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2015 Trades Salary Survey: Do Electricians Still Earn The Most?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 28th January 2015

construction line up

We have since posted a 2017 Salary survey with the most up to date data.

When we last posted a blog on this topic the average UK salary for an electrician was £28,846, however since then wages in construction have risen far quicker than the national average due to a shortage of skilled labour and improving confidence in the UK economy and housing market. So what does your average electrician earn?

Average Electrician Salary (£30,172)

According to the Office of National Statistics the average salary for an electrician has risen to  £30,172 over the two year period which is a 4.6% increase. Not too bad for a period in which we are told most other salaries remained static. But how does this compare with the other trades?

Average Salaries by Trade

If you use the interactive chart above you will see that some of the trades have seen bigger increases in salaries than others. All except painters saw an increase in average salary which is not surprising as this is the trade which requires the least amount of training and has the least amount of regulation. The big surprise above is that Tilers and Carpenters have seen the biggest increases in salary whilst plumbers and roofers have seen the smallest. However due to the fact that they already earned the most and have still seen a decent increase, electricians now earn on average £1,919 more than plumbers which is up by nearly £1000 compared to 2013 when they earned £980 more than plumbers.

However this data above is only for salaried electricians and tradesmen. What about those who are self employed or working on an hourly wage?

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£25-£50 Per Hour / £185-£350 Per Day)

This is much harder to gage, however most experienced electricians will charge between £25 to £50 per hour. Many won’t even charge by the hour but may end up charging by the day or a fixed price for a complete job. The disparity in the industry is that those who go it alone and are self employed earn much more than those who work on an employed basis. However what you must remember is that if you are self employed you have other costs to consider such as you registration on a competent persons scheme, tools, van, costs of quoting and business insurance. However it is still realistic for an electrician or domestic installer to earn between 200-300 per day carrying out house re-wires and domestic work especially in the South East.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £20K)

If you start out as an apprentice then you will be earning below the minimum wage. However if you front load your training and complete your technical certificates first (2365 Level 2&3) then you should be able to start out on a trainee wage of around £20k per annum. This is not set in stone and will vary from location to location, job to job and company to company. At the end of the day the better you are at your job the more you can earn, however how do you get to increase your wage or earnings once you are an established electrician?

How to earn more?

There are a number of ways to earn more as an electrician and it all depends on you and what you are willing to do. We have listed the key ones below:

1. Go self employed – As stated above you can earn much more if you invest in setting up on your own. If you find yourself being offered work left right and centre but are employed full time then maybe it’s time to take the leap.

2. Overtime – Overtime is a great way to earn more and you will find if you are employed and working to deadlines that there will often be plenty on offer. Not only will you earn more but you get paid a higher hourly rate.

3. Become an Approved Electrician – If you already have your JIB gold card but want to increase your wages you should invest in gaining advanced inspection and testing skills. The City & Guilds 2394 /2395 courses are the nationally recognised as the key to making this step. Once you have achieved them you can step up a pay grade from

4. Become an Technician – This is the next step up from Approved electrician and can be achieved by demonstrating advanced technical skills and organisational ability. In terms of qualifications electricians wishing to achieve this grade should take the Level 4 qualification C&G 2396 Electrical Design course. This is the most advanced course that we offer.

5. Move into management – There are numerous possibilities in management and project management including but limited to roles such as Project Manager, Commercial Manager, Contracts Manager and also electrical design engineer. Most of these roles will take you away from the hands on side of the role and focus much more on your technical and people management skills.

What is clear is that becoming an electrician remains a great career choice. With the currents demands from the growing housing sector we can only see this continuing in the coming years. We know there is also an upcoming issue with numerous older electricians looking to retire leading to further shortfalls in labour to meet demand.


Categories: wages, pay