This is exactly the question we asked to a large group of UK electricians, and whilst we knew we were taking a 'leap of faith' when asking this question, we had not prepared ourselves fully for the thoughts that followed from the electricians. We had such an interesting response, it would have been a total waste had we not shared the results with you in depth. We hope you find the results as useful as we did.
It seems there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to deciding a day rate, and indeed, approximately a third of our responses suggested that a day rate is not always used in all circumstances.
Day Rate Influences
When discussing day rates with electricians through our survey, it was clear that 2 reasons were identified that influenced heavily over the final day rate that was charged to the customer:
Competition with other electricians
How electricians are working
Rather than pin electricians down to reveal their day rate, we decided to listen more to how they actually work which adds usefulness to the results. Rather than obtain an array of 'day rates' we decided to compare the earning potential of the differing ways of working which will hopefully serve to help other electricians who are struggling in increase their earnings.
Sub-Contracting vs Working Directly for your Customer
We had a good response from the guys who work as sub-contractors as well as getting their own work. Many of them spoke from experience when deciding on a day rate for their own work. A lot of sub-contractors forget to add the additional costs such as materials, accreditation, insurance and travel and quote what they are used to earning.
Many electricians work both directly for customers and as sub contractors, however it is important to distinguish your day rate from the two.
Sub-contract work can be great for building up experience and bringing your skills in line with other electricians. Although you will earn less than working direct for a customer, you will not have to worry about additional business costs.
Sub Contract Work Rate: £130-£150 per day
Day Rate vs Quote for Individual Works
Some electricians who responded suggested their customers save money by being quoted a price for the work itself. This allows the customer to budget sensibly for the work needed as they know exactly how much it will cost.
This method allows several jobs to be completed efficiently in the one day which could actually result in better earnings than quoting one price for the whole day.
Result: Win:Win – Customer can manage their budget better
Quote for work rate: £200+ per day
Day Rate vs Hourly Rate
A small number of electricians chose to work to hourly rates. This can be useful for smaller jobs and if there may be problems in the property that may present themselves such as removal of furniture before the job starts, lifting of carpets, floorboards, parquet flooring etc. Hourly rates can work out well if you are working in older homes where it is not clear what has been done before.
Hourly Rate: £34 per hour in London
Electricians who choose to work on day rates
Day rates vary between electricians, and is dependant on factors such as location, parking, and travel costs. Add to this the cost of accreditation and insurance that every electrician has to consider and it is clear to see how the costs are worked out.
The key point is to identify the rate which you would be happy with. Then demonstrate to the customer how your services are worth paying for. There is no point working to make no money, after all we all have bills to pay. Getting work is not just about your day rate. Customers also rate character as a high influence over whether they use an electrician. Factors such as
professionalism are key.
If you get these items right, you are half way to getting the job. The other part is turning up on time.
Domestic Electricians Day Rate: £200 - £250 per day
Naturally day rates can be affected by the number of electricians required to carry out the work and if you have a trainee electrician or apprentice working with you. There is also a difference between working 2 half days to one full day in terms of costs and paperwork as well as whether you charge VAT.
Simply asking an electrician what their day rate is touching the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to a day rate than simply calculating business costs and adding a bit on for yourself. The resulting day rate is the culmination of marketing research, great customer service, a great job and positioning yourself as a knowledgeable electrician in your area.
However, when all said and done it is not the amount paid that makes you good. It is “would the customer call you again” is where it is really at.