

  • California: 65,800+ electricians
  • Texas: 52,580+ electricians
  • Florida: 41,130+ electricians
  • New York: 39,760+ electricians
  • Ohio: 23,890+ electricians

Factors Affecting How Much Electricians Make

As we’ve seen above, electrician salaries can vary greatly. The biggest factors that affect salary are where you live, the niche of electrical work you do, and your licensure/experience level. 

While some states may offer higher salaries, it’s important to compare them to the state’s cost of living. If you’re making 10% more than the national average but your state that costs 15% more to live in than average, you are actually making less than you would in an “average” salary state.

When it comes to niches, we’ve outlined the best-paying ones above, but there are plenty of other niches that can pay generously, too. 

As for licensing and experience, the more you have the more you’re paid, as is the case with most other trades. An electrician with 20 years’ experience is worth more than a fresh apprentice. Generally speaking, you could bump up your salary by $10,000 in most states with a decade of experience. 

Many electrician positions will also pay you more if you have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in something like electrical engineering. 

Electrician Job Duties

Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical equipment. This could include wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Electricians work in compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC), as well as any local or state codes in their area. 

When beginning their career as trainees or apprentices, electricians will likely require supervision by a licensed electrician. Some states offer statewide licensing practices while others offer licenses or certifications by municipality.

Each level of licensing will expand an electrician’s possible job duties. A general description of the job duties for electricians at different licensing levels is shown below, but remember that each state may have different requirements and licenses.

  • Apprentice/trainee electricians work under a licensed electrician to acquire the experience necessary to become a journeyman electrician. These individuals are usually part of a state-approved apprenticeship program that also provides classroom hours.
  • Journeyman electricians are the basic level of electricians you may be most familiar with. These can usually work independently, although they are often employed by an electrical contractor. Most journeyman licenses require you to have at least 4 years of experience and to pass an examination. 
  • Master electricians are often the highest licensing level available for electricians in a state. These electricians supervise journeyman and apprentice electricians and usually have 2-4 years of experience as licensed journeyman electricians before sitting for the master exam.
  • Specialty electricians can be journeyman or master electricians. They specialize in one area of electrical work, such as signs, residential, industrial, lightning protection, lineman, etc.
  • Electrical contractors may or may not be electricians. Some states require electrical contractors to hold a master electrician license first, while others only require them to employ a master electrician. These individuals bid on large contracts, laying out and supervising the electrical work for it.

The Bottom Line

Electricians can make anywhere from $30,000 to well over $100,000 per year, but most average out around $63,310. Electrician salaries are determined by state wages, the type of electrical work being completed, and the licensure/experience of the electrician. 

Electricians are able to earn money even while training as an apprentice, and most enjoy generous overtime pay annually. With both state and municipal licenses available, you can quickly work your way up in experience and enjoy a salary that lets you live comfortably as you work in the trade. 

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