What is the Highest Electrician Salary You Can Earn
March 28 • 5 min read
Being an electrician may seem like a daunting and dangerous task for some. While it’s necessary to ensure that you have the proper training and skills to perform your job safely, it also comes with lucrative earnings.
Electrician salary ranges vary depending on whether you work alone or with a company. And although you do not need to have a college degree to become an electrician, getting certifications goes a long way in terms of safety and earnings. So how much does an electrician make?
Read on if you want to become an electrician and know your earning potential. We’ll cover the basics about this often misunderstood position to help you make informed decisions about your chosen career.
Electricians are professional tradespeople who work with electrical wiring systems. They design, install, maintain, and troubleshoot the electrical systems of:
- Commercial and residential buildings
- Transmission lines
- Machines and equipment
- Construction sites
- Ships and airplanes
- Cable lines
Electricians perform multiple duties, such as installing and repairing fixtures, installing conduits and pipes, pinpointing cable issues, complying with local and federal laws, and working with electrical hardware. In addition to these tasks, electricians know how to read blueprints and technical diagrams and use testing devices to locate and fix problems.
Electricians are essential to society’s functions; without them, many industries worldwide would not be possible. The buildings and infrastructures we rely on every day need the professional work of electricians to keep them running and fix them when something inevitably goes awry.
Multiple types of electricians exist. Just like a physician, although the central concept is the same, the degree of specialization and training differs for each.
- Journeyman Electrician: This is the fundamental level of being an electrician after finishing an apprenticeship. Although Journeymen can start working, they cannot train apprentices or lead job sites.
- Master Electrician: After a Journeyman has over two years of experience, they can apply to be a Master Electrician. This process requires a license, and licensing requirements vary between states.
- Independent Electrical Contractor: This position means that you own a small business and can hire teams to perform jobs.
- Industrial Electrician: An industrial electrician works in large facilities like power plants and manufacturing facilities.
- Residential Electrician: This electrician specializes in the electrical work of homes and apartment buildings.
- Commercial Electrician: These electricians work in commercial buildings and have specific training requirements to work on them.
Being an electrician is a rewarding and essential job, but it comes with many dangers – some unexpected. Although some assume that electrical shock is the most dangerous part of an electrician’s job, other factors are just as hazardous for these professionals.
Not all jobs electricians perform are on the ground; some work on rooftops, power lines, and tight spaces. Some of the dangers of being an electrician include increased susceptibility to falls, slips, and trips. Another danger is their exposure to toxic substances due to their proximity to materials that contain chemicals. Some of these chemicals include asbestos, lead, and solvents. Finally, since electricians work with dangerous and sharp tools, they are more susceptible to hurting themselves while using them. These tools are scissors, drills, pliers, clippers, and screwdrivers.
However, trained electricians are less likely to face issues than those who do not have much experience. With the knowledge and training necessary to complete your job, you can take safety precautions that decrease the likelihood of dangerous and fatal situations.
You can join a union or be an independent worker when you become an electrician. Unionized electricians have the edge over nonunionized electricians because they get multiple perks that impact their quality of life. For example, unionized electricians get paid training, more hiring opportunities, a retirement package and paid benefits.
Are Certified Electricians the Same as Licensed Electricians?
There are differences between certified and licensed electricians. The main difference is that licensed electricians have a license to work as industrial, commercial, residential, and electric panel electricians. Certified electricians have a certification from their state to work in specific industries such as solar, cable splicing, green energy, and task evaluation. Certified electricians have more job opportunities, receive higher pay, have more flexibility in their roles and have more experience overall than licensed electricians.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest that an electrician can earn in the US is just short of six figures, at $99,800 a year
- According to Zippia, Electrical superintendents in the US can make up to $120,000 a year, with the median at $86,739
- Indeed.com reports that Industrial Electricians make $64,442 annually. Substation technicians make $67,807 annually, and automation technicians earn $80,092 annually.
- Indeed.com also mentions that the states that pay the highest for electricians are Oregon at $91,555, Alaska at $88,955, and Massachusetts at $84,258. The states that pay the lowest are Nevada at $62,834 a year, Colorado at $62,062, and Illinois at $60,729.
How much you earn depends on multiple factors, such as whether you work for a company or own a business. The more experience you have overall, the higher your earning potential increases over time. Moreover, what industry you work in makes a significant difference in your bottom line, and you have multiple opportunities for growth if you want to progress in your career. Additionally, your licensing and certification status matters when negotiating a salary.
There are some drawbacks to being an electrician. The main one is that it takes a toll on your health over time. Electricians work long hours and stand, bend, climb, and crawl. Over time, this strains your health, and it may become difficult to continue this profession as you age. However, the good news is that you can establish a business and hire younger electricians to take over the work while you oversee the team. This path allows you to remain in your industry and not have it affect your health.
Nowadays, there is a growing demand for skilled electricians nationwide. Electricians who work independently often have people call them to help them with electric issues. However, if you plan on working for a company, you can find jobs online as if you are looking for any other position. Moreover, more people are interested in trade jobs, making it the perfect time to start your career.
Every profession needs a well-tailored resume, and electricians are no exception. Your resume should have the proper formatting, be clear, use consistent font and size, and showcase your best qualities and skills.
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Are you ready to build your personalized electrician resume? Start today with Rocket Resume and see the difference it can make for your career.