One of the reasons why you may be hesitant about hiring an electrician is the cost. Doing things yourself will certainly be cheaper, but when it comes to electrical work, hiring a professional is always money well spent. Electrical work is dangerous work, and handling electricity, electrical wiring, and electrical installations the wrong way can cause both injury and property damage as a result of electrocution or electricity-related fires. The inherent dangers associated with electrical work is the reason why most states regulate the industry, by licensing electricians and allowing only licensed electricians to offer electrical services.
If you do need an electrician and you are afraid of high costs, the best thing to do is to do your research, and then set aside enough funds in your budget for it. Besides, an electrician’s services may not cost as much as you think. In any case, hiring a professional to do your electrical work may be cheaper in the long run compared to the potential damages and injuries that may result if the work is done by non-professionals.
So how much does it cost to hire an electrician? The amounts below are just a general average, and will certainly vary depending on which electrician you ask. It may be a good idea to get quotes from two or three electricians about the cost of the work you require done.
Average Price to Hire an Electrician
Various factors that can determine the cost of hiring the services of an electrician are:
- The type of electrical work that needs to be done
- How many electrical services you require
- The electrician’s service charge
- Whether the electrician is self-employed or works for an electrical contractor
- Whether the electrician is unionized
- The electrician’s skill level (e.g., if you are hiring an apprentice electrician vs. hiring a licensed journeyman)
- Additional incidental expenses like travel expenses and costs for electrical items and products (e.g., wires, electrical outlets, electrical sockets, screws, etc.)
How the costs are broken down depends on the details of the contract you will have with your electrician, but some of the common industry practices include:
- An hourly rate, which can range from an average of $40 to $100 per hour, depending on the type of job and the electrician’s rates based on his skill level
- A minimum fee is often charged, often equivalent to an hour’s worth of work, even if the work can be finished in less than an hour
- The charge for the first hour is often higher, with lower rates for subsequent hours of work
As a homeowner looking to hire an electrician, a great way to cut down on costs is to consolidate all the electrical work that needs to be done in your home so that all could be done when the electrician you hire comes over. This will certainly cut down on your costs as you will no longer be paying for multiple service charges and incidental expenses like travel costs for the completion of each electrical work. Also, when you ask the electrician to do multiple electrical tasks on one visit, you save on having to pay higher costs for the first hour of service each time.
Does that mean that it’s a good idea to hire an electrician, so long as they’re licensed if they offer the cheapest rate in the market? Not necessarily, as there are many more things to know before hiring an electrician.
The thing about electrical work is that most of it is hands-on work that electricians learn only through years of experience. So if one electrician is charging a higher fee than all the others because of his many qualifications and years of experience, you might consider hiring him anyway. You may find that doing so is more cost-efficient for you because he will be able to get the work done faster than a newly licensed electrician or an apprentice electrician. This is certainly an important consideration if you are paying by the hour.